Quantcast
Connect with us

Drug legalization absorbs top 200 questions in YouTube’s ‘Ask Obama’ Q&A

Published

on

Update: President Obama answered one question about marijuana

During his YouTube Q&A, President Obama was asked what his plan is to help alleviate the detrimental effects of America’s drug war.

He responded by saying that while he’s not in favor of legalization, he did see room for adjusting the drug war to focus less on incarceration and enforcement and more on medical treatment and other forms of interdiction.

ADVERTISEMENT

The position expressed by President Obama was largely unchanged from 2009, when he told a community driven Q&A that he did not believe legalizing marijuana was a good strategy to grow the economy. He did not, however, crack a joke about the question, calling the debate over drug policy “legitimate.”

The president’s alleged recalibration of the drug war was heavily criticized last May by reform advocates, who pointed out that while rhetoric on treatment over enforcement sounded nice, the actual budget figures did not reflect such a shift.

The fiscal year 2010 budget for America’s Office on National Drug Control Policy was diverted 64 percent of its funds to law enforcement and just 36 percent to demand reduction strategies like addiction therapy.

“Due to accounting changes made under the Bush administration and maintained by Obama, the budget ratio doesn’t even take into account some costs of the ‘war on drugs’ such as incarceration,” activist group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) noted.

ADVERTISEMENT

A prior report follows…

This sounds like a bit of history repeating: A community driven Q&A with President Barack Obama, sponsored by Google’s video sharing website YouTube, has resulted in a single question rocketing to the top of the list, focusing on the legalization of drugs.

Another community driven Q&A, featured in 2009 by the nonprofit social action website Change.org, resulted in a similar question rising to the top, asking the president what he thought about legalizing marijuana as a way of growing the economy.

ADVERTISEMENT

President Obama, however, appeared to take it as a joke.

“I don’t know what this says about the online audience,” he quipped, drawing laughs from an assembled crowd. “But, no, I don’t think that is a good strategy to grow the economy.”

This year, the YouTube community overwhelmingly chose to ask Obama about his views on the drug war, with 13,842 votes for a question by MacKenzie Allen, a retired deputy sheriff from King County, Washington. Allen was a member of LEAP, a community of activists with backgrounds in law enforcement who’ve set their sights on ending the nation’s drug war.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I’ve watched for decades as we throw good money after bad and, more importantly, life after life, at a ‘War on Drugs’ that is waged with counterproductive tactics and an overall flawed strategy,” Allen said in a media advisory. “For the sake of those law enforcers who are still bravely on the front lines of the ‘Drug War,’ I hope our politicians will heed the call to finally discuss a new approach to drug control.”

The runner-up question in second place received over 10,000 fewer votes, but it too asked about the prohibition of drugs, specifically marijuana.

In fact, every single question in the top 200, save for two, touched on the drug war, from angles like prison reform, reducing the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) budget, helping farmers by legalizing industrial hemp or simply allowing American adults the freedom to put whatever they want in their bodies.

ADVERTISEMENT

One of the top questions even asked why Obama treated the 2009 Change.org query on marijuana as a joke.

Needless to say, unlike his last community Q&A, it will be incredibly difficult for President Obama to ignore or laugh off such questions this time around.

“We’d really love for the president to simply acknowledge that this is a serious issue worth debating and not embarrass himself again by trying to turn the failed drug war – which kills thousands of people a year – into some kind of Cheech and Chong joke,” LEAP spokesman Tom Angell told Raw Story.

The top question posed to Obama, published by LEAP, follows.

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump took out DNI head Dan Coats to install an new acting director in charge of whistleblowers: CIA veteran

Published

on

Appearing on MSNBC's "AM Joy," a longtime veteran CIA official said the whistleblower, who ran to the inspector general with a complaint about Donald Trump asking Ukraine's president for dirt on Joe Biden, should expect the president and his aides to come after them.

Speaking with host Joy Reid, Jonna Mendez said she saw the first warnings signs that something was up in the U.S. intelligence community when the president forced DNI head Dan Coats and his top deputy out.

"Through the lens of someone who spent 27 years at the CIA, the thing that caught my eye instantly was Dan Coats' resignation follow by Sue Gordon," Mendez explained. "The fact that Dan Coats went into a meeting and said 'Sue, you've got to resign' and that she did, truncating a career that clearly hadn't reached its zenith."

Continue Reading

2020 Election

GOP’s cancellation of presidential primaries could blow up in Trump’s face — here’s why

Published

on

In recent weeks, Republican state party committees have been moving to cancel presidential primaries to prevent Never-Trump conservatives, like former Reps. Joe Walsh (R-IL) and Mark Sanford (R-SC) and former Gov. Bill Weld (R-MA), from challenging the president from the right. So far, Republicans in Arizona, Kansas, Nevada, and South Carolina have all announced they will scrap the voting process for 2020.

Continue Reading
 

Facebook

Mike Pence should be investigated for his part in Ukraine negotiations and ‘we need some answers’: Ex-prosecutor

Published

on

On MSNBC's "AM Joy" Saturday, former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance agreed with host Joy Reid that Vice President Mike Pence could be involved in the Ukraine whistleblower cover-up — and that Congress needs to act to learn the truth for the American people.

"Let me go to you on this very quickly, Joyce, because here's the question for Mike Pence," said Reid. "Mike Pence has been sort of severed from all of the other questions that are relating to potential impeachment for Donald Trump, that the House is wrestling with right now, but if Pence ... went in knowing why the aid was being held up, went in and spoke to the leader of Ukraine knowing what stick the administration had over them, and in that way was drawn in to this idea of using that stick to try to get what they wanted from Ukraine, does he then face the jeopardy of perhaps also being drawn into the questions of impeachment?"

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Investigate and Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image