Mainstream Media Finally Recognizing That Americans Want Marijuana Law Reform

[Update! While President Obama’s YouTube remarks may have been predictable, the mainstream media’s focus on the popularity of marijuana law reform has been nothing short of extraordinary — as noted by the growing number of mainstream outlets (CBS, Fox, USA Today, etc.) that have devoted ink to the story. Via today’s YouTube forum, the public has made their case to the mainstream media and that ultimately is just as important, if not more important, than making their case to the President.]
Regardless of whether or not President Obama addresses the question of marijuana law reform in today’s live YouTube ‘Ask Obama’ Q&A, the American public has made their case to the mainstream media.
Last night, Universal Press Syndicate ran with the headline, Top Obama YouTube questions: Legalize pot. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

The top questions Americans want to ask U.S. President Barack Obama on YouTube Thursday deal with legalizing marijuana, a review of the questions indicated. … The YouTube questions Obama will answer will be based on the number of votes each question receives, YouTube said.
More than 193,000 people submitted nearly 140,000 questions and cast almost 1.4 million votes by midnight Wednesday, the submission deadline, a United Press International review indicated. This is 10 times last year’s 14,000 questions, the first year YouTube hosted an Obama interview.
The top 10 questions all involved ending or changing the government’s war on drugs, legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana and embracing industrial hemp as a “green” initiative to help farmers, the UPI review found.

As NORML’s Russ Belville blogged yesterday, marijuana’s popularity is not just limited the top 10 questions. In fact, the top 100 most popular questions (See them here.) posed to the President are about marijuana and drug law reform.
In the minds of the mainstream media, that is a statement just too big to ignore:

USA Today: Obama’s questions from YouTube deal mostly with legalizing pot

The Politico: Obama is urged to talk about drugs
Huffington Post: Obama Barraged By Pot Questions For Upcoming YouTube Town Hall

CBS News: Marijuana Dominates Questions for Obama’s YouTube Q&A
Fox News: Mr. President, America Wants to Know About…Marijuana
Washington Post: YouTube interviews President Obama

Regardless of how President Obama responds, the media has their story: The American public is ready to engage in a serious and objective political debate regarding the merits of legalizing the use of cannabis by adults. Is the President? Tune in here at 2:30 est today to find out.

38 thoughts

  1. The first time, he laughed about it, the second time, he ignored it. If he does not address this in a positive way, because this is what the people want, screw the government, then he will be on his way out of office. We thought he was green and wanted change. Evidently, we all were wrong about him.

  2. i’m so excited about all of this. its time for the world to not have to go behind the scenes to enjoy their medicine!. The times are coming! : )

  3. There is no good reason to continue this “War on Ourselves”. Too many politicians earning too much money for a job that could be done by the handicapped. Corruption is rampant, Social Security and our economy is in disarray. Stop paying exorbitant pensions to already wealthy former politicians. Spend that money on paying back the IOU’s to the SSA, maybe then we could all breathe a little easier. Legalize marijuana, tax it, allow free commerce of marijuana and it’s derivatives. Stabilize the economy and listen to the voice of reason, the American people!

  4. Lets see if he answers us this time, instead of laughing it off, we all were serious the last time an, are serious now.

  5. I don’t know what to expect, but in 2011, I’m ever slightly more optimistic that Obama will give some serious considerations to questions #1 through #100 and #102 through #200.
    If he doesn’t, consider my vote in 2012 going towards the Republicans.
    This is my voice, and if Obama doesn’t want to listen to it, he will not receive my vote. I encourage everyone to do the same.

  6. Bawhawhawhawhaw!
    Getting Obama or the Obama administration to seriously engage in an objective political debate over re-legalization of marijuana would be akin to getting the To Big To Fail | To Big To Jail banksters to break up their monopolies, willingly submit to old fashioned usury laws, and still lend money to Main Street.
    But I’ll play along and watch the show. I recommend popcorn.
    Here’s an argument in favor of reform:
    QUESTION:
    What one thing could the Obama administration do to cut (certain) government programs, spur the creation of hundreds of thousand of new jobs, initiate the creation of many new industries, help protect the small farmers across this country from foreclosure, generate a vast new revenue stream to the Feds, States, and Localities, and do it without spending any new taxpayer funds?
    ANSWER:
    Legalize (re-legalize, like beer) both cannabis and hemp, nationwide.
    Too simple, and it doesn’t cater to the “welfare queen” crony corporations, so it’ll never happen.

  7. Did I miss him brushing off the question already? I’m only 10 minutes late, but it only takes a few seconds to laugh off and ignore the top rated questions.

  8. Maybe people will realize how we have been ignored this way for a long time. It will just create more anti-justice, which will benefit the general marijuana movement. So go ahead Obama, ignore those questions. The world is watching!

  9. You heard it, Obama is against legalization, and seems to be under the assumption that drug users need to “be on the straight and narrow”. Further, he seems to think cannabis consumers like myself are all addicts who need treatment. Of course, he did not say this directly, but his solution to the drug war problem is to treat it as a “public health issue”. It is an issue of personal freedom dammit! I am certainly not voting for him in 2012. I’ll have to look at Ron Paul or Gary Johnson for my picks.

  10. I think that question was alittle to much asked at once it wasnt a marijuana question it was an all drug question. Like always our President beat around the bush and changed the topic to substance abuse treatment, surprise surprise

  11. Just finished watching the interview and he didnt laugh but also really said nothing except im going to stall time. I also felt this way about the war in iraq question. Someone should have asked about building 7.

  12. No satisfaction from this interview. Only one question and it was about legalizing all drugs. The answer, “it is worthy of discussion”, (not that we will be discussing it).
    Also, the question was belittled by the interviewer, he described its importance in the poll incorrectly and sort of apologized for the YouTube users asking such a question. The president had a big smile on his face as it was being asked

  13. The act of prohibition on Cannabis is unlawful! People need to view this issue in that light. We the People are the victims of this unjust law, We the People have been harmed by this injustice, Our social order is under attack by those domestically sworn to protect US & our Constitution. It is the tyrant government that continues to act criminally in this issue. Our present government has continued the Constructive Fraud which deprives US of our Constitutional & Natural Rights, and has done so for profit sake. Our government is the fearful Bully on our block. Our government has organized it’s criminal behavior upon US and in doing so has enslave US in our own lands. Our government seeks to use the law to profit at it’s citizens expense. It is time to stop these insane folks in their madness. We the people have the sheer numbers, they simply do not even come close. We can cause a major government slowdown by our actions, we can flood the USA Mail Service into/and Washington DC. We can flood the Courts on every level with legal paperwork for 900,000 plus folks who will be or have been arrested. We can Nullify the Law from the Jury Box using the Rule of Law given by our founding fathers. We can peacefully bring change upon our wayward employees by acting and acting united. Remember the Civil Rights, when our government allowed for the hanging of Blacks from the light post? The Court, legislators, and lawyers once said then, it was not unconstitutional to treat a black man as subhuman. This is the same government just in a different mask, they truly do not know right from wrong, but WE DO! Like then WE can act and bring change using the same stuff, boycotts, government slowdowns, sit-ins, smoke-ins, with everyone arrested filing fast and speedy trail acts, demands for jury trial, and alike motions upon the Courts, The truth is the time at sentencing is the same as if you plead, I know I have done it. I defended myself at my own Jury Trail drug case, if the judge had not lied to the Jury, or the Jury was better educated I would of walked free because I am not a criminal. Instead I had to beat the Judge down from the higher Courts, but still did the same time as those who plead. We must take this fight peacefully to their front doors in the light of the day instead of ours doors in the dead of night. We must flood this government with that red-tape they so love to put out and on us.

  14. sigh,I might just give up caring and smoke my bongs illegally until the corporate world looses its strangle-hold on democracy.keep up the good fight,sorry guys

  15. I watched the feed. He got the most popular marijuana question from LEAP. His response offered no answer or solution other than he stated he is against legalization.
    In fact, he didn’t give good answers to any questions. The whole thing disappointed me as he didn’t give any solutions to anything.

  16. Two years ago, the President laughed it off.
    Today, he gave a serious answer and said we need to find a way to dis-empower the drug cartels. Most readers on this site would agree (?) that one way to put the cartels out of business would be to let ordinary Americans grow a little marijuana in their own backyards.
    Today’s answer isn’t the end of the story, and it IS a step in the right direction.
    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
    Remember being ignored?
    Remember being laughed at two years ago?
    Do you see the fighting and debating becoming more widespread every month?
    Then we win.

  17. 18 Stomedonmyrights
    1. Prior Competing Governmental Interests and the Government’s Supremacy Clause are “Constitutionally invalid.”
    2. The Kings have always fear the people rising against them.
    3. As I read recently, the word is “Dharma.”
    You speak the truth!

  18. Sacrament as a Medicine
    God’s own sacramental medicine provides medicinal efficacy. Genesists maintain and uphold their belief in civil obedience and responsibility, but compassion for our brethren’s suffering over-rides the concerns of law, and God’s will be done! The alleviation of pain and suffering is a religious and humane obligation to God, and the law of land does not apply. The law of the land is only binding when it does not oppose religious rights and beliefs. Ethical and moral philosophical arguments can nullify the law of the land, and a jury. Because of government’s intransigent and inhumane position [unmoved by the suffering of others], directed at our sacred plant’s healing properties and applications, Genesists [refuse] to recognize government as a “just government with an unjust and inhumane law.” The American Policy [March 9, 2009], negates Compelling or Competing Governmental Interests insofar as medicinal application is concerned. [See White House Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies, March 9, 2009].
    The Genesist Faith emphasizes preventative treatment and early detection. The most important function of the Genesist Faith is to create awareness [that] our Holy Sacrament is a valuable aid in the treatment of a wide range of clinical applications in the due course of medical treatment, [that] our Sacrament provides benefit, current accepted medical use and efficacy, and a low potential for abuse, thereby “requiring it by law,” to be removed as a schedule I substance from the Controlled Substance Act. Medicinally, our Sacrament has unique therapeutic value that can’t be mimicked by any other class of medication. Our Sacrament is the most important of 10,000 medical plants. It is listed in medical texts to treat over 250 different conditions. It provides a broad spectrum of relief, and is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. A scientific consensus supports the current therapeutic use of our Sacrament and its constituents to control symptoms of serious and chronic illnesses.
    Genesists have the capacity to make our own medical decisions. The obligation of healing is not limited to saving lives, but extends to the alleviation of pain and suffering as well. Genesists are mandated by God to “do no harm,” to not only save lives – but – relieve pain and suffering, and improve our brethren’s quality of life, which would be the greater obligation than complying with an unjust and inhumane law. “You cannot modulate the Will of God.”
    “Personal health matters are not public matters, they are private matters that exist between a doctor and patient, and bear full confidentiality.” We Genesists – We the People of the United States of America – have a Constitutional Right to consume any medication prescribed by a physician. To add insult to injury, this violation by government is Intentional and Malicious Obstruction of a Physician/Patient Relationship. Government’s ostensible obstruction of that relationship, and its Breach of Public Trust and Confidence, by the misuse of legislative discretion and selective enforcement of the law, [is] in violation of the Constitution, and government should be cited for that misuse [legislative indiscretion]. Unlawful Political Influence – Ex-post-facto [done or made after, especially when having retro-active effect].
    Our covenant to God as Genesists, both spiritually and medically, is 1). We, benefit our brethren’s quality of life, 2). We,provide religious, ethical, mandated humanitarian healthcare services to our brethren, and 3). We, ensure safe and reliable access to our sacred medicine for its physician recommended therapeutic use. Genesists are not Masters of Human Nature – but – we understand that the best way to worship God is by doing good among mankind and contribute to the well being of society.

  19. More “politics as usual” However, I am glad to see that the “users’ of America are still passionate about this cause. Keep chipping away at the the wall and it will eventually come down. Remember, we are a lot closer to legaliztion now than we were in ’73 when I met Mary Jane.

  20. I think we need to lobby the rich and corporations they seem to be the ones running the show. Look at Eygpt, Yemen, Tunisia,…Money Talks and a Government Walks, I don’t believe lawmakers even listen to, or care about what the people want anymore…college a luxury…energy companies leeching…women on the streets of america with their children…minimum wage $7 hour lol…the same starving children I remember seeing on TV in 1963…I see today…lawmakers who give tax breaks to the rich, some who make a million dollars a day( what job is worth that?)…while cutting programs that help not lazy people but people in need, because of diminished opportunities to excel…whose, in charge of life on this planet? People with money make all the decisions anymore…Some People would like a drink at the end of one of these dreary days, others the essence of natural cannabinoids, No money, no freedom?…the Continuation to cut down trees and pollute the environment while solutions stare us in the face…is this how its going to be? A world run by greedy self important jack a$$es, who lack the wisdom to see the destruction or their ways, or coldhearted monsters who know exactly what their doing. I hope our efforts aren’t fruitless, but sometimes I really think government has been lost to rich lobbyists.

  21. President Obama on Thursday called drug legalization “an entirely legitimate topic for debate,” but quickly added “I am not in favor of legalization.” my response is simply, Put Up or Shut Up Mr. President! The debate you claim is “an entirely legitimate topic for debate,” is long over due. We the People have been a……sking this Government to give us this debate and debate this issue like reasonable human beings. The government’s response has “shocked the sense of fair play,” they have openly lied and mis-informed the general public for since 1937. Mr. President we want this debate! We dare you to set this in motion and since you clearly stated, “not in favor of legalization”, you and your party should put up or shut up and defend Prohibition. We the People will bring it on, set the ground, we’ll debate who ever you send. All we ask is that it be live and transparent to the public.

  22. Im so very tired. I vote. I know that means nothing, but I will continue to vote, I will also wait for THE PEOPLE to get as tired as I am. Then maybe we will begin to be free. I wont hold my breath.

  23. 31 c.J.
    With due respect – everyone is as tired as you. We all vote, at least 50% of us vote, and ain’t that a “damned shame” C.J – the only time We’re going to hold our breath is when we’re toking. Now! Has what I’ve just said going to stop anyone from partaking of the bud? Too bad the bone-head prohibs cant’t get that in their thick skulls. As I see it – we’ve drawn a line in the sand. 50% on each side have their toes on the line, so! at this point – its a stand off. At this point – who the shit cares what the government says. Their words are falling on our deaf ears, as our words are falling on theirs. Guess what I’m doing right now?

  24. If the Gary Johnson can get the Republican nomination (a very long shot, I know) the Democrats can see how angry young voters are with them over this issue.

  25. if you’re fortunate enough to live in a state where big tobacco or big alcohol isn’t the politicians main cash cow, then you might have a chance. unfortunately west virginia is going to have a tougher time getting the pols to listen to science or the will of the voters. for the last 2 years i’ve written and called, but it’s “a gateway drug” and our state is increasing funding for law enforcement, and the war on drugs has escalated into numerous eye catching media shootouts with the drug gangs from detroit and the pill mills from florida, the sensationistic pea shell game of the war on drugs and the need for more drug warriors. the last politician i spoke with said it would be political suicide to even bring up the idea of medical marijuana, much less legalization. good luck california, maybe the growers will vote yes this time, instead of there own pocketbooks.

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