President Obama To Answer Online Questions Thursday: Will Marijuana Legalization Be A Top Question Again?

This Thursday, President Obama will field questions submitted from the world of social media during a live-streamed YouTube interview. NORML supporters can send their questions to the President at youtube.com/askobama, or via Twitter, by using the #askobama hashtag.

Obama will answer the top-rated questions when the interview kicks off at 2:30 p.m. EST on Thursday.
Update: Many marijuana questions are appearing in the Other category.

In two prior online question-n-answer sessions with the American public since taking office over two years ago, the question of ending America’s failed Cannabis Prohibition was a top question both times–which speaks to the importance and urgency of the public’s want to actually control cannabis via taxation and regulation. However, regrettably, President Obama has dismissed ending Cannabis Prohibition in no uncertain terms.
If you’re interested in asking President Obama about reforming America’s 74-year-old Cannabis Prohibition laws, you’ll have to send in your question by midnight, Tuesday, January 25th.
Be concise! White House staff says each question “should be about 20 seconds long.”
Suggested short questions for President Obama:

  • Wouldn’t finally legalizing marijuana in America end the terrible Prohibition-related violence in Mexico. If not, why not?
  • You claim you want to be the first ‘green jobs’ president. In a green economy, why does your administration continue to oppose American farmers growing industrial hemp. Governments in Canada, France and China allow their farmers to prosper from industrial hemp cultivation, why not American farmers?
  • Though you say you support medical access to cannabis, why does your drug czar (Gil Kerlikowski) and DEA chief (Michele Leonhart) continue to publicly lie claiming that cannabis has no medical use or value?
  • If Jamaica (or Mexico), for example, wanted to legalize and tax cannabis, would your administration oppose their efforts to end Cannabis Prohibition in their country?
  • As a person struggling with tobacco addiction, do you think the criminal justice system works better than health services to ween drug abusers from self-destructive behavior? Is the decision to stop using a drug, like tobacco, or marijuana, a personal or governmental decision?

You can check out a great question to President Obama from our friends at LEAP here.
[Russ adds: You can see the video questions I submitted to President Obama via The Stash Blog at http://stash.norml.org/youtube-ask-obama-forum-dominated-by-marijuana-legalization-questions]

112 thoughts

  1. Mr. O There are more recorded deaths from drinking and smoking tobacco then marijuana why not taxt it? It might save 1000 of lives

  2. I think with everything there is out there marijuana should be the least worried about drug to keep illegal. Cigarettes and alcohol kill many many more people than marijuana, yet they are
    Legal! How many people have died from drunk driving? Cancer from cigarettes? The deaths atributed to weed is far less yet we spend millions keeping it illegal?! For my part if marijuana is illegal the latter should be illegal even more so! Legalize it, It just makes no sense not to!

  3. I am not going to bother to ask a question about marijuanna legalization (Medical or other wise)because I know that it WILL NOT BE ASKED during the interview. I don’t think the question will be asked even if it is the ONLY question they have. They will make up something rather than face the FACTS.

  4. When Will Congress debate about the current illegal basis of Marijuana? or will States be forced to take action? If a state law is in violation with the federal law, Isn’t it the goverments respnsibilty to fix that problem?

  5. i think it is AWESOME! that damn near almost every question is about marijuana and/or hemp. if he laughs it off and snubs the majority again, he will completely lose my vote for 2012

  6. You are also able to vote, it is highly time consuming but just as important as posting a question. Thumbs up on drug law reform questions! This is pretty much what I have been doing for the last few days.

  7. Here’s one he should answer: Mr. President, if you believe the current approach of criminalizing marijuana and its’ users is the correct one, will your administration not take the logical next step and begin tobacco prohibition? This is a proven, deadly addictive narcotic plant that perfectly fits the DEA’s definition of a Schedule I controlled substance: will you not begin arresting it’s users and suppliers to save our citizens from this scourge? And if not, why not?

  8. I don’t think it’s a matter of whether it’ll be a top question again, but rather if he’ll actually acknowledge it instead of laughing it off like some sort of ridiculous joke.

  9. Pingback: Weed Smokers
  10. You say you want to put americans to work. Why will you not let us grow industrial hemp? WHY will you not legalize , decriminalize, tax? Put us to work. Put your money where your mouth is…

  11. what a surprise. the popular questions are already dominated by marijuana themed questions. im betting he will ignore us… again…

  12. “The Reformation”
    Genesis I;29,30,31
    Genesists have a right to take account of the facts, and the right to an open mind and a conscience.
    “Genesists reject imprisoned minds.” We stand for the salvation of free thinking, and the ability to act on those thoughts and beliefs. The free ground Genesists stand on is tapped solid by the feet of individual action. So then! The fate of religious freedom [individual freedom] depends entirely upon a Genesist’s individual defense of it. “Everyone is the protector of their own rights.” God helps the individual who helps him or her self through the practice of faith, conscience, and conviction.

  13. Obama is a one term president so it really doesn’t matter what he says. Our next president will likely be someone like Palin, Romney or Huckabee and I can promise you they will be on the side of law Enforcement and the DEA. They will preach the same ol Bullsheet. America is going down the crapper and I blame the Republicans. They are the ones who support this drug war which has ruined Mexico. THey are the ones who start wars in the Middle East and spawn groups such as Al-Queada and The Taliban. They are the ones responsible for China becoming the greatest country on the face of the earth. They are the ones who could care less about impoverished Americans and are more concerned with keeping the wealthy rich.

  14. Hope & change? All I see is more of the same. You claim you want to be the first ‘green jobs’ president, in a green economy, why does your administration continue to oppose American farmers growing industrial hemp. Governments in Canada, France and China allow their farmers to prosper from industrial hemp cultivation, why not American farmers? Again President Obama:
    Hope & change? All I see is more of the same….

  15. im sure marijuana will be the #1 question again, and im sure he’ll blow it off just like the last time… fucking bastard

  16. before the marijuana prohibition hemp was used for over 150,000 textile products in America, legalization could help us with our debt to other countries, and be a big revenue for our country itself.
    Support the cause, go green!

  17. We already know what will happen. Youtube will pull ANY cannabis realated questions before Obama sees them.Thats exactly what happened the last time and i’m sure Youtube still answers to the same masters.

  18. And do we think that he is not going to just make another joke about online audiences? Followed by a snarky comment in which he will again claim legalization is not good for America. No matter what his personal views are, he is going to oppose legalization in order to be re-elected. Cannabis support cannot win anything with medical and economic arguments, its a matter of personal freedom. Cannabis and its users will continue to be demonized, due to ignorance, intolerance, and the motivations of money and power.

  19. ***EDIT***
    Looks like we have an overwhelming response for marijuana reform again. I hope and pray Obama doesn’t chuckle it off this time. We as a nation NEED marijuana reform, because 38 seconds is a horrible thing to grasp. In contrast that means every minute or two we are busting ONE VIOLENT criminal versus the 3-4 NON-VIOLENT marijuana consumers we are busting in the same time frame.

  20. It should be interesting to see what our President has to say about it. I am sure he is being coached on just how to answer such questions. If he answers them at all. He may just ignore them all together or worse laugh about it.

  21. Looks like it takes up the first 3 pages of most popular questions. This will be interesting to see how to squirms his way out of this one..

  22. He will Just laugh at us again, however it will let him and the rest of government we will not go away. Just remember less than two years away, Ron Paul, He hasn’t annonched yet but, He believes it’s just not the governments place to tell you what you can put in your bodies.

  23. I did not Vote for you, but a policy shift in your administration to legalize Medical Marijuana for medicinal purposes and even for recreational use would get you a second term Guarenteed! Open your eyes world, The “Green Rush” is upon us! I am not a pot head, I have Chrones Disease and terrible Acid Reflux. “Smoking weed” (although will be harsh to your lungs like ciggarette/cigar tabacco) is the past, Vaporize it (recommended). Many delicious recipes for cooking with cannibis. Also it was recently discovered that cannabinoid receptors in our brains are of major interest to medical researchers. Very exciting times we live in. I personally would debate the importance of this issue with any opposer on earth. Because They are wrong. LEGALIZE NOW PLEASE. Regards Vinny Bucaro of Chicago

  24. Mr. President,
    I am a professional in American who would like a clear answer to our current Administrations lack of attention to a fact that a number of American Voters would like to see reform of marijuana laws. Why are you not championing a cause just as pertinent as Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in the military? Why will not take up the cause of Americans who are unjustifiably discriminated against each day by de jure discriminatory drug laws? Why do you not help by pushing the same legal rights for people who use medical marijuana, as do oxycodone or morphine sulfate?
    Sincerely,
    A concerned teacher who never users marijuana

  25. Ignore us some more Obama. Brush us off. Stigmatize us. LAUGH at us some more. We’ll be sure to return the favor in November 2012 – fucking retard.

  26. Let my people go.
    It is with decent respect to the opinions of mankind that Genesists declare the cause which impels us to act against “Government’s Supremacy Clause and Prior Competing Governmental Interests.” Government’s implicit posture to “burden the free exercise of religion” ostensibly indicts itself. Respecting the Constitution, Genesists redress our grievance and assert a “Severability Clause” opposing
    the “unconstitutional application of Government’s Supremacy Clause and Prior Competing Governmental Interests.” Our grievance is based on government’s ostensive intent, purpose, and effect [misuse] of law to impede and discriminate invidiously the observance of our Faith, and “it is government’s imposition on the Genesist Faith that proscribes government’s Supremacy Clause, and renders it constitutionally invalid.” Genesists demand/mandate that our Constitutional right be restored, that our free exercise of religion be protected, and “Government’s Supremacy Clause and Competing Governmental Interests” be abrogated and declared constitutionally invalid, voidable, and severed.

  27. President Obama,
    Assuming you would not have wanted to obey a law that would have enslaved you for the color of your skin, how can you justify incarcerating peaceful people today for the “crime” of self ownership of their own body by choosing to consume cannabis?

  28. WHY in an era where there are endangered species being added to the list daily, are you spending billions of our tax dollars trying to make a plant like marijuana extinct?

  29. To the powers that be:
    I do not smoke nor do I drink. I am a white collar worker and an asset to the community I live in. I am a loyal highly productive employee and an all around family man. I work hard just like so many others. Many people in the United states partake in legal recreational products after a hard weeks work to unwind; I unfortunatley have no such product to help disperse such tentions. I would like to smoke Marijuana “OCCASIONALLY” but will not risk my life and livelyhood. What bothers me is that all unbiased scientific data clearly shows Marijuana is far less dangerous than the said above legal drugs. I understand the political implications of taking a stance on this but to continue to enforce such a out of date mindset is foolish and it enforcement hurts American far more than it helps.
    I am a 50 year old man and I do not appreciate my government putting restrictions on my recreation drug of choice especially when the drug I would use “if aloud” held far less dangerous outcomes than the legal counterparts.
    Just doesnt make any sence at all.
    Thank you

  30. Forget the legalization question for now, too soon.
    INSTEAD…
    Concentrate on getting marijuana off schedule 1 which is possible and then decriminalization can be possible nationwide.
    Baby steps, there’s too much political pressure.

  31. Yet another online questionnaire where ending Cannabis Prohibition is and will remain at the top. Should anyone be surprised? No.
    Will he actually address Cannabis-related questions? In my opinion its doubtful, but if he does, I am predicting he will spend 10 seconds dodging the question instead of answering it (just like he did the last time).
    Oh well, sooner or later he is going to have to face the fact that nearly half of the American public wants to see an end to Cannabis Prohibition and if he continues to ignore the will of the people he will definitely feel it in the polls come 2012.

  32. The FEDS consider themselves the MORAL MAJORITY of the way we think-speak and what we ingest in our bodies. The facts about marijuana in their faces but the government is still in denial. The only question Obama needs to be asked is WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO END MARIJUANA PROHIBITION? I don’t need twenty seconds to ask a question like that. His answer would be LET THE STATES HANDLE LEGISLATION of MARIJUANA LAWS. If the question does pop up can he say the words MARIJUANA or CANNABIS.

  33. If I thought the Green or libertarian parties stood a chance, then I’d say vote Obama out in 2012. The truth of the matter is that a Republican will be much worse for cannabis reform. The change is going to happen at the level of congress and the senate (state and national), that is where cannabis reformers need to vote in support. This country has a failed democracy, because most people do not vote. What is it usually, less than 25%? I’ll be the first to admit I have been part of that problem, but you can bet I’ll be registered for 2012.
    How are we going to get any change, when we are not taken seriously? How are we going to gain support, as the school system keeps cramming anti-cannabis propaganda down the students’ throats? Drugs are bad, and they will kill you or ruin your life…oh and yeah alcohol does the same, but you can use that responsibly. And what about cannabis? I personally am at a loss.

  34. Mr. President, how is it that you got away with smoking lots of marijuana and became president, while my 16 year old nephew got busted for marijuana possesstion and now he won’t even be able to get a student loan, or get a job, let alone become president?

  35. Edited for content and spelling
    Mr. President, how is it OK that you got away with smoking lots of marijuana and became president, but my 16 year old nephew got busted for marijuana possession and now he won’t even be able to get a student loan, or get a job, let alone become president?

  36. He’ll shoot any question on this topic down as he’s done before. He said himself back in ’04 that he supported decriminalization, but he won’t say anything like that now. He’s about to start gearing up for his run at a second term and that would just upset too many prohibitionist voters. Typical politician. Just say whatever you must to stay in office.

  37. My question to President Obama would be:
    President Obama you obviously have done very well for yourself being a former cannabis user. Have you ever thought about what your fate would have been if you have been caught and prosecuted for felony possession? Why don’t you use your powers of presidential directive and take Marijuana out of the Controlled Substances Schedule and allow for what the AMA and other organizations are asking — the ability to do further studies on cannabis to bring to the forefront what even our founding fathers knew, that Indian hemp is a safe and efficient medicine for a variety of ailments.
    Also what were you thinking letting Michele Leonhart continue on at DEA? Do you ever read their website and all the destruction they are bringing down on their fellow Americans? Guess not because she’s stepping up her raids on medical marijuana states dispite your call over a year ago to leave these states alone.

  38. In California 47% of us voted to legalize. That is no minority. A large percentage of those who voted use Marijuana. Are we criminals? Is that not a police state? When will we look past the propaganda created by Harry Anslinger, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagon? When will look at the truth about the effects of marijuana on the human body compared to alcohol and tobacco? There is evidence in the medical community that proves this hypocrisy. Look at the Donald Tashkin studies out of UCLA (funded by the gov.) as well as the recent Harvard studies on how cannabis slows and inhibits tumor growth. We’ve got a long way to go still.

  39. My take on Obama is that, personally and intellectually, he would be for legalization of marijuana, but is afraid to take a political risk. He fears that he would lose the support of those that still favor Prohibition. And there are quite a few, a majority in some states, it seems. However, just because Obama’s hands are tied by political considerations does not take him off the hook. It will be interesting to see how he squirms his way around these pointed questions. Prohibition is morally and intellectually indefensible, he knows it, and he’s going to have to obfuscate in order to dodge the question.

  40. The marijuana questions are being flagged as “inappropriate” and being removed… Even if this was the most often asked question, Obama would simply laugh it off anyways, along with others in the audience as he did last time. This country is never going to change. Most Americans are just too ignorant / brainwashed with gov propaganda to support this issue.

  41. Interesting. I see that the “Google” moderator has removed 90+% of all marijuana related questions on youtube.com/askobama. So much for a democratic process.

  42. obama’s not a real democrat, he is a democrat in name only (dino).
    that’s why we’re starving and losing our houses, and our jobs, while the billionaire bankers got big bail-outs, and still are getting billion-dollar bonuses.
    that’s why he is so eager to ‘compromise’ with the repubs.
    just like clinton gave us nafta (which took our jobs overseas!) and took away banking regulations, (glass-stegal), allowing the ‘bankers gone wild’ to rip us off.
    democrat in name only (dino).
    a real democrat would have pushed for single-payer health care, like the civilized countries have.
    a democrat in name only (dino), so don’t expect much.
    (recent real democrats; JFK, killed, and Carter, ‘killed’ economically by ‘the fed’ messing with interest rates)

  43. Looking good so far! Ranked by popularity the first 300 or so questions were all about marijuana reform! As long as everyone in the cannabis community works together and continues to vote them up, I don’t see how the president can possibly ignore such an outcry.
    Go vote and be sure to pass the link on to everyone in your circle!
    http://www.youtube.com/worldview

  44. I wound up posting this:
    Mr Obama, the war on cannabis was based on a racist lie. Why do you support it?

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