March 26, 2009

Marijuana "ranked fairly high," says Obama, who was presumably not high...

... when he said: "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. And I don't know what this says about the online audience..."

And you must be high if you think Obama will legalize marijuana.


Famous old quote: "Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though."


fcai said...

How can one assume that Obama was not high? He is an admitted cocaine user and currently smokes cigarettes. He drinks in public. My assumption is that he has not been sober since he was too young to start using.

Melissa said...

I looked through those questions, and just about every third one was about pot. Not that it's not a valid issue (it is, though it's also a pipe dream- pun intended- for anybody living in the real world), but it let you know 1) where the writers' minds were focused, and 2) that the majority couldn't pay attention long enough to realize that their question had already been asked 17 times.

rishigajria said...

"And you must be high if you think Obama will legalize marijuana."

Yup, Don't see that happening in the next four years.

sg said...

Andrew Sullivan is miffed:

"The dismissiveness toward the question of ending Prohibition as both a good in itself and a form of tax revenue is, however, depressing. His answer was a non-answer. I'm tired of having the Prohibition issue treated as if it's trivial or a joke. It is neither. It is about freedom and it's deadly serious. As for your online audience, Mr president, have you forgotten who got you elected?"

traditionalguy said...

The newly empowered non-working potheads want to see what they voted for happen. What could be more democratic? I suspect that King Obama I is not that enamoured about democracy. He probably sees working people sending their wages into the Treasury as more of a goal than Druggies everywhere on welfare. He won. you know.

garage mahal said...

Why would we want to change a policy that's worked so well. For-profits prison are full of vile potheads, and things on the Mexican border are a picture of serenity. I love the fact this new cutting edge forum from Obama bypasses the traditional media apparatus to get to questions "real people are thinking about", and he fucking laughs off the one question that would never ever get asked by the traditional media. There's your radical leftist for you, conservatives.

Paul said...

Getting the guns and money out of the equation is way too obvious and reasonable. Not to mention the enormous cost in the prosecution and incarceration of these dangerous potheads.

Is there anything this jerk can be on the right side of?

Worst. President. Ever.

AlphaLiberal said...

Woohoo! Republican infighting!

"So I'm looking around for somebody to pray with, I just need maybe a little help, maybe a little extra," said Palin. "And the McCain campaign, love 'em, you know, they're a lot of people around me, but nobody I could find that I wanted to hold hands with and pray."

No, Sarah. You are so holier than them! That's what Jesus taught, eh? Pray loudly in public and put other people down. Sarah Palin: redefining "Christianity".

House Republicans are "throwing each other under the bus!"

In his egocentric rush to get on camera, Mike Pence threw the rest of the Conference under the bus, specifically Paul Ryan, whose staff has been working night and day for weeks to develop a substantive budget plan ... I hope his camera time was gratifying enough to justify erasing the weeks of hard work by dozens of Republicans to put forth serious ideas.

(Hey, I'd post it under Ann's post critical of Republicans, but............)

Nichevo said...

Or rather: There's your hopey-changey special lightworking super-smart non-Bush guy for you, garage.

I daresay it is more likely the stoners forgot who they elected, lol.

How can I not laugh? That's all that's left after, y'know, He Won. (I would say, "You Won," but is that really so?)

tim maguire said...

Great observation, garage mahal. Of course Obama isn't going to legalize pot. That would take courage, foresight, a determination to do the right thing on a controversial issue. But I missed the unique question angle and that may be the best part of the whole thing.

Sofa King said...

AL, if this blog does not have the topics you want to comment on, then may I suggest you comment elsewhere. Blatant threadjacking like you are trying to do is rude to both the host and the commenters. And I think you know that.

commenter said...

here was the equation for tobacco plant in the 1400s on this continent:

plant + spirit + proper usage which takes mental capacity = medicine and/ or vision seeking

then came the government/church back culture and took it back to Europe. Economy entered into that equation. Did it steal from the plant or the spirit or the mental capacity? Did it produce the same results?

Now you have your marijuana questions and since i dont use the stuff i know nothing of the plants spirit or the mental capacity of those that do. Nor the values of the sum of those parts.

However, if you enter government overseer and the economy into the equation what do cannabis consumers think they will get in the end?

garage mahal said...

Or rather: There's your hopey-changey special lightworking super-smart non-Bush guy for you, garage.

He wasn't my first choice and I never really thought he would do anything that took balls and imagination to do. Just seeing it in action is pretty infuriating though, I will admit. Infuriating because he's smoked plenty of it himself, and infuriating because he laughed off a deadly serious issue when you consider simple decriminalization measures would reduce people getting killed and imprisoned for consumption of something that grows naturally in fucking ditch.

blake said...

I'm sorry, garage: How would ending prohibition be "lefty"? Communist countries--and most socialist countries for that matter--have prohibition.

Our own prohibitions parallel our experiments with socialism, or so it seems to me.

Paul said...

That's right Blake, it's a libertarian position and Obama is probably only slightly more libertarian than PolPot.

garage mahal said...

I don't believe being a lefty or liberal equates to socialism or communism. Certainly not the crowd running things.

AllenS said...

Doesn't this say something about Obama supporters?

commenter said...

this is off topic, but a lib'tarian position is good for people who can think. For people not used to thinking it might tend to be profitable for lawyers to decipher a few laws for the many.

If lawyers were as cheap and ethical to employ and educate as let's say plumbers(?), or maybe like local farmers(?), uh er like housewives(?), well whoever. I would vote for a lib'tarean.

blake said...

I don't believe being a lefty or liberal equates to socialism or communism. Certainly not the crowd running things.

They're certainly socialists, but then the right has demonstrated the same thing under W. It's all a gradient to the same destination.

It's not liberal, of course: A (classical) liberal would say people are free to pursue happiness as they see fit, however wrong the state might see it.

I'd like to see a third party composed of people on the "left" and the "right" who could agree that, for the most part, the government should leave people alone.

John Stodder said...

His secretary of state is in Mexico right now, and she walked right up to the threshold, saying that the horrific violence in Mexico is a result of the U.S. demand for drugs.

But instead of drawing the correct lesson from alcohol prohibition, she starts talking crazily about how Americans ought to just stop using illicit drugs -- something she knows will never happen. So what she's really doing is throwing up her hands and saying, "deal with it Mexico."

Infuriating because he's smoked plenty of it himself...

What's especially infuriating is that he is now in charge of a justice system that is imprisoning people for years for doing the exact same thing he (and his two predecessors) did. Why is he flying around on AF 1 while Schmarak Schmobama is in a cell somewhere? Sheer luck.

So, no, I don't think you have to be high to think Obama might legalize at least marijuana. Senseless public policy certainly persists, but the contradictions are just exploding now.

blake said...

That would take courage, JS. I think he'll neglect the drug busts without changing anything.

I don't know why the Dems don't do these things--well, I guess I do: For the same reason the Reps don't.

If it reduces government power, they're not interested.

Lawgiver said...


I agree with you. 7000 people killed within the past year in the drug wars on the Mexican border. Obama and Hillary preen and explain, well, it's America's fault so we'll send you 3 helicopters, some bullet-proof vests and about 400 more people to help police the border. Ridiculous.

Whatever you think about legalization the indisputable fact is that what we have been doing to stop drug smuggling and usage for the last 40 years is not working. Billions of dollars wasted and tens of thousands killed. Try something new, anything. How about a little hope and change Mr President?

TMink said...

Great post garage. We agree.

Lots of conservatives support the repeal of prohibition. Buckley did, I do, others here do. It is logical.

Sadly, this is one hope I held out for the Obama administration getting right.


dbp said...

Put me down as a conservative non-user of marijuana who thinks it should be legalized.

I don't think Obama will do this even though, it is my guess, he knows it is a good idea. It would take political courage and he hasn't any.

chuck b. said...

It's hard to imagine it ever being legal (again). Yeah, so I have no imagination. We'll be spending millions, billions of dollars every year that we apparently don't have trying to stamp it out, forever. And failing. Awesome!

Meanwhile, I see Pamela Anderson is back in blog ads. A sign of the economy rebounding?

Franco said...

Chalk me up as another conservative for decriminalization. It is problematic though. Certainly it is too much for Obama who wants to control as much as possible; the more laws that make Americans criminals the better for him.

MayBee said...

Ann Althouse- Kaus has a post about journolist you'll want to see.

Alex said...

It seems that the Republicans + Democrats are united for the perpetual "war on drugs". That's pretty amazing.

BJM said...

Legalization sounds if it would be the solution, but it's rife with problems. Which drugs do you legalize? If not all then the drug trade will still traffic in those that are not.

How does the US or states get the drugs? Refine or prepare them? Dispense them? How do users pay for them? Serious users have no money. Dope vouchers?

Wouldn't that create incentives to smuggle legal, ergo cheap or free drugs for profit outbound?

Booze is legal and easily obtained, but lots of people make their own wine, beer and liquor. Would the ATF license home made or grown drugs?

What about prescription drug? Won't little Timmy still cage Mom's downers or sell his ADD drugs?

Then there's the public safety issue, how do we keep stoners off the roads?

What about users medical costs? They would surely skyrocket.

There's really no easy solution as it's such a complex issue. Americans love our drugs, that's why drugstores are now the size of hangers. We may have missed the window of opportunity to legalize weed in the 60's.

Although I think California will try legalizing and taxing weed soon.

cardeblu said...

Decriminalization of pot -- yes. Legalization -- oh, I don't know. One problem with that, along with the taxation, is that they would regulate the potency and quality of it, much like they do with alcohol.

Just think of it, you could get stuck with something like Mexican dirt weed instead of the piney/skunky, Humboldt County or BC buds. One saving grace would be that the MxDW at least wouldn't have that lovely, "piquant" flavor from being smuggled in empty ammonia tankers.

My feeling is that it is just a freakin' plant like any other herb. It doesn't have to be refined or have anything else done with it to be used--other than drying, and even that's optional.

Note: I am not, nor have I ever been a member of NORML, but I think their spamming his site with those questions is hilarious.

Palladian said...

I hate marijuana. I hate people who are high on marijuana. I dislike people who are so uncreative and unenlightened that they seek their release in drugs. Yet our drug policy is hypocritical, nonsensical, especially as it applies to marijuana. If we allow tobacco and alcohol to be consumed, with restrictions, then why not marijuana?

Eli Blake said...

Wow. Palladian and I agree on something. Sound the alarm.

I used marijuana in college, and think it is really stupid to use.

But in America, shouldn't adults have the right to be stupid?

Besides, the RICOH statutes have really distorted the priorities of our law enforcement. Just as an example, I live near a well traveled stretch of I-40. I noticed that the police almost always set up speed traps along the eastbound, not the westbound lanes. I asked a friend who is a cop about it one day and he told me that the eastbound lanes are a major drug smuggling route and anytime they make a big drug bust they get a big boost to their budget (which is otherwise being pinched.)

Now, the result of this is (especially if you are a local) you know you can get away with speeding a lot more in the westbound lanes. And not so long ago there was a terrible accident in the westbound lanes where a family of four was killed when their car left the highway going in excess of 100 mph.

Not saying if the RICOH statute wasn't in place that there still wouldn't be speeding in the westbound lanes or that that accident wouldn't still have happened but I am saying that I believe that (as a person who drives regularly in both directions on I-40) my risk of death is raised directly by the distortion of law enforcement caused by the RICOH statues and the fact that pot is still illegal.

Paul said...

I hate alcohol. I hate people who are high on alcohol. I dislike people who are so uncreative and unenlightened that they seek their release in drugs like alcohol.

Well, not really.

I don't drink or use any drugs except copious amounts of caffeine but I think anyone who uses alcohol but "hates" someone for smoking pot is a fool. Alcohol is far more destructive, that's clear, but people should be allowed to chose their own poison as long as they don't climb in a car and kill someone.

blake said...

BJM, you're seriously overthinking it.

What if the government just didn't care? How would these drugs get made, distributed and sold? Just like any other product.

The same can (and should) be done with alcohol and tobacco (and firearms).

There's a direct line from the government telling you what sort of intoxicants you can use to what sort of foods you can eat and where you can smoke, etc.

(This coming from a guy who doesn't take aspirin.)

Shanna said...

Infuriating because he's smoked plenty of it himself, and infuriating because he laughed off a deadly serious issue when you consider simple decriminalization measures would reduce people getting killed and imprisoned for consumption of something that grows naturally in fucking ditch.

Damn straight. Especially frustrating because this is one area with some conservative or libertarian/democratic crossover. I’m not sure what the polls say, but I bet there are a lot of people who would be happy with decriminalization of mj. Or at the very least, it could be punishable only by fine or something.

I'd like to see a third party composed of people on the "left" and the "right" who could agree that, for the most part, the government should leave people alone.

I think there is room for that somewhere. I think there are people who are voting dem and holding their nose on fiscal issues and people voting rep and holding their nose on social issues.

Sofa King said...

I think it's possible that Obama has an even stronger obligation to do something about the decriminalization of marijuana than any other president due to the "historic nature" of his presidency and the blatantly racist origin of those laws.

blake said...


Well, by that standard, he'd have to start crusading against gun control, too, and that ain't happening.

Fen said...

Legalization sounds if it would be the solution, but it's rife with problems

My issue is with DUI testing. If someone is driving under the influence of alchohol, you can test them at the scene. But how can you tell if the dopehead is driving under the influence, did he toke up last night or just before the wreck? Can they test that accurately yet?

blake said...


Well, I think the current situation shows the problem with testing people to see if they're impaired: It doesn't actually test that.

Instead, predictably, the law focuses on an arbitrary standard which (at least according to the people I know who drink) is ridiculously low.

My problem with this is that I know there are people out there who are better drivers with a buzz on than some who are stone cold sober. I've never been hit by a drunk guy, but some days it's all I can do to avoid the old folks (and I've been hit by old folks a lot).

Here, I think the libertarian solution would also be somewhat draconian: If we take the viewpoint of "the state doesn't care" then DUI wouldn't be a crime, but impairment wouldn't be an excuse either. That is, drive while drunk (or with any significant impairment) and cause harm, you're just as liable as if you'd set out to cause that harm directly. said...

Though I respect Obama and despite the fact that I understand he has reasons to play down a divisive issue like “immoral” drug use, I think he should be held responsible to use the same meaningful insight and common sense honesty that he has brought to other issues to that of America’s drug war. During Obama’s inauguration he chose to highlight the Presidency of Abraham Lincoln a President that led the country through one of its most divisive times. The civil war is remarkable because it pitted brother against brother and displayed to history the inhumane brutality that Americans are capable of inflicting on one another when they fall on opposing sides of a powerful ideology. There are many similarities between the war on drugs and that “civil” war of old. With the war on drugs American is once again pitted American in a battle wrought with divisiveness, bloodshed and human suffering. It is time we exercise our collective control of government and write, email or call a representative and make the drug war an issue to be dealt with now rather than a lingering pain to be laughed off and prolonged as long as it is politically prudent to do so.