Obama, YouTube, and Marijuana Legalization

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As I discussed last night, yesterday's special YouTube Interview with the President conspicuously -- though predictably -- excluded the top-rated questions from the contest, all of which had to with legalizing marijuana. So now everyone's calling out YouTube for censoring their own forum, the whole purpose of which was to ask Obama the questions that got the most online votes.

Since YouTube publicly credited itself with deciding which questions were asked, I guess it's only fair that they take the blame for blatantly ignoring the single biggest constituency that participated in their forum. But let's not forget that it's the President himself who has twice failed to form even one intelligent sentence in response to the marijuana questions that continue to dominate these forums. He's proven that he can't or won't discuss this issue seriously, so if YouTube sought to avoid another embarrassing controversy, it's at least partially the President's fault for setting such pathetic precedent.
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Futility of Seeking a Federal Solution to Marijuana Prohibition

Republican strategy regarding Obama is to reject anything Obama wants to achieve.  If Obama favors marijuana legalization, Republicans will totally reject the idea, plus use it to jump on an endless line of anti-Obama drug rhetoric for the rest of his term as president.

If Obama rejects legalization, or just refuses to talk about it, Republicans still won’t eliminate pot prohibition because it’s their baby.  Nixon made his intentions clear to his co-conspirators when he accelerated the war on marijuana.  He knew substance prohibition was a tool to oppress minorities.  That’s how it’s been done since the dawn of the temperance movement in the 1820s which led to national alcohol prohibition a century later (see Symbolic Crusade: Status Politics and the American Temperance Movement by Joseph R. Gusfield).  Catholics and certain European immigrants were the targets in the bad old days.  No hippies back then.

In the end, it makes no sense at all to ask Obama for anything more than what he’s already done for medical marijuana.  His candor on the subject of cannabis will probably wait for the day he’s no longer president, just as Bill Clinton waited before scoffing at U.S. marijuana penalties.


why shouldn't we ask Obama to reschedule cannabis?

It's politicized science and clearly ridiculous for cannabis to be schedule one (having no legitimate medical use), Obama does not need Congressional approval to do it, and it would presumably meet with overwhelming public approval since the public does overwhelmingly see cannabis as having medicinal uses. He likewise doesn't need Congressional approval (correct me if I'm wrong) to make provision for supplying legitimate researchers with high quality, standardized varieties of cannabis for research, or to allow scientific research into MMJ to compete for federal research funding.

Tricky Dick

If memory serves me well - and it doesn't always - Nixon created the DEA via Executive Order in July 1973. Unless there have been laws passed to codify the DEA's existence, Obama could (but, of course, won't) seal its demise via the same process.

Daniel Williams


I know that we need to be patient but from what I have seen of this president he did not know about the changes that we could believe in when he announced that we should vote for "Change that we can believe in", then it was "Change that we need". Later in his campaign he said," But let's be absolutely clear about what change means - change isn’t just a word."

After a year in office I have trouble discerning what the change was that we voted for. What happened with the Youtube questions is not a good example of the "Change that we believe in", or the "change that we need". Maybe change is now just a word.....Many of us that voted for this change may not want to support this type of change in the next election.

I may be accused of wasting my vote in the next election by voting for a third party candidate but I will not be fooled again.

primus's picture

The fault lies with the

The fault lies with the party system and the media. The parties function as a filter to keep out anyone with any ideas which differ from those already accepted by the herd (AKA The Party). Therefore, everyone who belongs to a party will hold to the 'party line' because they can't face being outside the herd. The media does us all a disservice by constantly criticizing everything which politicians try to accomplish. Media do not act as an effective check and balance as envisioned by the founders, it is just a bunch of gossipmongers and fight starters. These are the kinds of people one would ordinarily shun but are embraced by the politicians to serve their own ends. The result of being criticized no matter what one does is that one does nothing. That about sums up the current crop of politicians; afraid to do anything because their popularity, as measured by the mainstream media, will decline, and they will not be reelected.

The hundredth monkey has been informed

I recently was part of the veteran's film project that resulted in the recently released documentary "the good soldier" www.thegoodsoldier.com
Since the film was featured on Bill Moyer's Journal on Nov 6, 2009, I have often googled my name to see comments about the good soldier.

As an activist for NC House Bill 1380, an act to make medical cannabis legal in NC. I was surprised to see a video of myself asking a question of Sec of Education Arne Duncan and Sec of Agri. Tom Vilsac about medical marijuana posted on Utube while only googling my name.

After the utube sensorship, I could find the utube clip nowhere, even when I typed the title of the clip "perry parks, nccpn director confronts cabinet secretaries in hamlet, nc"

I have also been working with Congressman Larry Kissell from NC to find out the status of the petition to reschedule cannabis. The note from my congressman last night stated that "the DEA was adamant that it WOULD never support rescheduling" (paraphrased).

We have reposted the video and it can again be found on google. We will not let this drop...even if I have to put my uniform on and travel to Washington and demand a meeting with the DEA.

Their position is UNTENABLE (See September 2009 issue of Fortune Magazine)

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