Josh Gerstein at Politico had a prediction that Obama would answer a marijuana question last night based on a conversation with a Google staffer:
Google is signaling that it wonâ€™t let any single issue, like marijuana legalization, dominate its online question-and-answer session with President Obama Monday afternoon.
But donâ€™t despair, NORML fans, as it seems you stand a good chance of getting a query before the commander in chief.
â€œWe’re not releasing questions ahead of time, but I should note that a marijuana question was asked and answered in last yearâ€™s YouTube interview with the president,â€ Google staffer Abbi Tatton said in response to a POLITICO inquiry about how the web giant plans to handle the usual proliferation of pot-related questions put forward by the online audience.
In retrospect, it seems clear that the Google staffer was signaling that they considered the question already asked and answered.
Of course, it doesn’t really matter whether the President was asked. Any answer he would have given would have been dismissively vague. It’s child’s play to come up with a non-answer, such as
I understand that these concerns exist, and the fact that a dialogue is happening is a good thing. And yet, on the other hand, surrendering is not the solution to our drug problems. This is why our White House Office on Drug Control Policy is pursuing a balanced approach that is successfully working to reduce the harms caused by drugs. Thank you for your question and your years of service to our country.
In some ways, it’s actually better for us that Obama continues to dodge the question and the Google chose not to answer it. The question and issue are still getting play… Check this out:
TAMPA, Fla. — When the president’s Google Plus meeting got started on Monday, the commander-in-chief had time to answer questions about his dancing and singing abilities, how he’ll spend his anniversary, and even what he thought about comedians making jokes about politicians. But what he didn’t answer were any of the hundreds of questions submitted for the event about legalizing marijuana.
In fact, CBS reported 18 of the 20 most popular questions for his online meeting had to do with cannabis, with the number one ranked YouTube question coming from a retired police officer who asked, “What do you say to (a) growing voter constituency that wants more changes to drug policy than you have delivered in your first term?” […]
Even on the campaign trail the subject is getting attention, with Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul supporting the legalization of marijuana. […]
Last year, the president did say legalization is a legitimate topic but that he does not support the move. Yet, with so many questions on the issue being submitted on Monday, it’s fair to say this is a subject that is not about to burn out anytime soon.
It’s gotten to the point that every time that President Obama decides to “listen” to the people, we get a lot of coverage. Not a bad thing.