Saturday, March 28, 2009

Obama's Pot Comments

On Daisy's post yesterday I read about the latest town hall meeting in which Obama disappointed everyone who wants marijuana reform.

Here's the video from The Young Turks site.

Cenk Uygur, at The Young Turks, as well as the others to whom Daisy linked, all agree that the comments were disappointing. I agree with that, but take a slightly different impression from what I saw. It seems to me the live audience laughed first, this triggered Obama to laugh and make a silly joke, and then to dismiss the whole thing. To his credit, he gave a fairly clear "no," which is better than a wishy-washy non-answer. It was the laughter and the shrugging it off lightly that seems to have upset people.

I put this one in the same category as that unfortunate comment he made on Jay Leno. These are the risks of speaking without a teleprompter.

We've also got the point raised by Uygur about the rephrasing of the question. Even that, I'm OK with. Obviously the President is not ready to make a big move on marijuana reform yet. I think the baby steps that have been made are good ones and over the next couple years we'll see bigger changes.

What's your opinion? Would marijuana reform be good for the country? One thing I keep wondering is, isn't most of the problems and violence and cost associated with heroin and cocaine and not marijuana? Although I'm all for reform of the pot laws, I'm afraid it would only resolve a small percentage of the problems. What do you think?

Please leave a comment.


  1. I don't think marijuana reform is enough, and it is too little to have direct effects, but it is a move in the right direction. If nothing else, it will leave more room in prisons for people who should be there.

  2. First, the most disappointed by Obama's answer were the conservatives who tried to slip a "mickey" by participating in an effort to sabotage the open sourcing of the questions. From what I have seen on conservative blogs, there was an effort to push this issue in a town hall meeting context to get a potentially embarassingly useful answer from the President.
    He did not give them what they wanted.

    Obviously, in the highly charged combative atmosphere of American "gotcha" politics, a town hall meeting is not the appropriate place to deal with a realistic discussion of drug laws.

    Now, what do I think?
    I firmly believe that the repressive laws are the propelling force for the gangster violence and sabotage any attempt to have a realistic discussion about drugs and society.
    I won't make any bones about it, I smoked pot as a kid and I see the hypocrisy around me here in Europe.
    I see the demand for recreational drugs in America and the prices people who have the money and means will pay. The demand fuels the market. The market fuels the violence.

    Frankly, from my point of view as a geezer heading off into my 6th decade, I wish I had never smoked pot.
    I wish that I never smoked cigarettes. I am an avid long distance cyclist and at this point in my life, I see the effect it has had on my endurance.