White House Press Secretary Tries To Defend Obama's Opposition To Taxing And Regulating Pot — He Can't!

The HuffingtonPost.com, one of the most visited political websites in the world, has just posted a version of my commentary online here. Please post your feedback to the Post, and make it clear that marijuana law reform must be part of the ‘progressive’ agenda.
If you thought President Barack Obama’s mocking response to the question of whether “taxing and regulating cannabis would raise revenue and reduce prohibition-associated violence” couldn’t be any worse, just listen to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs stumble.

Kudos to the reporters who held the White House’s feet to the fire on this one. First, Gibbs is asked: “When the President said he doesn’t think that legalizing marijuana would give the economy a boost was he giving a political answer or an economic answer? Does he have numbers to back (his position) up?
The pained expression on Gibbs’ face says it all as he mumbles that, in fact, he is aware of no economic analyses — as in zip, nada — that support the President’s dismissive position. Naturally, we have numerous credible economic reports proving just the opposite. Perhaps Mr. Gibbs would like to review them here, here, here, and here.
Minutes later, the White House Press Secretary appears even more desperate for a place to hide when a second reporter asked Gibbs to articulate the reasons why the President refuses to consider the issue. Gibbs’ response is priceless.
“Uh, he, he does not think that, uh, uh, that that is uh, uh, [pause] he opposes it, he doesn’t think that that’s the, the right plan for America.”
And there you have it. Wow. Such a vapid response wouldn’t cut it if Gibbs was a third-grader standing in front of his classroom, no less the Press Secretary to the White House!
Keep in mind, both Obama and his press secretary knew in advance that they were going to publicly respond the question of taxing and regulating cannabis. They had at least 24 hours to prepare an articulate, rational, and substantive response. And yet the best response they could come up with was snickers and “uh.”
Are the final days of marijuana prohibition upon us? It sure looks that way from here. But why not write the President and ask him yourself.

0 thoughts

  1. I’m done! no support for our president any longer. I can see he is just another DC insider. Change, where?

  2. See I don’t buy the whole Obama’s 2nd term argument. If I voted for this man for CHANGE, why do I have to sit through a stale 4 years of a first term where he doesn’t really change anything to get re-elected? It just doesn’t make sense.
    Also, if Obama was seriously considering legalization or decriminalization for a second term, he would have handled this much MUCH more gracefully. Even if the online q&a was a fluke, he could have at least prepared and educated Gibbs. It just doesn’t add up.
    I will not be voting for this man in 2012 unless he starts making some serious changes. Increase wartime spending and more bailing out the rich and elite is not what I had in mind.

  3. NORML needs to write more scholarly essays on the benefits of ending the prohibition of cannabis. Without solid numbers this charade is going to continue to eternity.

  4. Yeah, go media! I was so glad to see all those reporters urging for a good reason other than some kid with ADHD talking in front of a group with no clue whatsoever.

  5. This is no surprise. Why don’t you try walking through Harvard Yard while smoking a joint and see what passing undergrads say to you and to themselves aloud? They all think they’re better than you with their cocaine, not their pathetic marijuana like you smoke.

  6. I blame the millions of idiot Americans that were fooled by this jerk. The terrible mentality that “my vote does not count by voting for someone other than a democrat or republican” will never lead us to real change. Democrats and Republicans have been screwing us over for years. Even under Bill Clinton we had more arrests than any other administration. Did anybody actually hear Ron Paul’s stance? He should have been elected President (for other reasons as well). But no, nobody wants to “waste” their vote, so they’ll pick the “lesser of two evils.” Until everybody else wakes up, we will never see a real change. Ron Paul 2012

  7. SAINT RICO, With all do respect brother, I don’t think we need flyers we need more communication among each other, I work for a major electronics manufacturer, recently I have been talking with people from other departments, as it turns out there are alot of people who smoke weed at my company all it took was a little bit of bravery on my part (then again I live in California where it’s next to legal), You are the flyer, lead by example. marijuana is not crack you can use it and still be a 100% functional citizen. that is all that the status quo cares about. let’s network let’s talk, let’s debate. That is what America is all about right?

  8. I hate to say this, but maybe you all got what you deserved. No, I’m not sorry and apparently I was right: only an idiot would have voted for Obama or McCain either way. You should have known he was a scheming dual tongued politician and was only in this for himself. You should have realized he doesn’t care about you. I don’t like to say this, but marijuana can make you stupid if you smoke it too much. Not me, I used to smoke it too much and still maintained a 3.8 gpa. However, some of you don’t realize that the proper way to smoke marijuana is typically once a week. Now you are so stupid you couldn’t even realize that Obama was a snake in the grass. Michael Phelps is a pussy. When I got busted they didn’t even give me an opportunity to apologize. Props go out to those of you who voted Ron Paul instead of wasting your votes on an atypical politician.

  9. It shouldn’t be what “he” (Obama) thinks is good for America it should be what American’s think what is good for America. That’s why we vote, for a person(s) to represent the people. I think that the alcohol and cigarette companies are a major competitor in this since they don’t want to loose money from a new market. From 1920-1933 you saw the mafia in the U.S. have a war over Alcohol and once it became legal looked what happened. Legalizing pot is a win win. Plus is there 1 reported death to the use of Marijuana? If there is, I don’t think it even comes close to what the other two industries that I mention cause.

  10. Wow. What kind of world do we live in?! Our own elected officals are idiots! How can our government make a case to not legalize Marijuana when they can’t even speak properly?! This guys name should be Captian Stutter. I just want to say thank you to the media for pressuring him to answer and listen to the people. If all our elected officals are this intelligent then we are all doomed

  11. Obama probably can’t politically and openly support reform because marijuana was made illegal partially due to ethnic stereotyping. If he overturned the marijuana law it would be political suicide. Even if he had the balls to reform the laws there are still enough quaker in the republican party who would use this as ammo to destroy other policies more eccentual to the country recovery.
    Marijuana facts are out and people are learning day by day that its not the demon that prejudice party leaders of past have made it out to be. Keeping marijuana included in the drug war is proof that this country is moving towards a polices controlled stated and will keep giving our leaders a black eye until they take responsibility and legalize it but till then there will be no tax on it (thank god) but then again there will be more lives ruined by the legal system over it.
    All in all this is a just fight and keep pushing the subject but realize that this is not a priority for right now. This will change as long as we stay civil and keep our selves in the right.

  12. these retarded propaganda gushing jerks! special interest group my ass! the democraps have always been a special interest group! gun bans,queers,lesbians,socialist government. fuel the drug war,buy weed whenever possible. get the mexican drug war stoked up. rub their noses in it. we need to empty the jails of innocent pot smokers. this is just like the berlin wall or cuba. the majority of people want cannabis legal and they wont listen. use our wallets to kick their ass. buy more weed,create demand until they cant make silly remarks and have to listen to the people of this country.

  13. Well, what do you expect??? The American people keep on electing the same politians year after year after year.
    Both the Democratic and Republican parties are worthless and speak NOT for the majority of Americans.
    It’s all about money. Oh, I forgot…you don’t have any. The feds tooks it away and gave it to their buddies.

  14. This is not a joke Obama (and your nerdy press secretary)!!!
    Forget about medical marijuana, or the taxes the gov. could gain from a pack of legal smokes…WHY ISN’T ANYONE IN THE PRESS/LITERARY WORLD TALKING ABOUT HEMP???
    We need to keep the momentum going and really force some change. 72 years is long enough…I want cannabis/hemp/marijuana legalized by the time Obama leaves office or on the 75th anniversary of it’s prohibition…whichever comes first.

  15. I can’t believe we can not get some sort of answer as to why obama opposes legalization. They could atleast make up some reasons but they just laugh about it. Hundreds of thousands of people are arrested because of these policies and they are laughing about it. This angers me, how can they laugh about a very serious subject? I hate our government. They are ruining the country and laughing about it.

  16. In 1972 the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws(NORML) began a campaign to have marijuana moved to Schedule II so that it could be legally prescribed to those in need medically(cancer patients, glaucoma, etc.) NORML asked the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs(Now called the DEA, or Drug Enforcement Agency) to begin the process of rescheduling cannabis products. It took more than a decade, but the required public hearings were initiated in 1986. After two years of hearings, the administrative law judge for the DEA, Francis L. Young, wrote that marijuana was
    “one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man” and that marijuana fulfilled the legal requirement of currently acceptable medical use.”
    However, his order that marijuana be moved to Schedule II was overruled by the DEA.
    – info provided by: Buzzed by authors Cynthia Kuhn, Scott Schwartzwelder, and Wilkie Wilson.
    The positive affects of marijuana forced people to continue and press the matter, eventually leading the agency known as the FDA(food and drug administration) to begin dispersing marijuana to only a handful of patients(today 5 patients in the U.S have access to medical mary jane. This leads me to ask a series of questions. Hopefully somebody can
    provide me with answers. First of all, does this mean the FDA has authoritative rights and permissions over the DEA, or vice versa? If the answer is yes, than should they be allowed to continue and keep this info confidential? My second question is; who, specifically, is responsible for classifying marijuana as a “drug” in the first place? If the FDA has jurisdiction over the DEA, than how do we know who is making the real decisions? My guess, is that the same agency which allowed Pemberton to put cocaine into coca cola products, which was the FDA, is using the DEA as a puppet, and in affect controls the production and sales of food, drinks, herbs and drugs throughout America. “Ninety-two percent of FDA advisory meetings in the last decade included a member with financial ties to drug companies, according to USA Today — the FDA calls them sponsors — and federal law against using experts with financial conflicts of interest was waived 800 times.
    Soon, people realized that if the perception of marijuana changed, and American scientists could prove that, chemically adjusted, marijuana is no more of a ‘drug’ than sugar, or caffeine, or tobacco, or alcohol, and that the herb could help dying patients, than perhaps the herb would no longer be categorized with being as dangerous as cocaine and narcotics. Indeed this was proven, and more than 80% of Americans believe that medical marijuana should be legalized (http://safeaccessnow.org/blog/?cat=4).
    So my last question is; What is the next step we need to take, as Americans, to ensure that the DEA, and FDA will not continue to create, and enforce unconstitutional policies?
    I believe that legalizing medical marijuana would actually, dramatically, decrease the price of marijuana. More production by local and state growers, will lead to lower profits by FDA, and DEA. By keeping the consumption low, they’re able to keep the price extremely high as well. About as high as i am right now.

  17. Responding to “John Walters Ghost”:
    Clearly you have absolutely no concept of basic economics (particularly in our current economic state; as assisted by the administration that just departed as well as the administration that was just elected).
    FACT: You cannot impose your morals or beliefs through legislation and expect everyone to pay for it through increased tax dollars (this also holds true for Al Gore and the “Global Warming” cult): particularly when the “proof” that you try to provide to further your argument and funding is 100% False,exaggerated and/or many times; unfounded (much like Global Warming or other cults or extremists (see also “War on Terror”).
    FACT: Tax expenditures (at ALL levels of government; not just the Federal, but also the State, City, County and other local governments) that are not being wasted on enforcement of an un-enforceable crime will be re-directed to things that are actually a crime. So now you’ve just “downsized” that portion of government; freeing up some cash.
    FACT: Those that consume Cannabis recreationally, medically or for other reasons are well educated in the product that they consume and are more than willing to pay tax money (this would be SALES TAX for those that don’t understand) to partake of it (much like connosieurs of fine wines, beers, scothes like to do with their associated “poisons” of choice). They are also very proactive & productive members of our society; often in positions of power with a lot of spending power.
    FACT: Look at the sheer dollars that are generated in tax revenue (both from sales AND from Income Tax revenue. . .see also “developing markets or new economic growth”) from the ALCOHOL industry. Now imagine what the world would be like if we were still fighting prohibition. If you think your taxes is bad now under “CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN” (?? I think not!) you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!!
    It seems like these are the tactics that both Liberals and Conservatives always take whenever they can’t say that their idea is wrong: you immediately want “hard evidence” even if the plain truth is right in front of you.
    I can promise you that there are more than enough people nation wide (if not WORLD WIDE) that would gladly work together on a project such as the one you request below (MYSELF INCLUDED).
    And to correct you, it’s not the “academia of America” that is killing this country; it’s a combination of the ridiculous combined lunacy of those that want to:
    LIBERALLY SPEND everyone’s money and to try and make everyone happy (an often impossible task within a small group of people, nevermind a country or the entire world!). . .
    CONSERVATIVELY IMPOSE a set of values or morals on those that don’t think the same way, while also trying to make everyone happy (also, an impossible task!).
    Quit wasting money on things that don’t work and are not relevant and let “We The People” continue on in our desire for “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” without having to conform to a set of values we don’t agree with or believe in.
    John Walters Ghost Says:
    March 31st, 2009 at 6:24 pm
    “Outfluence Says:
    March 30th, 2009 at 2:45 pm
    For this debate to go anywhere, someone needs to write an authoritative, academic study on the precise economic benefits of legalization and a proposed regulatory framework.”
    Please, “Outfluence”: decriminalization, not “legalization”. Taxation, regulation, and “academia” are already the near death of the United States of America (aka Our Nation). We need LESS of all of these, not MORE. It is amazing how easliy and willingly American consumers of marijuana are ready to give away their freedom — total freedom — to smoke, possess, grow, transport, etc. marijuana and turn it over to an entity nearly as greedy & bad as the Mexican/American mob — government. Not funny, if one thinks about it…
    Now THIS is funny:
    “So how about it NORML?
    I don’t see much of an economic plan on your website.
    I think you’re missing a great opportunity to take advantage of the recession.
    How about offering a $50,000 stipend towards a fellowship that would generate just this sort of document?”
    Yeah, NORML — hire a dozen or so econimists or fund a fellowship. Like, what’s up, dudes?

  18. To Smiles post 13 – PLEASE don’t give up! Things are changing. Look at all the reporters’ reactions to his stammering in the video and the way they pressed him. He had no cards to play, even if it was the same ole’ BS…but NO ANSWER AT ALL AND AGAIN AVOIDANCE AND LAUGHTER of the subject. I WROTE and have heard NOTHING! Who else has written the president with serious issues about Marijuana Reform and not even heard a PEEP? We need to all get together and get a straight answer!
    Everyone else WOW – there is much common sense written from a special interest group that are just a bunch of laughable stoners on this page. Oh what was I saying? HA HA- I am getting VERY tired of this being considered funny. It really shows me. I say to myself “Man, did you screw up voting for that guy!”
    I cannot express in words how I felt when he dismissed the entire subject and now seeing this after millions of letters from angry voters and disrespected online viewers, I cannot support this man any longer and am admittedly sorry I voted for him. I feel hoodwinked!
    I suffer from MS really bad every day and that’s the #1 issue on MY mind. NOT TO GO TO JAIL – EVER for the use and whatever of simple weed which relieves much suffering for me and millions of others- if it were legal, then they would find out.
    Even LEAP.org has a better way to approach this than with avoidance and laughter. Thank you NORML for the video. I just joined the MPP.org because they have been getting a lot of Coverage in the news lately. BUT, they do not have this video on this site that I know of…I will make them aware.
    Has anyone thought of making our OWN HOMELAND SECURITY PROGRAM by getting all Pro-legalization Organizations together and always help each other? It doesn’t take a genius to know that there is real power in numbers!
    What we need to do is encourage EVERYONE to come out of the closet too. There are so many people- let’s say that for everyone who has the courage to risk something for the cause of freedom there are 1000 people who will NOT! I KNOW MANY who tell me I’m crazy for sticking my neck out. They say that it will be easier to cut me down that way and further ruin the life I had such high hopes for. I am now dying and need my Medicine and the federal government will not allow it even though I live in a State where the overwhelming majority has voted to be lenient toward sick and dying people. LIKE ME! SO I DO NOT CARE! I really have little to lose at this point. Now some will say “OH, he has little to lose so that’s why he’s vocal about it” – I want everyone to know that if I am locked up and not given my medications, which includes my medicine, I could very well die. NOT FROM LACK OF SMOKE , but for the lack of my regular prescription meds that say on the lable ”DO NOT JUST STOP TAKING THIS MEDICATION or you will risk respiratory failure, cardio-pulmonary issues may result” and a host of other apparently funny things and at the least, I would suffer greatly, much more than now. Also, the FEAR and anxiety factor of an arrest is too much to handle for a dying patient. How Cruel and indifferent can a government get!
    SO what do we do? (We were just asked) KEEP ON doing what we are and keep engaging in civil disobedience and legal protest and FLOOD THE EMAIL Of Congressmen and every government official. They will tire and eventually fold. If they return form letters PRESS THOSE for a contact visit! Press them for answers. THIS VIDEO has surfaced and will not go away unless WE let it die! If they answer you personally then be polite and very concise and persuasive as possible, by covering every objection BEFORE they have a chance to raise the issue with you – such as EX. -MR. Representative would you please recognize Medical Marijuana as a useful medication and represent me and have it removed from Schedule 1 Status so that it can be prescribed without fear, by physicians, of Federal Harassment? You may get a letter back that states that he or she doesn’t support the legalization of DRUGS and he or she is going to come down hard (regardless of what the voters want-the arrogance is astounding) on growers of DRUGS too. Totally off the real issue. I got that in a state that just voted to legalize growing in your closet. I couldn’t believe it. However, I will not stop making my plea for peace, sanity and true justice in society
    Always be respectful and polite and never stop. I guess that’s how we can make the obvious changes that really can help our economy and relieve the suffering of millions.
    Thank you NORML! Peace to all.

  19. THANK YOU another citizen!!! That video link is going to everyone I know! WOW – And who would be better informed than a Judge. See smiles…there’s hope!

  20. This is one of the most political savvy administrations in the United States history, and they simply refuse to formulate a cohesive message on this topic. It’s as if they want to be called out. Which they might.

  21. I hope that all of you were smart enough to see through the smoke (tsk tsk) and voted for Ron Paul instead of Obama.

  22. I’m starting to get the idea that society is ready to make marijuana the “illegal thing you’re allowed to do anyway.” This puts it on the same level as underage tobacco smoking, underage drinking, prostitution, gambling (where it’s illegal), etc.
    The general public may not accept outright legalization in the next 50 years, but maybe they’ll let it be the criminal offense you don’t get in trouble for unless you’re stupid about it.

  23. Same shit different administration. Fear and propaganda control the law not reason and science. It would be nice to see just once a government that really was by, for and of the people. Until big money gets out of our political system nothing will really change. Sad but true.

  24. I just posted this on that ondcp website that the oracle was talking about. curios to see if they take it out or leave it up. lol.:
    I think that everyone needs to get their head out of their you know what and wake up. Go to NORML.org and learn the real facts about marijuana, not the gov’t lies and propaganda. Alcohol causes cancer, marijuana slows it down and even kills cancer cells. It helps a lot of people in severe chronic pain without addicting them with powerful narcotics. Thats right, people, marijuana is not a real narcotic, its just classified as one. Marijuana helped my mom get relief when she was going through chemo to battle cancer. She couldn’t eat on account of all the medicine she was taking and it made her nauseous. Guess what? She’s still a survivor after 20 years and praises pot. My wife never smoked in her life until her glaucoma got so bad. Smoking helps to relieve her ocular pressure and that helps clear up her vision. Last dr visit couldn’t even find traces of glaucoma. Its still there, comes back when she stops smoking. I could go on and on but I won’t. Prohibition and propaganda makes people look like idiots!!!

  25. Hey, here’s a thought. I’ve heard that marinol is much stonger than smoked cannabis and causes some negative side effects. Could it be that the big pharma is trying to make it too strong and make people sick so that they can say bad things about it?

  26. No president can advocate marijuana legalization until the second term. The risk of re-election is too great as the GOP will nail anyone to a cross over the issue.

  27. sure there might be a lot of collectives out,maybe to many(MAYBE) but as it stands some people have found that herb is the only thing that helps us get through the pain or mental problems we have..and that idiot ruler of our country dose not understand not all of us abuse this way of controling our pain than hes an idiot like i said..make rules a little stiffer for patients to qualify for the program..(BUT PLEASE DONT CLOSE ALL OUR COLLECTIVES WE DO NEED THEM)GJW2011

Leave a Reply