Taking The Pro-Pot Position - Somebody Has To

Taking The Pro-Pot Position - Somebody Has To
Posted by CN Staff on March 26, 2009 at 13:31:24 PT
By Dan Sweeney
Source: Huffington Post
USA -- When Barack Obama was first elected, he immediately began his straight-to-the-people, end-run-around-the-press style of Q&A by encouraging people to ask questions at One's fellow citizens could then vote throughout Nov. and the first part of Dec. 2008 on their favorite questions, and Obama's people would answer the most popular. When the dust settled and the votes were counted, among the most popular was this question:
"Will you consider legalizing marijuana so that the government can regulate it, tax it, put age limits on it, and create millions of new jobs and create a billion dollar industry right here in the U.S.?"The incoming Obama administration offered well-reasoned, thought-out answers to a whole host of questions, including controversial ones such as "Will you appoint a Special Prosecutor (ideally Patrick Fitzgerald) to independently investigate the gravest crimes of the Bush Administration, including torture and warrantless wiretapping?"But when it came time to tackle the oh-so-controversial topic of marijuana legalization, the response was a mere one sentence: "President-elect Obama is not in favor of the legalization of marijuana."No rationale, no justification. Just a blanket statement redolent of a parent smirking, "Because I said so."Fast-forward to today's online town hall, and once again, marijuana legalization proved to be one of the most popular questions, with the most-approved-of pro-pot question being: "Should the U.S. legalize pot as a way to grow jobs and stimulate the economy?"With all of his usual charisma and endearing jocularity, our president laughed off the question, stating "I don't know what this says about the online audience, but, no, I don't think that is a good strategy to grow the economy." The mewling sycophants in the East Room audience laughed and burst into applause.Once again, the Obama administration has greeted this question with an out-and-out rejection, with no reasoning underlying their position. Let's ignore for a moment that Obama's answer, in and of itself, is deeply wrong and ill-informed; moving from zero taxes on weed to any taxes is obviously an increase in revenue, not to mention the shift of growing and supplying jobs from the black market to legitimacy, which means more revenue in income taxes and more jobs.Now, couple this with the millions, if not billions, of dollars that would be saved without the government being responsible for the care and feeding of hundreds of thousands of nonviolent drug offenders. From 1965 through the election of Barack Obama, our government arrested 20 million people for possession of marijuana. That, folks, is a lot of stoners.In 2006 alone -- the last year for which statistics are available -- 829,625 people were arrested on marijuana-related charges, according to the FBI's Uniform Crime Report. Of these, 89 percent were arrested for simple possession.So, couple the tax revenues, both sales and income, with the savings involved in keeping potheads out on the streets instead of in the pen. Now, put that Everest-sized pile of cash aside for a moment and think about this: Who's losing money in the deal?According to Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, fully 75 percent of Mexican drug cartels' cash comes from the sale of marijuana. Legalizing marijuana would, of course, take away that massive source of income for the cartels, just as ending prohibition cut bootlegging as a source of revenue for La Cosa Nostra.Combining all of the above effects, the legalization of marijuana means billions of dollars saved or made, the creation of jobs and the curbing of violence along the Mexican border, which in turn means saving thousands of lives.Barack Obama can certainly be against legalization, but he owes it to nonviolent drug offenders caught in the horror show that is the U.S. prison system, the families of innocent victims of the Mexican drug wars and economically bloodied U.S. taxpayers to explain why. Ganja may cause the giggles, but legalization shouldn't be a laughing matter. And it certainly shouldn't be treated as cavalierly as it has by the current administration, especially when it has been proven to be a popular issue every time Obama has tried to go straight to the people.Source: Huffington Post (NY)Author: Dan SweeneyPublished: March 26, 2009Copyright: 2009, LLC Contact: scoop huffingtonpost.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #23 posted by hotrodtommy on March 27, 2009 at 22:44:21 PT:
Obama's rejection of discussing legalizing MJ
I have teenage kids, snd like most young adults, they ARE GOING TO party and experiment. My 17 year old son knows we can test for pot, but not alcohol. I would rather he smoke a joint than drink a 6 pack, but where is his motivation? If weed were legal, alcohol related accidents and drunk driving related deaths would decrease. I'm certain that alcohol co.s don't want weed legalized. So much of what goes on is politically motivated. Lets keep hammereing the president with our demands to end marijuana prohibition.
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Comment #22 posted by Paint with light on March 27, 2009 at 20:48:34 PT
Persistence is what we do best
How do you eat an elephant?We are eating the republican elephant one bite(byte) at a time.At least equal with alcohol.
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Comment #21 posted by Hope on March 27, 2009 at 10:55:10 PT
Help Mexico by Legalizing Marijuana a few days ago, but bears repeating.
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Comment #20 posted by dongenero on March 27, 2009 at 09:52:54 PT
prohibition is corrupt greed
The drug cartels, US prison system and law enforcement are in business together.Organized crime wants our money in exchange for their drugs. Law enforcement wants to arrest and incarcerate us to make salary, justify budgets and seize our assets.The prison industry wants to put us in jail to justify their budgets and expand their industry.This is criminal abuse of American citizens, for profit.
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Comment #19 posted by Hope on March 27, 2009 at 08:03:52 PT
AazzTunah, welcome.
Don't worry. Persistence is what we do best.
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Comment #18 posted by Hope on March 27, 2009 at 07:51:47 PT
Comment 16
There's a video with that article. The picture first on the video... without starting it, is interesting. I noticed it when it happened and looking at this picture... everyone has a smile on their face? I thought surely some people had to be angry and glowering. Maybe. But I haven't noticed them yet.Why? They're not angry at the question... like McCain would have been... they're smiling a very odd, embarrassed sort of bright, spontaneous smile.What does it mean? They're not just laughing at the question. They're not perturbed and concerned at the idea to the point of frowning and glowering. I think we, as a force, have if nothing else, reached a new plateau. They think we're funny and naive. While everyone is standing around grinning... let's bolt for the top of this thing and take it down!Go! Go! Go!:0)
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Comment #17 posted by AazzTunah on March 27, 2009 at 07:33:03 PT
It saddens me to see Obama speak so flippantly about something that is 
so important to many Americans. I understand he prefers smoking Tobacco -
his drug of choice. In my mind's eye, I can see him in a quiet corner someplace, puffing away and maybe hoping no one will notice.
Obama is wrong about Marijuana, just as he is wrong about Tobacco.
In the coming weeks and months, it falls to us to show him, educate him
about how wrong he is.
Obama has said that the main reason he succeeds, is through persistance.
I say let persistance also be our motivation - to finally bring an end to
Marijuana Prohibition!
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on March 27, 2009 at 06:36:50 PT
Pot Saved My Life, Mr. President
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Comment #15 posted by runruff on March 27, 2009 at 05:54:48 PT
Emperor W the Bush.
He wore no clothes and it looks like Obama has retained his tailor.
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Comment #14 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on March 27, 2009 at 01:58:11 PT
One MSNBCer did start to connect the dots.....
Contessa Brewer, who was anchoring early afternoon on MSNBC, after the report on Obama's "no" to economic pot legalization, said that since she had heard recently that marijuana was the nation's top economic crop, that there might be something to the idea.After the break, during an interview about the Mexican drug violence, she suggested that legalizing marijuana would be a way for the US to quit feeding the problem.If reporters simply start remembering the information they've already learned and start seeing the obvious connections that are right in front of them, we're halfway home."But Wolf, if the Emperor had clothes on, why could we see his wang?"
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Comment #13 posted by The GCW on March 26, 2009 at 18:39:44 PT
Sense something?
Again, I don't have TV, but from what I'm hearing here...Are we getting close to winning the media?If the media smells the oppertunity to sell sell sellThey will turn against cannabis prohibition like buzzards on a gut truck.If media starts to think they will profit BIG by setting up this fight with cannabis proponents against opponents, they will...So the cash strapped media can profit - and this is a war they can set up and make out huge.We should help work the media to help work the fight that they want to create to sell sell sell.-0-And isn't there millions of people who wish they could become hipp? Many people will read all about it to learn learn learn and get the score.
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Comment #12 posted by yoshi on March 26, 2009 at 18:24:08 PT:
MJ Prohibition
The music is still playing for the prohibitionists, but it seems there's almost no one left listening. The emperor has no clothes
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Comment #11 posted by paul armentano on March 26, 2009 at 16:40:01 PT
Sam Adams
Sam, you nailed it. Turn those comments into a LTE or an op/ed. They deserve wide dissemination!
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Comment #10 posted by HempWorld on March 26, 2009 at 15:05:06 PT
President Obama has indicated that he does not
want to regulate the marijuana market and he has indicated that he has no reason for this opinion.It is as if he is avoiding the subject. Why is this?Did Obama get marching orders from above? From whom?The people that really are more powerful than the US President?Is this the secrecy and white lie of the white house?Whoever is president, go ahead, do what you want. But DON'T mess with marijuana or hemp.It seems like he is keeping to the script that is now over 70 years old. Who is benefiting from this?
On a mission from God!
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on March 26, 2009 at 14:58:07 PT
Sam Adams Comment 7
Well said.
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Comment #8 posted by EAH on March 26, 2009 at 14:57:01 PT:
I was appalled, first by the presidents tone and then by the people there. What is it going to take have a serious issue taken seriously by those with the power to
bring about change?
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Comment #7 posted by Sam Adams on March 26, 2009 at 14:50:22 PT
stacking the deck
Ah, the height of Orwellian irony - WE are the ones who are stacking the deck! Yes! Not the law enforcement, jailers, military equipment manufacturers, mercenaries, and drug testers that pay millions to Congress and the Democratic and Republican parties.We only occasionally break through the corporate media blockade and lockstep political class to get our view into the open.  But we've rigged the game! Yes, they like it better with the 100 million potsmokers quiet.The one thing that scares me is that even the progressive media won't name the real problem - the law enforcement/military/industrial complex. They've got a chokehold on both of the 2 big parties.If the civilian, openly elected government can't change ANY policy that law enforcement doesn't like, then we've lost, it's a police state. Their control over the government is total.They always say that government is afraid to legalize MJ because of political repercussion - getting voted out of office. But what they really mean is repercussions from their masters - the police. Now that referendums like decrim in Mass. and repeated medical MJ wins have pulled back the curtain to show that voters WANT reform we can see what's really happening - the naked raw power of the police state. That's why Obama changed his tune from 2 years ago. Not any "political" reasons.Do you think the CIA and other paramilitary and private mercenaries running around Mexico and Latin America want to come home and find a real job?  Let alone the thousands of domestic police officers and their unions, which must kick back many millions in cash every year to the politicians.
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Comment #6 posted by George Servantes on March 26, 2009 at 14:42:40 PT
Obama showed his ignorant face today
S0 much about democracy.
He just joked and made fun of people who voted for most popular question.
I expected him to at least reason and explain why his against regulating and taxing marijuana same way as alcohol and stop putting people in jail for using this God given plant.
Mr. Obama, you sold your soul for such cheap price.
To prohibitionists: you can't fight against God forever. He created cannabis for us.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on March 26, 2009 at 14:38:13 PT
We The Online Audience are the smartest people in the world! We became smart from learning how to dance around and away from what we don't believe in.
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Comment #4 posted by OverwhelmSam on March 26, 2009 at 14:25:49 PT
What This Says About The Online Audience
We prefer pot to being a drunk asshole, and we are intelligent enough to know that making marijuana users criminals is not just! It's an abuse of authority by the government.
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Comment #3 posted by lombar on March 26, 2009 at 14:19:19 PT
Speaking up and lobbying
... when u are a cannabis law reform activist, is 'stacking the deck' but outright lying campaigns to vilify cannabis is 'business as usual'. Brushed aside once again, prepare for another decade of injustice.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on March 26, 2009 at 13:46:03 PT
Legalize Pot? Not a Change Obama Can Believe In
March 26, 2009Washington, D.C. -- (Reuters) - Legalizing marijuana is not the kind of change President Barack Obama can believe in -- -- at least not as a remedy for the ailing U.S. economy.On Thursday, Obama tackled the issue head-on, only half-jokingly, at an online townhall meeting where he noted that the idea was a favorite among the 3.6 million people who voted on more than 100,000 questions submitted on the White House website."I have to say that there was one question that was voted on that ranked fairly high, and that was whether legalizing marijuana would improve the economy and job creation," he said to laughter at the White House event."And I don't know what this says about the online audience," Obama said, tongue-in-cheek. "This was a fairly popular question. We want to make sure that it was answered.""The answer is, no, I don't think that is a good strategy to grow our economy," he said before moving back to a more sober discussion of unemployment and healthcare reform."Thank you for clearing that up," said Jared Bernstein, Vice President Joe Biden's chief economist, who was acting as moderator.Many of the questioners suggested that regulating the marijuana industry could yield large tax revenues.White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was later asked whether Obama, who admitted in his autobiography to experimenting with drugs in his youth, was leaving some wiggle room on the issue."The president opposes the legalization of marijuana," Gibbs told reporters, emphasizing his seriousness. "He doesn't think that's the right plan for America."As for where the new administration stood on medical marijuana, he said to ask the Justice Department.Gibbs suggested that marijuana advocates may have had a hand in stacking the deck by mobilizing supporters to send in questions and to go online and vote repeatedly for them.Writing by Matt SpetalnickCopyright: Thomson Reuters 2009
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on March 26, 2009 at 13:38:59 PT
Marijuana Prohibition Is Institutionalized Racism!
Marijuana Prohibition Is Institutionalized Racism!Period!
On a mission from God!
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