President Obama: What Is So Funny About Taxing And Regulating Marijuana?

Here’s another way you can let the White House know what you think. The Drug Czar’s blog, Pushing Back, is asking for the public’s feedback regarding Thursday’s Town Hall Meeting. You already know what they think; let them know what you think here.
Since many of you are writing President Obama on your own, NORML would like to assist the process by providing you with a link for contacting the White House directly. Please log on and send your e-mails by going here.
Also, please check The (Read and comment here) and (Read and comment here) on Friday for updated versions of this commentary, and please post your feedback to those forums as well.

Speaking live moments ago President Barack Obama pledged “to open up the White House to the American people.”
Well, to some of the American people that is.
As for those tens of millions of you who believe that cannabis should be legally regulated like alcohol — and the tens of thousands of you who voted to make this subject the most popular question in today’s online Presidential Town Hall — well, your voice doesn’t really matter.
Asked this morning whether he “would … support the bill currently going through the California legislation to legalize and tax marijuana, boosting the economy and reducing drug cartel related violence,” the President responded with derision.
“There was one question that was voted on that ranked fairly high and that was whether legalizing marijuana would improve the economy and job creation, and I don’t know what this says about the online audience,” he laughed.
“The answer is no, I don’t think that [is] a good strategy.”
Obama’s cynical rebuff was short-sighted and disrespectful to a large percentage of his supporters. After all, was it not this very same “online audience” that donated heavily to Obama’s Presidential campaign and ultimately carried him to the White House?
Second, as I’ve written previously in The Hill and elsewhere, the overwhelming popularity of the marijuana law reform issue — as manifested in this and in similar forums — illustrates that there is a significant, vocal, and identifiable segment of our society that wants to see an end to America’s archaic and overly punitive marijuana laws.
The Obama administration should be embracing this constituency, not mocking it.
Third, will somebody please ask the President: “What is it that you think is so funny about the subject of marijuana law reform?”
Since 1965, police have arrested over 20 million Americans for violating marijuana laws, yet nearly 90 percent of teenagers say that pot is “very easy” or “fairly easy” to obtain. That’s funny?
According to this very administration, there is an unprecedented level of violence occurring at the Mexico/US border — much of which is allegedly caused by the trafficking of marijuana to the United States by drug cartels. America’s stringent enforcement of pot prohibition, which artificially inflates black market pot prices and ensures that only criminal enterprises will be involved in the production and sale of this commodity, is helping to fuel this violence. Wow, funny stuff!
Finally, two recent polls indicate that a strong majority of regional voters support ending marijuana prohibition and treating the drug’s sale, use, and distribution like alcohol. A February 2009 Zogby telephone poll reported that nearly six out of ten of voters on the west coast think that cannabis should be “taxed and legally regulated like alcohol and cigarettes.” A just-released California Field Poll reports similar results, finding that 58 percent of statewide voters believe that regulations for cannabis should be the same or less strict than those for alcohol.
Does the President really think that all of these voters are worthy of his ridicule?
Let the White House laugh for now, but the public knows that this issue is no laughing matter. This week alone, legislators in Illinois, Minnesota, and New Hampshire voted to legalize the use of marijuana for authorized individuals. Politicians in three additional states heard testimony this week in favor of eliminating criminal penalties for all adults who possess and use cannabis. And lawmakers in Massachusetts and California are now debating legally regulating marijuana outright.
The American public is ready and willing to engage in a serious and objective political debate regarding the merits of legalizing the use of cannabis by adults. And all over this nation, whether Capitol Hill wants to acknowledge it or not, they are engaging in this debate as we speak.
Sorry Obama, this time the joke’s on you.

0 thoughts

  1. I have M.S. and the issue is, I need medication! The Preident is laughing at me I’m glad I did not vote for that liar!! Their all out for “theirs” and they make more money by keeping it illegal!!!! I watch documentries like crazy and the proof is there!
    piece out!

  2. Liberty is to the collective body, what health is to every individual body. Without health no pleasure can be tasted by man; without liberty, no happiness can be enjoyed by society.
    -Thomas Jefferson
    No man will ever carry out of the Presidency the reputation which carried him into it.
    -Thomas Jefferson

  3. This sucks I want something get rid of headaches and only one thing helps,a few pulls and im good what about us? Medically I feel I should have the right to smoke. THThthththththththththththt!Im gonna do it antway, tax me for you see how are economy is dontcha need the money?

  4. The more than 92,000 people who responded either have a Cheech and Chong sense of humor or there is a deep concern in America — undetected by the media — about the decriminalization of marijuana,

    Hundreds of thousands of voices are ignored every day, and millions of lives have been swept under the rug.
    Who among us can claim to be free?

  5. I see a lot of whining on this forum, but no real proposals for a solution.
    The best way for this debate to move forward is to publish an authoritative, academic study on the economic benefits of legalization, as well as a proposed regulatory framework.
    I think NORML should hold a fundraiser, then use that money to hire an out-of-work professional to write this study.
    Peppering the President with questions will only do so much, because the media will be on fire moment he takes on the legalization question, putting every other item on his agenda on hold.
    Real results are more likely when you shop a solid study to the press and to the American people as strong evidence that legalization is good economic policy.

  6. Obama is actully right about this.
    Is legalizing and Regulating Marijuana a good stradegy for Helping the economy? No it’s not.
    Legalizing Marijuana doesn’t end the very expensive war on drugs. Most law enforcement agencies have a lase fair attitude towards Marijuana. they want to bust large scale (wholesale) grow and distribution operations. but they’re not actively cracking down on Joe Six Pack who has a dimebag for personal use. Law Enforcement is far too concerned with Crack\Cocaine, Herone, and Meth. Drugs nobody wants to legalize.
    and It’s not like we’re fully legalizing Marijuana, we are Regulating it’s growth and distribution. so now Marijuana becomes a focus issue for law enforcement as marijuana becomes a Tax Revinue stream.
    And the legalizing of marijuana will only have a noticable effect on the economy assuming EVERYONE steps in line. The federal governement knows for a fact it can’t stop the black market drug trade. It’s been failing to do so for decades. so now you give pot dealers and smokers a choice. you can either pay the premiums on legal protection, and because your plants are federally regulated you’ll proboally see a decline in quality. Or realize that you’ve been exsisting JUST FINE without any sort of legal protection. For sellers the choice is selling a 45$ bag of weed but only really keeping 20$ in profit, or selling the same bag of weed for 40$ and keeping every cent. then the buy has the choice between 45$ and no chance to goto jail or 40$ and a small chance of getting fined. Ask anyone who lives near a indian reservation where they buy their gas and cigarettes (items that are expensive due to taxation) and they’ll say they goto the reservation because they can get their stuff cheaper because it’s tax free.
    Pot will be no different. Sure there are those of us who will pay the extra 5$ a pack for the piece of mind that we won’t get nailed for having the pot. but I’m positive we’re a insignifigant majority of the Marijuana using population.

  7. Decriminalization is the way to go. it’s the defacto policy by most local and state law enforceent agencies anyway.
    You’re not setting up new and expensive bureaucracies to regulate the growth and sale of marijuana, you’re not spending time\money invading the privacy of citizens who grow for personal use. you’re not arresting people who make a personal choice that has no effect on those around them, but you still allow yourself to go after those who are a disturbance to civil security.
    you stoners have your approach all wrong, you’re trying to invent a cure-all for the Economy just to have your emotional issue passed. you’re just as bad as the Religious groups that fight to make Gay marriage illegal.

  8. and of course he’s going to make a joke about a online poll getting flooded by activist. Trying to make up a reason to legalize marijuana.
    You do know Obama has been a long-time supporter of Decriminalization.
    the fact the Pot activism community has turned the Recession caused by a poorly regulated financial industry into a excuse to legalize pot is funny to anyone who isn’t high.


  10. #708 Outfluence Says:
    April 3rd, 2009 at 3:59 pm
    I see a lot of whining on this forum, but no real proposals for a solution.
    The best way for this debate to move forward is to publish an authoritative, academic study on the economic benefits of legalization, as well as a proposed regulatory framework.
    – – There have been several authoritative, academic studies done on the economic benefits of legalization, and comparison of the various forms of legalization, regulation and decriminalization.
    – – These can be found at

  11. Hail Mary question was an air ball
    Pose a question that cannot be so easily evaded. Obama is no dumb ass.
    Such as: Mr.President with the failure of the war on drugs isn’t it time for a national dialog and review
    of drug policies based on facts and not myth.
    You’ve got to work the ball into the paint, folks.

  12. Obama your wrong and everyone who listen you. You have a bad rep for steping on the little man the hard working men and women who keeps a roof over ur head there is not one thing wrong with legal marijuana hell other countries have it they seem to be on the right track with their ecomony but not the US and u want to laugh at us when u cant even do ur job right go ahead give all the money away to the big dogs who problay in 5-10yrs will be askin for more dont judge before u know. Are u scared of what ur friends might think if u pass that bill which leagal marijuana can be used i know u have presser but dont think ur the only one with that Marijuana never killed like beer whiskey hell cig’s have killed more people that marijuana could ever all i’m sayin is for one time think about stop lookin at ur friends and think about what the AMERICAN people want I’m speakin for me and millions out there who feel the same FIX the problem and u might get more time in the white house
    But if u dont make or even try to give a damn about this subject then just know this the grownin of marijuana will never stop in the state of kentucky at least i want for the simple reason of this thats the way most poor country people have to surive take that away and were left with nothing but empty pockets

  13. im getting tired of this shit. Mother russia looks better than u.s.a right now. why dont we just pass this fucking law, let poeple come home from work sit down and pas around a jay with there buds(no pun intended)

  14. A little extrapolation of Bill Hicks humor:
    (As opposed to pres. B.O. picks nervous, dismissive chortles…..)
    – – Some of us would benefit from
    Mandatory Marijuana
    in pre-employment requisites, to replace those DFWP policies of the 1980’s.
    (“I’m sorry, but we can’t hire you UNTIL you bring your cannabinoid-levels UP;
    Here’s a voucher for an ounce of Class A, cannabidiol-enhanced Indica from the nearest Bob Marleycorn retailer…
    And a coupon for 50% off an herbal-aromatizer at VapoMart”)

  15. In short:
    To place a father, husband, brother, sister, mother, etc.. in jail or even under arrest for causing No harm, is a violation of the 8th Amendment.
    How can causing harm to a family because someone is not causing any harm to either persons/property be thrown in jail, and this NOt be considered “cruel and unusual”?
    It cannot.

  16. “We have been made enemies of the very people we pay taxes to keep afloat and it’s time we turned around and told them FUCK YOU!” -Marc Emery
    Obama is a lying fucking pig!

  17. somehow i ended up on a site that was on the front page of normal, wow! the people who are “pushing back” against “us” have every thing going for them! for years!!!!! i have been afraid to openly admit to smoking pot. It Has Improved My Depression! I have two parents (now deceased) who were clinically depressed, and as it is I believe that my paternal grandparents were also very depressed. one was an alcoholic, who was so drunk one night, drinking with his son that when the son got up to leave, my grandfather did not know that he had been killed by a car that ran him over,till the next day. drinking is legal. the drugs that i have been given for the past ?so many years have not helped but put 80 lbs of extra weight and turned me from a person with a 138 IQ to someone that can’t retain any thing and I have lost the short term memory capacity to a large degree! this has not improved in the last 5 years although I quit the use of these “legal” drugs over 2 years ago, it is ludecris for the sitution of marijuana to be a class 1 drug with the only other drug in that class is herione. sorry if the spelling is wrong. as it is take all the dea and make them do real jobs guard our borders! make real efforts to quit the raids , the jails are a joke when you house pot heads as criminals and you are failing to keeping the people of the us safe from the evil element that has infillitratied our cities and parks ie state parks. when that law changed to make marijuana illegal was in a different time. remember dragnet and mayberry. even back further those people were so “uptight” I left us to go to canada in the early early 70’s I m female mo I was not a draft resistor, although I ALWAYS BELIEVED VIETNAM WAS WRONG! it was a couple of years earlier that I first smelled pot. It was so sweet! smelling sitting in a vw bug during a lunch break I’ve never forgotten that smell. I did not partake, rather i waited till i got out of school. that ment freedom and i wasn’t going to screw that up. as it was 21 was the legal age back then to do anything, so I has to watch my ps and qs (whatever the heck that meant i still don’t know)! what a strange trip it’s been! stop the silly bullshit. quit making the us the laughing stock of the world and get some more important things done. like the drug and insurance copany’s need to bh rringed in. the food and water needs taken better care of. the poor shouldn’t be treated like second class citizens;we have so many problems in this country that just legalizing pot at an affordable price would change a lot in this country. despite the measures that have been taken to stop pot the use keep going. my estimate is that there are at least 100 hundred million smokers if the truth was known, but we are all so damed scarred of the government that very few of us wishes to go public. when they can kill the miost powerful man on the earth at the time, Kennedy. is their any wonder that we all laid down and took what bush dished out with the manditroy sentencing. I was lived how our rights were comprimised!

  18. thanks a lot all you fucking idiots that think obama was all for weed. how can you vote for such a transparent piece of shit like him.

  19. Listen to me:
    IF Same Sex Couples can marry THEN pot heads can toke.
    simple as that,
    I pay taxes, I vote in elections
    And get this notion:
    The next Primary to be followed by the 2012 Presidential debates-
    The issue I am talking about is the one of a President posting a questionaire, getting a response, and bypassing a golden opportunity to address millions of CITIZENS of the United States of America was misplayed.
    Sure this country has struggling banking terms, Millions of automobiles rotting at car dealerships.
    Marijuana is not the problem. Drug cartels push harder drugs onto our kids because they can not keep up with the demand for pot.
    Making Cannabis legal will have millions if not billions of Americans seeking their local convienent shops for a product easily available with a valid ID.
    I smoke cigarettes daily, I drink alcoholic beverages once a month(on average), but if Marijuana were to be legalized it would bring many more people together, and the jobs created.. The jobs Barrack
    The jobs, Mr. President B. Hussein Obama,
    someone has to grow it, someone has to cultivate it, someone has to package it, someone has to deliver it, someone has to stock store shelves with it, someone has to advertise it, and finally someone has to sell it. = 7 multiplied by the number of (¿oh yea how many stores can retail it?)

  20. we feel that marijuana should indeed be leagleized there are many benefits from its use. it has been proven to ade in helping with medical handicaps and illness, glocoma to name a few. the taxes alone would help to repay the national debt we hope you will consider leaglizing the use of marijuanaput it on the ballots and let all the americans decide

  21. Well, I didnt vote for him because i knew he was an arrogant smug wishywashy fool whod say and do anything to get elected, but, really surprises me that they dont actually jump at the chance to tax something new, cigarettes cost the companies that make them about $1.20 give or take, the rest is settlements and taxes, now considering theyre about 6 dollars a pack, thats a nice chunk that people smoke a pack every few days to 2 packs a day, now, imagine how much weed you smoke or would smoke if you could just run to the gas station and pick it up, which you wouldnt mind paying taxes on for the sheer ease and convenience of it all, the deficit would be taken care of in no time, unlike his plan thats putting us trillions in debt. what a clown.

  22. Its Time to do this Mr President . Its will be a huge help on the drugs that come into the USA. Taxing(big time) this will help out most “STATE GOV” .

  23. Personally it makes me ill to think that the biggest reason marijuana is illegal to begin with; is because of racism and “fear” of cross addiction. So for me I would be ashamed of myself if I was president Obama, considering he is the first black president, you would think seeing all the statistics that prove marijuana is no more harmful or addictive then caffeine… one would assume he would have made a better decision for this country. Everything he stands for seems worthless when alcohol can ruin people’s lives and you cannot legally purchase marijuana. It is sick and disturbing.

  24. I guess we have a long way to go if we are being laught Liberated us from the Constructive Fraud and those laws that have stolen our rights. Any one seen my rights, I lost them somewhere.

  25. wow see all the people on this page that want it legalized!!! Didnt obama wanna listen to the people? well hell he isnt!!! like WTF dude!! it would make new jobs for people a new tax income for the country arent we in debt?! and doesnt marijuana kill less people then cigarets do?! he should look at the facts they would make more money instead of spending for locking up people and all that other shit!! it would stop the drug war… since it would be priced and everything! wtf obama LEGALIZE IT FOR THE GOOD OF THE COUNTRY!!!

  26. Along with every thing which appears to be developing within this particular subject matter, your opinions are generally very exciting. However, I am sorry, but I do not give credence to your entire theory, all be it refreshing none the less. It looks to us that your opinions are not entirely rationalized and in reality you are generally your self not really thoroughly convinced of the argument. In any case I did appreciate reading it.

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