President Obama's 4/20 Facebook Forum avoiding marijuana legalization question

Once more President Obama wades into the online breach with yet another Facebook Town Hall to solicit questions on policy from the public.  The event takes place on April 20th, a.k.a. 4/20, the unofficial national cannabis holiday, without any sense of irony that these forums have been dominated by marijuana legalization questions every time the public votes on these questions.

(President Obama’s Facebook) WHAT’S HAPPENING
President Barack Obama will hold a special “Facebook Live” townhall to connect with Americans across the country.
Where? Well, everywhere! The event at Facebook’s headquarters, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg & COO Sheryl Sandberg, will be live streamed for anyone to watch. Just come back here at the right time: Wednesday, April 20 @ 1:45pm PDT / 4:45pm EDT. Unless invited to attend in person, please do not show up at Facebook HQ. You can watch and participate via the event’s live stream.
President Obama will connect with Americans across the country to discuss the tough choices we must all make in order to put our economy on a more responsible fiscal path, while still investing in areas like innovation that will help our economy grow and make America more competitive.
Facebook will be selecting questions for President Obama to answer during the event. Submit questions now by posting them right here, on this event’s wall. As an alternative, you may submit a question via

So how in the world can the president avoid what will surely be voted the number one question once again by the online democracy of Facebook?  Simple… don’t let the public vote.  Scott Morgan from DrugWarChronicle has the scoop:

It had become clear that as long as Obama’s forums allowed the public to vote on topics for the president to address, the top-ranked questions would be about legalizing marijuana or even ending the War on Drugs altogether. Reluctant to confront the issue further, the White House recently changed its approach and announced an April 20, 2011 event on Facebook in which participants will not be allowed to vote at all. Questions can be sent in by email or posted on the Facebook page, but Obama’s staff will make selections without any public input.
The inherently democratic, vote-powered economy of ideas on the Internet has proven to be a remarkably powerful tool for discovering content of social value. The ability to click on what you like is the currency of social media and it offers insights into public opinion that may be worth more than meets the eye. The participatory nature of a vote-driven web forum makes people care about the outcome. Advocates for a wide variety of causes are inspired to spread the word and work to make sure their issue gets votes. The Obama Administration has abandoned the process simply to silence one particular idea, but the effect will be to make the forum less interesting for everyone.
Moreover, the rise of marijuana policy into the realm of mainstream public discussion should fascinate, rather than frustrate, our political leadership. It’s a phenomenon that should at least interest our elected officials, even if they don’t yet fully understand or care that marijuana prohibition funds murder in Mexico, that innocent family pets are slaughtered in botched pot raids, that precious wilderness is being devastated by black-market marijuana manufacturing, that racism defines our marijuana arrest rates, that public servants are being corrupted before our eyes, and that we blow billions each year just to keep the situation as bad as it’s been for so long.

131 thoughts

  1. Our President is a joke. I supported that man and even defended him when other people said he didn’t know what he was doing. I bet I look like a fool to those people now. Thanks a lot Obama.One day I hope and pray we get a President that will cut the puppet strings the DEA has on them and really think for their self.

  2. 420 @ 4:20
    There should be a MASSIVE STORM brewing at the forefront of Representation all across the LAND of the OPPRESSED and in Washington D.C. today.
    May the lord be with us and on our side always!
    420 @ 4:20

  3. Do you guys think Obama gets re-elected after this? If he comes out and says, “I think marijuana should be decriminalized” again, will people take him seriously?
    Do you think that if marijuana legalization advocates try to hold his feet to the fire on this one during the upcoming campaign season, that his newfound drug war mentality will be spun into a good thing?
    I do not want 4 more years of this. People should not donate to his campaign unless he addresses the mj issue and, once and for all, tells us where he really stands.
    How comically ironic would it be if he gets defeated on the marijuana issue this time? If he dangles some kind of “maybe” or “stick with me” or “give me more time” malarky, I suggest we read between the lines and realize he’s full of shit.
    Oh, yeah… Happy 420!

  4. if the Prez really wants to cut useless spending he should start with the 15 billion that goes to the Drug Zcar

  5. I don’t see how the president, a man who’s very job is to listen to the people of his country, can just simply avoid letting a discussion of a topic happen when in the most diverse location of social interaction it is clearly the most desired topic

  6. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
    They are altering your free speech here, amendment #1.
    I think the real question is just how much bullshit will Americans put up with from BIG GOVERNMENT before we take our 2nd amendment and put it into use.
    What does that have to do with the price of eggs?
    ^^^^ Read about the federal reserve ^^^^
    Give me liberty or give me death.

  7. This could be advantageous for Gary Johnson. He should hold a Q&A the same day allowing the questions Obama will not allow. He could trump Trump on the silly “I’ll show you my tax return if you show your birth certificate.”

  8. Amending my previous comment. Johnson could start the site today then run the Q&A for awhile to address what Obama does not address.

  9. Those of us who live in “chronic” pain and others who need cannabis to live a half way normal live find it hard to believe that you have done a full 180 degree turn in response to a cannabis reform law. You have proven that you only say what will get you elected and then sell out to big corporations. I voted for you and feel extremely let done and sold out.
    Sense when is a “Town Hall” meeting a one way conversation, is this the “new” democratic process?

  10. I watched it. It was just a stunt to get people to watch his campaign: it was a clever trick, really, letting everyone think they had some input, but he only picked the questions that prompted the campaign talking points he wanted to say.
    Of course, I say they were “picked,” but my guess is the questions were actually scripted. I would be interested in determining if the questions he claimed to have gotten from the facebook forum are really on there.

  11. The government will never realize the usefulness of this plant so they will continue to speak outlandish bullshit about the subject. We just have to except they we are criminals because the government labels us as it. Scratch that, they know the usefulness of the plant but don’t want to admit that they were wrong.

  12. nothing! not a word. nothing on the news either with all the 420 gatherings. the nazi’s have taken over, more police, more prisons, more drug war dollars, controlled media. wonder what george washington would do? yeah george, but now they have the best guns, and they;re taking ours, and the new bullets they’re coming up with only last 6 months. big corporations have stolen life, liberty, and happiness for their ceo bonuses and world government and our future is 40,000 dollars in debt for every citizen. slaves to the nazi’s, it doesn’t matter if you call them repub or demo, its trickle down.

  13. Obama fundamentally misread the mood of the American public vis-a-vis marijuana and that is why the Republicans enjoyed a landslide victory in 2010.

  14. I signed up for Facebook just for this event. I suggested a cannabis related question. In spite of it being April 20, 4/20, and there being so many cannabis related questions, the President did not answer one that I saw. I couldn’t believe it. I canceled my Facebook account in disgust.

  15. So…America…do you not see it? If you speak out they will silence you , if they dont like your vote they will vote for you….sounds like communism/fascism too me. So how did Obama really get voted in?

  16. The best thing you can do is continue to live your lives using what helps you. Be safe about it, and don’t get caught. If you know in your heart that something can help make you a more balanced, productive, and happier person, don’t let someone else take that away from you. Or, simply look to any search engine with scholarly information like EBSCOhost, JSTOR, hell even GoogleScholar will have things to say on the medical benefits of marijuana *when used with sense and reason*. The problem is, because certain folks want to keep the taboo of Reefer Madness around it, proper dosage information is going to take longer to surface. But it will, in time. Until then, we’re left to our own devices while addictive, killer drugs like alcohol and tobacco are sold. There’s a great difference in our country between the sense morals make, and the sense dollars make. Obviously we can tell which kind of sense our government is interested in.
    Celebrate safely my friends, and for the love of all that’s good don’t act a fool today and give douchenozzles on Fox another arrest to gloat about.

  17. 53 Bighare1
    Do I detect a genesist in the crowd? If I do congratulations. What colony [county], and state are you in? We’re always happy to have a new friend in the brethren and the “Reformation.”
    Have a great CDXX Communion

  18. BarT Genesis Lake, Tn. Colony.
    What kind of action did we get locally in and around Lake county? What were your ideas about the movement – now – for the 2012 elections? Let’s talk on the Faith’s e-mail
    Hope you had a great day.
    Happy 420 and Happy CDXX Communion.
    Manny San Diego, Ca.Colony

  19. Hootie just bought a parrot!
    Parrots are “wild game.” Just take away their cage – and – you will “know” just how wild they really are. I never buy anything that eats. If it eats – it shits. If it shits – I have to clean up after it. But – Hootie takes in all the animals, God bless her heart. Hootie is- as big or bigger – a freedom fighter than “ANYONE.” She would bare her breasts and lead the charge with gun and flag in hands. She’s a real American girl – first family American – deep roots in the American ground she stands on – land of the free – home of the brave – in God we trust. America doesn’t prohibit anyone’s God – or – anyone’s faith in him. Americans will “defend with a strong offense” our individual faith in what ever religion we choose – we so declare – Amen.

  20. Does anyone know trumps thoughts on Marijuana legalization? if my logic is right trump is a business man and marijuana brings in over 2 billion dollars a year in tax revenue. so he should consider putting marijuana on the marke, right?. Am i right or Wrong/ if trump runs for president we should see where he stands on this issue.

  21. The united states govervment not only lies to its people but to itself. arrogant hypocritical u.s. goverment. land of the free? i think not. America incarcerates more people per capita than ANY country in the world. liberty for all? bitch please, the constitution is being abandoned and authority just seems to do what they want.secret societies, need for oil, corruption, recession, invasion of countries, illegal terrorist prisons, failed justice,lobbying, debt,and a 2 party bickering system. im honestly thinking about moving to switzerland.

  22. I watched the entire thing in anticipation that he would answer one of the thousands of marijuana related questions. Not a damn one was answered. Also FUCK the facebook employees! Answer the general public at large.
    Honestly I think all the questions were planted. Why else would Facebook employee’s get so much facetime?

  23. @79 – Trump believes marijuana should be legalized and taxed. He is a good businessman after all!

  24. Trump looks like he hasn’t taken a shit in a month.I know he SAYS pot should be legal and taxed, but hes full of shit.
    Make this election a ONE ISSUE ELECTION: LEGALIZE IT!!
    HAMMER YOUR POLITICIANS running for office with this question: Will you make cannabis legalization YOUR FIRST PRIORITY?
    If they say anything other than YES, GET RIGHT UP IN THEIR FACES AND YELL FUCK YOU!!!!

  25. It must be nice for them to be able to decide which questions they want to answer and which they don’t. If a presidential cantidate promises to legalize during his term. Then he WILL be our next president.But if OBAMA ignores us then we ignore him.

  26. Obama dodges the will of the people!
    Obama is undeserving to be president.
    We want someone that will address our concerns at the front of the line.
    Obama dodges the main issue!

  27. The president works for the people who pay him. Not the people he cons votes out of.He intentionaly lied to get my vote and now he’s turned his back on me.Because his masters have orderd him to do so.

  28. they made mention of 4:20 @ 4:20 on msnbc, twice now in a weeks time the anchor has said its time to legalize marijuana. they had a new poll out that said marijuana legalization now stands at 46 % of the people support it . the reason dont hear about our cause is about 15 years ago congress passed a law stating corporations could buy as many mass news media outlets as they could buy. thats why you never hear about it because pharmacuticals dont want you to hear anything about it

  29. Legalizing Marijuana: An Exit Strategy From The War On Drugs
    “If you support the Kool-Aid mass suicide cult of prohibition, and erroneously believe that you can win a war without logic and practical solutions, then prepare yourself for even more death, tortured corpses, corruption, terrorism, sickness, imprisonment, economic tribulation, unemployment and the complete loss of the rule of law.
    The only thing prohibition successfully does is prohibit regulation & taxation while turning even our schools and prisons into black markets for drugs. Regulation would mean the opposite!
    Prohibition is nothing less than a grotesque dystopian nightmare; if you support it you must be either ignorant, stupid, brainwashed, insane or corrupt.”

  30. From a FORMER and incredibly vocal white Obama supporter ( I wanted white noted because I refuse to change my vote based on color) I want the President to know, that you have officially lost my vote. If you want it back do the following:
    1. Legalize Pot
    2. Create a fucking job or two (which legalizing pot would do)
    3. Get us out of the 3 ridiculous wars we are in as promised (fyi – we were only in two when yuo came into office).
    You have proven yourself a liar. I know that liar is synonomus with politician, but really, you can kiss my ass, because unless you change your politics in the next few months, I will vote for anyone but you, Mr. President.

  31. The drug war is non partisan because the reform movement is non partisan. Two things drive politics in the U.S. 1. Money 2. Votes. We offer neither

  32. Gary Johnson has announced he will run for president in 2012. It would be even better if he and Ron Paul would run on the same ticket. If they run against each other it will just fracture each others chance at winning.
    Still…GARY JOHNSON for President in 2012!

  33. I told Obama from day 1 – legalize pot or you lose this white boy’s vote.
    GARY JOHNSON – I voted for him the 1st time he won in NM. Now I live in PA and he gets my vote now. Wouldn’t it be ironic if he won?

  34. he is a liar. he will not get my vote again. obama is the opposite of transparency/reform/change .

  35. End the war on drugs – take the billions currently spent on law enforcement, interdiction, prisons, jails & the Courts, and create a real public health system. Then tax all the profits, now legal, and wipe out all the red ink – get China and all the other foreign US bondholders out of our business.

  36. The United States government can run but it can’t hide for long. Go Gary Johnson. Gary Johnson for President of the United States. We can improve our country greatly by voting for Gary Johnson.
    The US Government has mistreated their people since 1937, enough is enough.. Let it be known as Campaign 18699

  37. For those of you who are saying we need a third party — there already is one, but you all always ignore it, the LP is pro-freedom in all aspects, start electing them to local and state offices so they can get enough name recognition to succeed in a federal election.
    And, yes, there IS a fairly well known Republican who advocates legalizing, his name is Gary Johnson, he is the former Governor of NM, and he just declared his candidacy for the presidential nomination, get behind him, donate to his campaign, tell other people about him, and we could have a “pro-pot- president” in 2012 if we can get him elected.
    Ron Paul is pro ending the war on drugs, too, but at his age he will do us more good remaining in the House, especially with is son in the Senate, then we’d have three strong anti-drug war people in government, between them, with our support, they’ll get the job of legalization done.

  38. @tlc The odds of a Paul/Johnson ticket would be very high considering Dee Johnson. I agree it would be interesting to see what the vote would be as a test drive for 2016 as they are all crash dummies in my opinion.
    These bloggers have got to get real. Someone needs to ask the 45 million AARP members: “Do you think the Trillion Dollar Drug War has played a role in running your Medicare/Medcaid thru the Congressional meat grinder?” Yes or No?

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