President Obama’s YouTube Forum deems marijuana legalization questions “inappropriate”

NOTE: If you feel marijuana legalization was an entirely “appropriate” topic for debate, tweet your dissatisfaction of the White House’s censoring of NORML’s YouTube question by tweeting them using #WHchat and @WhiteHouse.

“Pres. Obama, what is inappropriate about saving billions and not arresting nonviolent american citizens for marijuana? #WHChat @WhiteHouse”

– E. Altieri, Comm. Coordinator

As of 7pm Pacific, I checked the page to see how many votes our question received in President Obama’s latest YouTube Forum.  The good news?  Our question, “With over 850,000 Americans arrested in 2010, for marijuana charges alone, and tens of billions of tax dollars being spent locking up non-violent marijuana users, isn’t it time we regulate and tax marijuana?” received 4,023 votes, making it one of the most popular submissions to the forum.

The bad news?  See for yourself:

“The submission has been removed because people believe it is inappropriate.”  Hmm, well, who are these people?  The question got 241 “thumbs down” votes from viewers, was that it?  I notice that of the 615 questions submitted that asked about “With over 850,000 Americans arrested in 2010” in the text, some still remain with 28 “thumbs down” and others are removed with as few as three, so it doesn’t seem like “people” refers to viewers or the public, does it?

Who are these people, President Obama?  They’re not the people out here who keep making marijuana legalization the number one topic of these online forums.  They’re not the millions whose lives are impacted by a marijuana arrest; the tokers and their families who lose jobs, houses, kids, freedom, assets, respect, security, and peace of mind because of marijuana prohibition.

Sadly, I think these people are actually just one person… a guy who smoked weed (and snorted coke) back in the day as a teenager in Hawaii and was damn lucky he didn’t get caught or today he’d be Barry the Drug Criminal.

In 2010, these were the Top 100 questions for President Obama, and they ALL dealt with marijuana legalization

( On Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at 9:00 p.m. ET, President Obama will speak to the nation in his annual State of the Union address.Starting today, you can ask President Obama the questions that are on your mind about the direction of the country and vote on others that you think should be asked. He’ll answer several of your top-voted questions during a special interview, which will take place on January 30, live from the White House. A selection of people who submit questions will also be invited to join a Google+ Hangout live with the President during the interview.

The deadline to submit is January 28 at midnight ET so submit your question now.

Here we go again.  How many times will President Obama ask the American people for their questions on national policy, how many times will we resoundingly call for marijuana legalization, and how will he diminish, mock, or ignore our concerns this time?

  1. We petitioned him to legalize marijuana in September 2011, the number one petition;
  2. We Twittered him to legalize marijuana in July 2011, making up one out of eight questions asked;
  3. We asked him via YouTube video in January 2011, with LEAP’s question the number one video;
  4. We asked him via Ideas for Change in March 2010, with legalization again the number one question;
  5. We lobbied him via Citizen’s Briefing Book in May 2009, with the number one idea being legalization;
  6. We asked him via Open for Questions II in March 2009, where he mocked the number one idea of legalization helping the economy;
  7. We asked him via Open for Questions I in January 2009, where legalization topped most categories of questions;
  8. We asked him via in December 2008, where legalization was again number one and a dozen of the top fifty questions.

Maybe the ninth time is the charm?  Once again in this “ask the people” exercise the most popular questions deal with legalization of marijuana*.

Here’s the official National NORML question:

Here’s my entry:

* Though this time, we may get beaten by SOPA, PIPA, and NDAA questions… which wouldn’t bother me a bit.  A free and open internet, threatened by SOPA and PIPA, is crucial to spreading the message of marijuana law reform.  NDAA is an abomination that allows the president to declare citizens “enemy combatants” and lock them up indefinitely without charge, without trial, and without rights.  We’re big fans of the First and Fourth Amendments here and these acts are counter to the spirit and Constitution of America.

228 thoughts

  1. everyone who signed the petition should go and mark ALL Questions as “inappropriate” that will De-legitimize the entire system they have in place

  2. In response to the poster “the answer,” who raises a good point… why DON’T we / NORML start a SuperPAC? I would give money to advertise, lobby, write legislation, etc, and I’m sure lots of professionals with money (including folks in finance) would also support such a do-or-die push.

    [Paul Armentano responds: NORML has a PAC:

  3. He’ll address this after re-election so the GOP doesn’t destroy him in the general election over this.

    [Russ responds: If I had a dollar for every Obama supporter who told me “don’t worry, in the 2nd term, then he’ll be able to support marijuana reforms, because he won’t have to worry about it being used against him in a re-election campaign,” I’d take them all and donate them to the state legalization campaigns in California, Oregon, Washington, and Colorado.

    Tell me how this graphic from – a list of the top recipients of Big Pharma campaign contributions for 2011-2012 – makes your case:

    I really hope I am wrong, but my bet on an Obama re-election wouldn’t be on a more liberal policy on marijuana; rather, I’d bet Obama’s crackdown on the medical marijuana industry gets escalated following a 2012 victory.]

  4. Here is the biggest and most pressing issue we need answered.
    When will The United States of America government start listening and caring about issues that affect the people that LIVE IN AMERICA.

  5. well here’s some good news, with obama only having only a 40% approval rating (and dropping) and congress only having a 15% approval rating (what i know to be an all time low) this bullshit may not persist for much longer…and just maybe stuff like them saying a legit legal topic (marijuana legalization) is “inappropriate”, which is now supported by more than half of america (according to recent polls) could be part of why their approval rating is so low, they should really take note or be shown the door…

  6. To all you people that still have hope for Obama “waking up” and blah blah blah you wake up and realize he knows whats going on. He smoked weed and snorted coke and hes not stupid he is just upholding the status quo and always will and if your stupid enough to vote for him again thinking he will come through you are an idiot. Obama is a corrupt war mongering piece of shit because that is what we have become and that is what we will still be if you keep voting for people who support our current government. Obama will not wake up you guys need to wake up and vote for Ron Paul. Many people seem so scared of him because he is so radical but I don’t see how his ideas could make our situation any worse than it already is with the lying corrupt warmongering fascist assholes that make up our government today. How can you support people that want to lock up anyone they want without giving a reason and censor the internet so they can get rid of anyone that opposes them? Deeming the marijuana questions inappropriate is just another result of our government wanting complete control of our information and censoring anything they don’t agree with. These people are criminals and should be completely shunned don’t give them another chance to finish their job of destroying our freedom.

  7. Hmmm… when I stick my stoner head in that voting booth maybe the word “inappropriate” will just stick with me long enough not to cast a vote for the “change we didn’t see” guy. We already know the game is rigged, why bother to vote for either party.

  8. Its not that simple. If you were to legalize pot what would be the minimum age? Clearly it’ll affect work so you still won’t have a job. Do you want your 16gum yr old kid smoking pot and dicking away his life while laughing at the wall and eating a bag of chips. You guys are morons. Cigarettes are one thing. Marijuana MAY have some good properties but no one NEEDS it. Cigarettes and marijuana should both be illegal. America is full of worthless idiots spending SSI on pot. It would be okay to smoke pot with the same frequency as drinking alcohol. Did any of you dumb dumbs stop to think that PROBABLY most of those people locked up are under the age of 21 and even if pot was legalized they’d still go to jail so stfu already.

  9. Thanks for that info a couple posts above me Russ that shows who Obama is really working for and what do you know Romney is on there as well doesn’t surprise me a bit they are nothing but sell outs and if they could sell every one of us to China and make a buck they would. So many people make the mistake of thinking they actually care but it should be fairly obvious they only care about money.

  10. I believe Obama will deal with the marijuana debate more in-depth after re-election, but he is the only one that will, no other candidate will ever be for marijuana, not with the line-up we have now. He is the first president to admit to smoking and called every other pres that said “Ya, but i didn’t inhale” a moron, because that’s the point, if he does not deal with it next term (if he gets re-elected) then we bust out the pitch forks

  11. Well it looks like the next five years are going to be long and hard no matter who wins. Unless its Ron Paul but I dought that will happen. Everybody is just dismissing him at every turn.

  12. This statement:
    “The submission has been removed because people believe it is inappropriate.” is a cruel joke on democracy.

    President Obama doesn’t want your vote.

  13. Dude… I’d believe in what you could do with a 2nd term, I like you! It’s time to deal with it, President Obama… Once and for all, JUST DEAL WITH IT!Considering our economy and overcrowded legal system draining dollars that could be spent educating our children versus the potential economic benefit of a legalized cannabis policy plus the relief of the ridiculous burden on the legal system, I cannot imagine the majority of Americans will elect a candidate that doesn’t JUST DEAL WITH IT!!!

  14. I went to and filed a complaint on this issue. I could not find how to contact Google directly if anyone knows how tell me and I will send it to them to. Here is the complaint I give anyone permission to use it however they wish.

    I saw the Google doodle protesting internet censorship because of SOPA and PIPA and I completely agree the internet should stay open and uncensored. So I wonder why YouTube took it upon itself to censor one of the most popular questions submitted to Obama’s YouTube forum just because it asked a controversial question about cannabis legalization. This seems to be the same type of censorship that Google is against and this issue needs to be addressed. It would be nice for YouTube to give a reason for removing the content or put the question back up before the voting is over. Here is an article on the issue.

  15. It’s really a matter of politics and timing. The President couldn’t legalize in his first term because GOP could use it against him in this year’s campaign, but if he’s a second term president, what would he have to lose? Afterall, he’s campaigning on the platform of “Fairness”, and what could be more UNFAIR than the hundreds of thousands of US citizens being prosecuted each year for non-violent cannabis “crimes”? or can someone explain to me how it’s fair that hemp can’t be used for industrial purposes? Completely unfair. Surely the President is smart enough to understand this, yet savvy enough to wait for that second term.

    I still refuse to believe that someone who has smoked weed really wants marijuana to be illegal. It’s an amazing substance that has cured my 15 year long battle with migraines. Time will tell. Perhaps positive thinking (a la “The Secret”?) will help us more than negative thinking about our Commander in Chief. I remain hopeful.

  16. The government s not interested in representng ‘the people’. It is only supportve of itself. Congressmen who have made a CAREER out of politics ( and there are many ) prove this. Being a politican for the Federal government should be completely term limited for all slots including the Supreme Court justices especally. Redickerous Raggy!

  17. Everyone should visit and watch the video of a 2yr old saved by cannabis maybe Obama should watch it and see if saving a baby’s helpless life is inappropriate

  18. If Obama didn’t treat all of his constituents like garbage, ignoring us and ignoring his own statements from before 2008, the 2012 election would be over.

  19. Even if cannabis caused all the issues the goverement says it does, it wouldn’t be worse than the overall potential negative effects associated with the long-term use of benzodiazepines. Xanax, or more commonly benzodiazepines, are prescribed like candy.

  20. The louder the drum beat, the more questions you have denied by the White House, the more people will be appalled and likely to jump on board. I’m committed to spreading the message far and wide! Viva Sativa!

  21. Using probability we can almost estimate that Obama will be re-elected in the year 2012. Now, as supporters of cannabis policy reform, it would be beneficial to have Dr. Ron Paul elected, we can’t wish upon a star for it to happen. But, if we support Ron Paul he will at least get people “thinking” about the lesser discussed issues. Certainly no politician is “perfect”, but if we analyze what is important ‘now’ we could be in a much better place. Cannabis legalization is not the most important issues by far, see: science and environmental issues, it’s a *huge* chunk of what should be addressed. Only Ron Paul is willing to do that.

  22. Cannabis policy is the ugly red-headed step-child that no one wants to talk about, but most (50% of the polled American population from Gallup) would support reforming. The problem isn’t the pot smokers, but rather the cops, moms, churches, drug dealers, and older people. Even when cannabis is regulated it will still be scrutinized. It’s pretty simple, we as humans have evolved, but our attitudes haven’t changed much at all.

  23. This is a perfect chance to examine a pro-marijuana legalization vote in the general election for president.

    Possible General Election Line-ups;

    Obama vs. Ron Paul = vote for Ron Paul

    Obama vs. Anybody else = what difference does your vote really make?

  24. If it’s inappropriate to ask questions about cannabis, then we’re not much of a democracy.

    So, what’s the reason to vote for Obama and Democrats in 2012 again?

  25. Man, reading these comments makes me see why it’s so hard to get this plant legalized. Half of you posting can’t even comprehend proper grammar, let alone stay on topic. If only all the stupid people who use cannabis would just be quiet and let the smokers with a higher intelligence quotient handle the talking.

  26. The Big Lie about Marijuana can’t be exposed. The people will the power to pull the question who object to it are the only ones who count is what they are saying.

    If you could get Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton or someone who has Obama’s ear, either in public or in private, you might get further.

    Congress has to change the law. Obama won’t sign an executive order on it, for as little that is might do for legalization compared to how much it will turn up the heat on him and his hopes for re-election.

    This type of question would have to be given to Congress, and then the public would see who the statesmen/stateswomen are and who the lying sacks of shit are. Maybe with full disclosure of the PAC money, since corporations are people too, the Mexican and other drug cartels would like to give Big Money to the prohibitionist candidates to outfund the pro-legalization PACs. Expose that and you have a gila monster bite on the news cycle that you can keep bringing up as long as the issue gets dragged out in the courts and blabbermouth shows and media.

  27. Why isn’t this hypocrisy on Major News? I only find it here on the NORML sites and not on any other newspaper. It is a down right injustice to the American public and they should be reading what the Administration is doing to the people of this United States.

  28. Sounds pretty democratic…the people can consider anything the authorities approve of and by authorities I mean the rich and shaker and movers.

  29. Well unless he meant you should be writing congress because the president is not a leader but a spokes person with some executive authority.

  30. Obama’s You Tube Forum is just another step for a TOTALITARIAN SOCIETY with the ORWELLIAN MENTALITY trying subdue our freedoms under the CONSTITUTION. MARIJUANA PROHIBITION the CONSTITUTION KILLER on peoples rights. The APPROPRIATE is catching up with INAPPROPRIATE in questions being asked. Are they the NEW MORAL MAJORITY supporting the POLICE STATE we live in? The BERLIN WALL went down and now we have our own BERLIN WALL, MARIJUANA PROHIBITION. Our CONSTITUTION is now being replaced with FEDERALISM and the NEW WORLD ORDER of a MONARCHY with BANANA REPUBLIC RULES.

  31. Personally, I think its his wife that keeps it from going anywhere. No way in hell does she want her girls smoking weed. Mothers tend to be very reactionary when it comes to the kids.

  32. Forget it, it’s over you lost and you will never win the big money owns you now.
    Our government has rolled over, we have lost everything, until the next revolution.
    The wealth is our target!

  33. Pres. Obama is up to something, His strategies on seeing one or two companies take the lead in helping him to establish a better form of communication for what has transpired in the last two years, bringing the troops home, NOW thats HOT! LATE AS ALL OUTDOORS!He keep his word. Even though the troops come home they had to see the anarchy going on between the police and citizens; and they left overseas to come home to this kind of crap!

    Now,they are giving us incentives if you be good cow,they’ll giving us a $40.00 tax added on, or take it off; hummmm that did not work either! At lease he asked everybody what did they want another tax.

    So he has some irons in the fire; now will it be to his advantage or will the People STAND THEIR GROUND..WHO’S SOVERIGN here the Government or the people of this LAND!

    Remember Socialist want your energy, your mind, and all your property; set to enslave people as cattle. I don’t see nothing up on that platform that’s worth the time of day; all of them are for the nwo; everybody up there like a bunch DC Hogs having a goodtime snorking up the skirts, poping pills, drinking champane dressed in red high heel! A bunch of insane alcoholic perverts (it’s ok to have a open marriage)this whole batch of folks they know how to party…straight to hell…from the looks of things right now this is a form of Hell, mental abuse, physical abuse, pain, cramps in back knees, ankle neck..Puff!-Puff! Pass! the Joint Please!I need to medicate.

    Their day is coming and it is coming fast..Obama will lose this election unless he Declassifies Marijuana’s illegal status 1 to status 3 for everybody to witness..I hope that brother gets his head on straight real soon.

    Idea! There is this woman who come before the Judge he was the only one who could grant that request she needed…well as time went on this issue got on the Judge nerves to the point after so much of the womans determination to get an answer…she turned to God and this Judge gave his answer….Pray for Him..even if you don’t pray…send him some good vibes…lets not get angry because he’s been there and done that…and did not like it anymore…ok! that’s on him, unless he is lying and covering it up.

    It is never approprate to talk about Marijuana…WELL we THINK IT IS TIME TO SHOW him the closer we get to the finish line. at the end then we will get on with our lives, be focus, and Happy!!

  34. It seems the White House page on youtube has been fairly well flooded with copies of the marijuana legalization question, as well as many variations and other on-topic concerns.

    Obviously, it’s not going away. Sorry Mr. President, in a democracy no one man or one institution can make the call on what is an “appropriate” topic for debate. The people make that decision, and we will continue to speak out.

  35. President Obama says that marijuana questions are “inappropriate?”

    This guy is absolutely unbelievable? What happened to this once great man? Instead of delivering peace by ending torture, and wars, and promising change that would be science based, he has carried out what can only be described as a NEO-CON plan gone nightmare. Now Obama is trying to start WWIII by increasing tensions with the Iranians now in the Strait of Hormuz — and ultimately her allies Russia and China? WTF Nobel Peace Prize Winner?

    You start to add up what Obama has done and you get not only the exact opposite of what you voted for, you get worse. The marijuana question is a matter of freedom of speech. And instead of truth, Obama wants to cover it up by calling a once “totally legitimate topic for debate,” inappropriate?

    If Obama gets a second term, he will most likely make the Reagan-Bush years look like a picnic. Obama has been so dangerous to medical marijuana in the last six months that he has wrecked YEARS of hard work from legal marijuana entrepreneurs and their local economies; nothing Bush or Clinton can even come close to Obama’s war on weed. At the rate it is going under the Obama he is going to attack the patients and users next, after he shuts down all the dispensaries. With NDAA and SOPA laws it will be very easy to establish marijuana users and producers as enemy combatants under a martial law example and declare them terrorists because marijuana discussion, advertising, and use is not only illegal it is also “inappropriate” to even discuss. This is scary as hell where this is all going.

  36. If this type of gov. neglect continues, can WE THE PEOPLE bring forth a class action law suit against the federal government? Not a suit for monetary compensation, but a suit for change in the law. This is the only way I see anything getting done on this issue. If u think Obummer is going to do anything in a 2nd term on this issue you are wrong, big pharma’s pockets are to deep. This is a pay to play government & most of the general public can’t afford this entry fee into the circus. WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO FILE THE LAW SUIT? SERIOUSLY, 3 people in the U.S. Are provided medical marijuana by the federal gov. WHAT MAKES THESE 3 BETTER THAN YOU OR ME? Obummer preaches equality & fairness right, let’s make him prove it in a court of law.

  37. Our president and his staff have officially surpassed douchebag status… AGAIN! As much as I want to see him out of there, I don’t see any better candidates to take his place.

    I hate the fact that I voted for that puppet. He sucks on every conceivable level. The fact that he’s president is what’s really inappropriate.

  38. soooooo frustrating! i’m so tired of all the BS! its like if we want to get anything done in this lifetime, we all have to take to the streets and make change

  39. ^^ If he sucks on every conceivable level, I see several candidates who would do a better job. I, for one, will vote for anyone who stands on two legs that the GOP nominates to oppose Obama. Hopefully that is Ron Paul.

  40. Mary-j inappropriate topic coming from the president when he was here Illinois he wanted to pass a bill to teach kids in kindergarten about sex

    So dear Obama
    Tell me how something like weed is an inappropriate topic for adults and SEX is appropriate for 5 and 6 year old dude ur a criminal just like anyone else who has toke on the herb the only difference is I wish you would have caught so u would know how much prohibition has ruined live and caused so much violence not just in Mexico but right here in the united states have 10 armed men kick in ur door cuz you don’t guns and condone violence and I hope everyone reminds him he is a criminal he just got lucky

  41. Politics. He won’t get re elected if he does something so drastic. So either elect Ron Paul. Or let Obama do it after he starts his last term.

  42. Will this NDAA law be use on us. Or should i say when will they use this law on us. The D.E.A dream. When that happen that when i will start to fight for our freedom. It will get a lot worst. Just pray all 3 house dont turn out (R)control.

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