It’s becoming painfully obvious to anyone with at least a fifth grade education, that this president, like every president before him,and this congress, like every one prior, does not work for the majority of the people in this nation, nor do any of them give a flying fuck what we say, want, or need from them.
President Obama has, over the course of his term in office, offered us, the general public, opportunities to tell his administration what we’d like to see addressed, via Internet forums, petitions, etc.. Every time this happens, the question of cannabis legalization come up and receives widespread support, yet each time the topic is brushed aside, belittled, or simply ignored.
The most recent incident involves questions submitted via YouTube, the most popular of which were to be addressed by the president during a live online interview on January 30. NORML posted the 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?”
As of 7pm PST on January 24, this question had received over 4,000 votes, making it one of the most popular submissions. This would normally be good news, except for this:
NORML’s response to this blatant disregard for public sentiment and free expression?
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, it seems to more and more of us that “these people” can only be found in the White House, and take orders from Barack Obama, a guy who smoked plenty of pot as a teenager and is just damned lucky he didn’t get racially profiled and side-tracked into becoming just plain Barry, another black kid with undeserved criminal record.
This is not a fluke or an oversight. The Obama administration has a well established record of side-stepping and avoiding this important issue – maybe the most important issue of our time when one considers the economic impact ending our foolish war on cannabis would have and the decades of injustice prohibition has caused.
Every time the public is offered an opportunity to ask President Obama legitimate policy questions, this isue comes up and is immediately shot down.
- We petitioned him to legalize marijuana in September 2011, the number one petition;
- We Twittered him to legalize marijuana in July 2011, making up one out of eight questions asked;
- We asked him via YouTube video in January 2011, with LEAP’s question the number one video;
- We asked him via Ideas for Change in March 2010, with legalization again the number one question;
- We lobbied him via Citizen’s Briefing Book in May 2009, with the number one idea being legalization;
- We asked him via Open for Questions II in March 2009, where he mocked the number one idea of legalization helping the economy;
- We asked him via Open for Questions I in January 2009, where legalization topped most categories of questions;
- We asked him via Change.gov in December 2008, where legalization was again number one and a dozen of the top fifty questions.
Polling data from respected public opinion surveyors now indicates that over half of all American’s now believe marijuana prohibition needs to end, either in part (medical cannabis) or in total, yet our commander-in-chief, a man elected on promises of hope, change, and a government more open and responsive to the will of the American people than ever before continues to stonewall at every turn on this issue.
Have you no shame Mr. Obama? How can you continue to turn your back on this problem, knowing that in doing so you continue to enable a racist law that destroys thousands of families every year? Knowing that the industrial uses of cannabis alone could generate tens of thousands of good, high paying jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign imports of many kinds, and increase tax revenues by a huge margin? How do you sleep at night Mr. President? How can you look in the mirror each morning and not name yourself an enormous part of the problem?
Things will be changed in this nation over the next few years (if we are to avoid disaster); from how we elect our leaders, to how we fund our government, to what we can do with our own bodies and lives. Just as with the civil rights movement of the sixties, some public figures will be remembered as heros who stood on the side of right, against the tyranny of the powerful few. Others will be viewed as fools who failed to see the error of their ways, or worse, as enablers of the tyrants who chose power and profit over freedom and peace. The only question you really need to answer, Mr. Obama, is how do you want to be remembered? Which side are you on?