On Tuesday, I asked the enormous online community at reddit.com to help send a message to the President in response to the recent federal effort to shut down medical marijuana programs around the country. Reddit users voted to make this issue a top priority, resulting in an absolutely massive viral letter-writing campaign directed at Obama's website WhiteHouse.gov.
Only the White House could tell us how many messages they received, but if this is any indication, I think we got their attention:
This sort of temporary malfunction is common when major sites like reddit suddenly send large volumes of traffic to places that aren't ready for it. Few people reported encountering this problem, but the fact that it happened at all is an extraordinary exhibit in the success of our efforts.
We no longer have to ask ourselves whether the White House is aware of our disgust at the great medical marijuana betrayal that's unfolded before us in recent months. If anyone in the Obama Administration thought the passing of time or the perpetual abundance of political distractions would divide or disperse us, they know now that the President will continue to be held accountable for the promises he made on medical marijuana policy. Whatever steps he plans to take towards placating us before 2012 – and he'd better have something in mind – will be hard to sell after violating the only positive marijuana policy position he had the integrity to embrace in '08.
This battle is officially back on, and this time around it will be Obama who must answer to the sick and dying patients who helped him on the campaign trail four years ago by publicly humiliating Romney, Giuliani, and McCain. Why the Obama Administration has allowed things to come to this is honestly beyond me, but I can promise you one thing: there is no constituency of American voters calling on the President to continue Bush's senseless war on medical marijuana. Obama must choose between siding with a few angry prosecutors and narcs defending their despicable livelihood, or standing with the towering majority of Americans who want to leave medical marijuana decisions in the hands of patients and their doctors.
There is no reason, politically, practically, or morally, why the compassionate policy the President promised us cannot be upheld. Until it is, the same social media tools that helped Obama get elected will be used instead to amplify our dismay at his shameful failure to deliver on what should be one of the easiest issues in American politics today.