By George Rohrbacher, NORML Board of Directors
On March 26, in a town hall meeting-style format, President Obama ginned up a laugh that is still ringing, a week-and-a-half later. Obama’s attempt to address the fact that cannabis legalization questions keep pushing their way to the top of his online political issues polling lists, that marijuana legalization had even popped up in the area of economic development. He looked aside at the crowd, “I don’t know what this says about the on-line audience…” Wink, wink…and the people around the President cracked up. “The answer is no, I don’t think that is a good strategy to grow our economy,” Obama chuckled along with them.
Humor is based on tension; a joke releases it. Obama’s pot ha-ha has released a powder keg of tension. The national commentary on the topic of marijuana driven from his laugh has been far reaching: Time Magazine, The Week, Town Hall, Washington Post, The Atlantic, Salon, Boston Herald, etc…
Mr. President, do know what all your ‘cannabis friendly’ Internet polls really say about “the online audience”? What? You don’t recognize us, “the online audience”? We’re the very people that helped get you elected, helped raise all those millions on the Internet–people like my wife and I, both 60-years old, parents and grandparents, business owners, taxpayers, involved in our community, we are the people who want you to end marijuana prohibition, the worst American public policy since slavery.
The question to you, Mr. President, is this: After the 20-million marijuana arrests since 1965, what’s so damn funny???