President Obama advertises on NORML's YouTube Channel

Remember when we were told that “legalization isn’t in the president’s vocabulary?”
Remember when Mr. Obama laughed off a suggestion that marijuana legalization could help the economy?
Remember when he emphatically stated he would not pursue a strategy of decriminalization of marijuana?
Yeah, we do, too.
So imagine our surprise at NORML to find an ad for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign nestled in the prime ad spot on our YouTube channel: NORMLtv (
What’s the campaign strategy for the marijuana smoker vote, Mr. Obama?  Keeping at the head of the DEA one of Mr. Bush’s administrators?  Maintaining the Bush-era policy of raiding medical marijuana providers?  Escalating numbers of marijuana arrests on your watch?
Or will it just be, “Look, you think I’m bad, imagine what happens if (fill in GOP nominee) wins!  I just want to force pot smokers into costly rehab they don’t need on the threat of prison.  (Fill in GOP nominee) wants to (fill in terrible threat we’re already experiencing now)!”
You want the absolute guaranteed votes of 90% of the 25 million American adults who use cannabis annually in America?
Convince Congress to pass and then you sign Barney Frank and Ron Paul’s Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act.
It doesn’t cost you anything.  Marijuana is still illegal in all fifty states and 99% of all marijuana arrests take place at the state and local level.  It just means marijuana is no longer a federal issue; states are free to set up any marijuana regulations they choose.  The people in marijuana friendly states will support you more and the ones who hate pot still think you’re a secret Muslim agent from Kenya anyway.
Well, I take that back.  Your contributors from Big Pharma might not like you endorsing the competition.
UPDATE:  Apparently, based on comments below, I should’ve explained how GoogleAdSense works. NORML didn’t “accept” advertising from the Obama campaign.  We offer up a piece of screen real estate to GoogleAdsense.  They sell advertising packages to third parties, like the Obama campaign, which promise to place their ads on websites matching certain demographics and content keywords.  So we don’t even know who or what is going to appear up there as an ad (within limits; obviously there isn’t going to be a phone sex ad or Klan rally promotion going up there… we can limit certain types of ad content.)
It’s possible that the ad algorithm just saw “within 50,000 on Alexa”, “large youth demo of readers”, and “Congress / House / Senate / Obama”  on our website and automatically placed Obama’s ad there because he wants to reach young politically active people on popular websites.  In fact, I seem to recall some “Marijuana: The Anti-Drug” ads showing up on our BlogTalkRadio page in the early days of NORML SHOW LIVE.  I’ve seen ONDCP ads show up on other pro-marijuana sites.
We’re not a 20th century newspaper; it’s not as if Obama’s campaign team called and said, “Hey, NORML, how about we support you by advertising and you support us by accepting the ad.  The day the ad appeared on NORMLtv was the first time we saw it there and probably just as shocking to the president.

112 thoughts

  1. Obama has lost my financial support as well as my vote until he reigns in the DEA from busting state sanctioned medical marijuana dispensaries.
    I was a big supporter of his and have lost respect for him with the present anti pot policies of his adminstration. I like Ron Paul’s stance on the issue.

  2. For those of you with any doubt remaining about who to vote for in 2012, the answer is simple. The only candidate who has promulgated the end of the drug war as part of their plan has been and is RON PAUL!!! Don’t worry if he will win, just vote for him. Not only will he abandon the war on drug users, but he’ll push an agenda that will get this country in some financial order!
    Ron Paul in 2012!!!

  3. Hi Russ, I work at Blogads and just want to clarify a couple points. While we do serve the ads on the right column of this blog, we have nothing to do with YouTube. Google serves those up, and they’re based on algorithms and keywords and stuff. The ads on this blog are purchased specifically on this blog, and aren’t left to chance to be served. So considering how Google’s ads are bought and sold, it is definitely interesting that the ads showed up on your YouTube page.

  4. He can legalize/decriminalize cannabis all he wants, I will never vote for a Constitution-trampling, US Code-violating socialist.

  5. Those of you yelling Ron Paul——-GET REAL!!! He will NEVER NEVER EVER get past the GOP vote. Here are your likely choices for GOP President in 2012
    Mitt Romney—— Position on Marijuana
    • Romney believes that the push to legalize marijuana for medical use is an effort by a committed
    few to try and get marijuana out into the public and ultimately legalize it.
    • During his 2008 presidential bid Romney was asked about his stand on the legalizing of medical
    marijuana he replied thus, “I don’t want marijuana to be used in our country. I’m not going to
    legalize marijuana.”
    • Mitt Romney strongly opposes the use of medicinal marijuana to cure illnesses. He says that
    there are many synthetic forms of this drug that are legal and that can be used for people who need
    • He was reported to have turned his back on a patient who sought his advice on the use of medical
    marijuana since the synthetic marijuana did not help in his illness.
    • Romney is reported not to have opposed the research of two universities that used high potency
    medical marijuana for their medical testing.
    • Mitt Romney’s view is that the people of his country should be comfortable when they are ill and
    for this he does not want them to take drugs that would ruin their lives rather than cure illnesses.
    For this purpose Romney says, “I don’t want to encourage more involvement in or allow more people
    to get involved in the marijuana and the drug culture.”
    Newt Gingrich——– Position on Marijuana
    • Newt Gingrich is against legalization of marijuana.
    • As House Speaker, Gingrich advocated that Congress institute a death penalty for pot smugglers
    and other drug dealers.
    • In 1996 he introduced HR 4170, the Drug Importer Death Penalty Act of 1996, which called for a
    life sentence or death penalty for anyone bringing more than 2 ounces of drugs into the country.
    • He said that possession should be punished by community service 2 days a week and if the person
    misses a day they should go to prison for 5 years.

    This administration’s actions are so odious and abhorrent – so ineffably repulsive – they imbue in me a “violent uncontrollable reaction” – ready to explode in the ballot box.
    Suggested Art: “God’s of the Modern World” by Jose Clemente Orozco.

  7. Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich For President & Vice President 2012!!! Careful what you wish 4!!!

  8. I bet Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and the rest of the GOP will make a donation to NORML by purchasing an ad like OBAMA DID!!! ——–ROFLMAO!!!

  9. The President of the United States making a DONATION to NORML——-How DARE HE!!! What a scum bag!!!

  10. Lets face it there will never be enough pro pot politicians and there will always be more $$$ that the politicians can see for being good drug warriors. But all so we can have enough victories to inch our way toward change or we can began to wage war against the feds. Its simple give up our paranoid must make it to tomorrow lives and just let our selves get caught in the millions and fight every legal battle to utmost and before long the government will be broke real fast. I want to see an end to this stupidity and don’t care who strategies (Gandhi or binlawden) we us as long as no Americans dies.

  11. We are at a important crossing with decrimialzation so all u smokers out there start putting the pressure on congress

  12. This is a MAJOR NEWS FLASH!!! The President of the United States of America Barack Obama just made a Donation to the largest Marijuana Legalization site on the NET—with a donation Ad using Campaign MONEY!!! While I think OBAMA is a better choice than any of the likely GOP candidates for the Marijuana cause—I also thing he could have done more and that he should grow some balls and do more. Join me in sending this STORY to EVERY NEWS STATION AROUND THE WORLD!!!

  13. Bullshit, i wouldnt believe that for a second that is nothing more than trying to get potheads votes if he gave a shit about legalizing marijuana he would have tried to do aomething about it already

  14. Too Bad we can’t vote bill clinton back in.. who cares if he is getting piped off by a girl other than his wife. We were in the positives economically! fuck the eight year rule if your a good man you should be allowed more. Fuck herbert walker bush ever since his tax cuts on wealthy and these wars our country has gone down the shit hole. Everyone knows you dont go to war when your economy is good or you’ll fuck it up. Why not pull another heroshima or nagasaki? politics and too many civilians is what holds us from giving those terrorist fucks what were all about.

  15. I can see why they haven’t pulled the big trigger(Nukes) though. In the muslim religion from what i know is in its infancy stage being a young religion. Now christians had a crusade to spread their religion across continents hundreds of years ago and im wondering if the muslims are at that stage in development. if we would of taken out masses of civilian muslims then the rest of the muslims even in our country would call a Jihad, and then would turn into mujahideen which means a muslim in distress or struggle. If that would to happen then we would have a HUGE problem with sleeper cells in this country. I see the problem that they faced but to turn around on discussion about a plant that hurts no one but the rich is outragious.

  16. I will also be voting in the primaries for Ron Paul. Doesn’t matter if he wins or not as long as I vote my conscience.

  17. To economize is the exact opposite of what the GOV wants! as long as health in this country stays low the more money the pharma co’s make. it is essential that everything is made to break down over a certain amount of time. Get out with the taxing and regulation, it should be treated no different than a tomato plant or basil. lets all dry up some corn and smoke it; corn would stay legal because its unhealthy to everything! as long money is whats worth nobody will be free from anything-debt-corruption-free will. now days we need to ask for permits to demonstrate our rights! WTF is that all about? lets all march and then at 4pm we all go home and back to our norml lives F%$k that, we need to stand up and not move from the spot until we are either beaten till K.O. or killed so they can drag us out. overwhelming them with mass protest that does not stop until we have what we want is the only way to end this crap. People lets get together and start more than just a pot revolution, but a revolution for life, intelligence and growth of knowledge. People do not hold the minds as did Tesla or Edison anymore, sure there are a lot of great minds out there but they only work to improve the self intrest of one corporation, theres no incentive to move science in the right direction we will continue to lose this battle. Money is Power!!! So lets take all that revenue that would be made of pot-tax plus the capital price together; what do we have? a shit ton of useless money that could possibly pay off. hmmm a force bigger than the police; J/k- NO! the money creditors and companies want. think about it; if we unite and create our own cash reserve and stack all the money we can afford to put aside, we would hold a goldmine to the industries wich we wont give up until our demands are met, think of it as holding money hostage but really we are just saving it to gain leverage. then once our demands are met the money somehow gets lost on its way to the fat man, but of course it will be their own fault because once its out of our hands we are no longer responsible. are you willing to go against the system by strategically breaking it down using our minds to work through the legal stuff?

  18. Remember folks. Ron Paul is NOT the only cantidate who is pro legalization…. Gary Johnson, former governer of new mexico is also running a pro legalization platform. check out GARY JOHNSON. gary is also a republican, but at this point, i really see no difference in the parties.. both are full of lying career minded assholes who care only for the almight dollar. VOTE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY THIS YEAR.. GARY JOHNSON

  19. I have to agree with 56/58 I want to vote for Ron Paul as well, but he has a snowballs chance in Hell to get the nomination, we need to concentrate on our senators and watch how they vote on HR 2306, if they do not cosponsor the bill you vote their ass out, but you have to call or email them until they respond. Fuck that symbolic write in shit, its already been done with Ralph Nader who is more honest than both houses of congress and it got us 8 years of a lunatic.

  20. Pay no attention to slick dressed fancy pants politicians, or smooth talking three martinied four houring business leaders. I wonder how many of you people got fooled back in 1992 by Bill Clinton’s sunglasses and rock star act? And can you hear me running? Down with big brother!

  21. I can smell change and its not with Obama or maybe its the big fat joint I’m smoking VOTE THE NARROW MINDED OUT!!!!!!!

  22. I am a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat. I will, however, vote Republican IF a candidate emerges who supports lifting the federal ban on cannabis and its derivatives. This is how the GOP will win back the White House.
    It is time to ascertain whether or not they are smart enough to take advantage of this HUGE political opportunity. Somehow I doubt they are wise enough to do so.
    The problem here is this: our fellow Americans are going to follow what they’ve always done – vote for the lesser of two evils… which means we’ll still get evil. Americans as a group have always been willing to settle. The candidate with the slickest and most expensive campaign usually gets the vote.
    Cannabis and its derivatives will only be legitimized if we as a country REFUSE to settle… if Ron Paul does not win the GOP ticket for the presidency, we should write him in… I wonder if the will of the people could or would ever be respected that way…
    President Obama, you have disappointed millions of us by mocking us and pandering to our hopes of equality. As a former professor of Constitutional law, I am completely ashamed of you for refusing to respect and thereby restore the integrity and honor of the Tenth Amendment! Shame SHAME SHAME on you… you are supposed to have fought for the little guy during your earlier career. YOU WERE A POT SMOKER and you know DAMNED well that smoking cannabis recreationally did NOT ruin your life or your career. You are a disappointment to us all… But it’s not too late: President Obama, embrace the cannabis legalization movement. LIFT THE FEDERAL BAN ON CANNABIS and allow the individual states to determine their own cannabis laws! You can save your presidency… and your honor…
    My fellow Americans: spread the challenge through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube… everywhere! They cannot ignore us forever…

  23. Best Norml page ever! I loved reading about this. Other ppl should read frist then comment latter…
    keep up the good work

  24. If you think are republican and want ron paul, get out and vote in the primaries and get all your friends to register republican. I would vote for him in the primaries but independents cant vote in Florida primaries. Thats all is takes is your lazy asses to get up and actually do something instead of say “Get real he will never get the GOP nomination” and that is what I believe is wrong with everyone my age, the lack of passion and will power to get a movement going. With all this social media we spend hours a day on this should not be hard. I hate to affiliate MLK with weed but he liberated his people in an age with nowhere near the communication ability we have today.

  25. Maybe he’s putting his ad on normls page because he’s considering legalizing marijuana if he wins another 4 years. I personally think he did not want to do it yet because he had bigger fish to fry thats more important than legalizing weed and wanted to focus on it. If he would have legalized marijuana right away, than the more important things he had to do would would have not been taken care of and it could have hurt us financially. Don’t get me wrong, I want weed to be legal but there might be more important things to take care of first and also he cann’t just say legalize weed and it legal, there has to be votes and such and big pharma and other rich people have to make sure they get profit from it being legal. Let’s all have potimism and know it will be legal soon.

  26. Remember the phrase, “Only Nixon could go to China”? Well, that explains why former stoners like Clinton, Bush and Obama could never repeal prohibition.
    We need a candidate who was never a stoner, someone who was a true believer in the propaganda. If a Palin, for example, were to wake up and realize what prohibition really is, she could persuade those who are still asleep.

  27. I just want him to smoke one joint. That’s it. Some American weed. That across the border stuff is *complete* shit. That’s all.

  28. We have already got a way out of this mess. Plenty of JOBS in the marijuana growing fields to the CONSUMER = REVENUE!

  29. America needs a divorce from the 2 main political parties… but we are so addicted to their bullshit that we can’t admit it.
    It’s a 2 party system but we don’t need it to be THOSE parties.

  30. WOW…Some people arent following their own rules..Check out U.S Patent #6630507…Weird how the U.S. Government has a patent on marijuana’s Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants Oct. 7, 2003.. Its all written right in front of our faces that it does have medical value or why would they go through the trouble of getting a patent on it? Who do we impeach first?

  31. This is a WAR. In that light, anything goes!!!
    Start by striking up conversations about legalization with perfect strangers in your every day lives.
    GET IN THE FACES of prohibitionists and EXPOSE THEIR IGNORANCE!!!
    Finally, MAKE THIS UPCOMING ELECTION A “ONE ISSUE ELECTION” – that of full out legalization. Let your elected and running officials know this, that if they do not PROMISE to LEGALIZE, then they will NOT GET YOUR VOTE. And if they do not deliver on their promise, VOTE THEM OUT!!

  32. To the Brethren of the Genesist Faith – 3141
    Hear ye! hear ye! hear ye!
    Government cannot deny us our Faith – even if it disagrees with it. Government cannot deny us our Constitution, even if it denies us our rights. Therefore – Genesists declare a “Conscience Clause.” A conscience clause is a law exempting those whose religious or moral principles forbid compliance. The prohibition of our Sacrament is a substantial burden on the Genesist Faith, its integrity, stability, confidence, and forbids compliance of that corrupt, politically influenced, inequitable law.

  33. That damn O’Pharma knows exactly what he’s doing. I’ll bet they did this on purpose to confuse and divide. You just don’t know what’s real anymore, so many smoke and mirrors it looks like Circus-Circus. :-/

  34. It’s a lie don’t be fooled. A nother empty campaign tactic. He has said he would not consider federal decrimilization so the add I would think is intended to suggest he is for it to win votes. Lies I Say!

  35. @78 Obama simply does not want to legalize marijuana. All he has ever had to do is just one speech, or part of one of his speeches, emphasizing why we should end prohibition and that would be of tremendous help for our cause. But he won’t do even that! He is a prohibitionist plain and simple; in spite of his past usage. Probably, in his own mind, he sees his past usage as a mistake and now he has wised up. Of course I don’t know for sure and I don’t think his current position on this issue resembles wisdom! It’s also possible that for reasons we will never know, he does want to end prohibition but that it would come at a cost he is not willing to pay…

  36. the only way obama can get my vote in 2012 is as they said in the article above…legalize it and put the law into effect all befor the 2012 elections and i gaurantee mr obama my vote…hehe..notice it was mr obama…respecting my wishes would earn him a little of my respect…like he really cares if the american ppl respect him…was a time when a mans word meant something…we seen the flop obama pulled and thats why i say for him to get my vote this all must be law befor the elections and quite frankly if i was obama and wanted back in office i would be doin all i could to get the marijuana vote…face it…theres a lot of us out there and i for one am pissed enuff to put my pipe down long enuff to get out and vote so to any and all ppl running for any kind of office if you want my vote there is only one way to get it and thats to jump on the legalization band wagon…good day

  37. Cheap tricks to confuse the issues. The plus side is that MJ is finally a real issue. Remember when MJ was jest another bad work. That ad will come back to haunt Oboma. He’s for big business make no mistake. Your vote does count,you have to put it where it counts. Don’t get confused, hold the course.

  38. Skunkyfingers is right, facts are facts and the voting records show it. These people are professional liars and they’re good at it. They’re main weapon is deception. It’s all a bid game to them. They dont get drug tested.

  39. I personally support decriminalization/legalization of marijuana..but god…you can see the pot heads on this many times does norml have to say they did not choose nor endorse obamas advertisement…damn pot heads…someone light me up i went out….toke toke pass

    Obama is not a leftist, nor a liberal, nor a progressive, nor a populist, nor a democrat — he is a republican posing as a democrat, and has been doing so for years. What he is is a neoliberal/neoconservative corporatist REAGAN republican who would not have stood a chance of getting elected to any political office in chicago or northern illinois as a republican.
    I wonder how Reverend Wright and the rest of his church congregation feel about a politician who used their church for political cover for many years. I wonder how they feel about Obama’s betrayal of minorities rights by continuing this crazy ‘war of drugs / war on people’.
    i would not vote for him again, not for a million dollars. i wouldn’t even sign his birthday card. i would, however, consider signing a petition for his impeachment — the sooner the better.
    and if he isn’t primaried by a real progressive democrat, i will not be voting for anyone in the democratic party either.
    we all need to understand that voting for the proverbial ‘lesser of two evils’ is still voting for evil — just how evil does the ‘lesser’ have to be before people don’t vote for him?
    vote green party — they are the only party that has a political platform that actually makes social and fiscal sense, including repeal of prohibition of cannabis.

  41. Is there any way any anybody can prove that Obama does not want to legalize marijuana. We can’t just assume that he does not want to legalize weed. Everybody acts like its never gonna be legal but that’s what’s wrong with the world today. If we start having a positive attitude about it, then maybe we will get somewhere. There is too much in the world for a leader to deal with and marijuana is not the most important issue right now. Plus it would be a process to make it legal that would take time away from the more important things, like fixing our economy, even though legalizing would help, there are better ways to help the economy. Let’s all be patient and do more to make it legal.

    Potimism-[pot-uh-miz-uhm]- noun
    . The belief that marijuana will become legal no matter how unlikely it seems and there are positive ways around the excuses people give saying it can’t be legal.
    Tell your friends! Let’s make this viral!
    1. A disposition to look at the medical/financial benefits of marijuana and the good it will bring by making it legal.
    2. The belief it can be used responsibly like alcohol, except it’s much safer.
    3. Marijuana prohibition has overall failed and there are reasons it needs to be legal. Having more people vote yes on propositions that would make marijuana more available would help.
    4. To know that if it was sold in stores, weed would not be considered a” gateway drug” due to the fact that some dealers who sell marijuana also sell hard drugs like cocaine and heroin, making it an easy access to its use. This would also make it harder for minors to get it since there would be an age limit.
    5. To know the Reefer Madness generation was a time when people were brainwashed by the government to believe that marijuana has more negative side effects than it really does and that it leads to making bad decisions like murder, which is not true. The movie Reefer Madness, which exploits these untrue lies and was made for the purpose of having people oppose weed, has “Tell your children” in text at the end which sadly to say many have, leading to a chain of generations to believing it is worse than it really is. Thankfully this chain is weakening and more people are starting to realize the truth about weed.
    6. To know that alcohol is the driving force in a number of public and domestic disputes which can lower if more people smoked marijuana instead of drinking alcohol.
    7. That drug lords who operate marijuana rings can start their own legal business if marijuana became legal. (why not?)
    8. Knowing that it being illegal is causing violence to go up due to drug wars. This would go down significantly if the plant was legal.
    9. It had other uses such as oil and clothing.
    10. Our fore fathers, like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, grew marijuana and our last three presidents have smoked weed.

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