Tags: marijuana | townhall

Rebuffing Pot Partisans, Obama Rejects Legalization

Thursday, 26 Mar 2009 01:45 PM

Inundated with questions concerning marijuana use during his online “town hall” Thursday, President Barack Obama said he would not consider the legalization of the drug.

Apparently monopolizing a technique by which online users could vote on submitted questions, pot partisans voted in such numbers that their questions made the top five of several categories, according to Politico.

“In this moment of national economic crisis, the top four questions under the heading of 'Financial security' concerned marijuana; on the budget, people voted up questions about marijuana to positions 1-4,” Politico reported. “Marijuana was in the first and third positions under ‘jobs’; people boosted a plug for legalizing marijuana to No. 2 under ‘health care reform.’ And questions about decriminalizing pot occupied spots one and two under 'green jobs and energy.'"

But after taking questions lower on the list, the president apparently couldn’t avoid the subject any longer. “I don't know what that says about the online audience," Obama said jokingly. Then he got serious.

"The answer is no, I don't think that is a good strategy to grow our economy," he said, as the audience in the room applauded and joined him in a laugh.

The huge number of questions may have been the result of a campaign by NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, which was urging its members to vote for questions supporting the legalization of cannabis.

“WhiteHouse.gov is once again asking the public to pose questions directly to President Obama via its ‘Open For Questions‘ service.,” the organization said on its website. “The topic of this week’s forum is the national economy, and not surprisingly, many of you have already put forward questions to the president regarding the taxation and regulation of cannabis.”

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