Obama Says ‘No No’ to Marijuana to Grow Economy – State Governments Saying ‘Yes Yes’

March 26, 2009

(ChattahBox)—During a first of its kind online town hall meeting today, held at the White House East Room, President Obama said one of the most popular questions submitted to the White House web site, concerned legalizing marijuana. With a laugh and a chuckle, Obama quipped, “I don’t know what this says about the online audience.” As the audience snickered along with him, Obama proceeded to answer one of the many pot questions: “whether legalizing marijuana would improve the economy and job creation.” To the dismay of many people in this country supporting the decriminalization of marijuana, Obama answered: “…no, I don’t think that is a good strategy to grow our economy.

More than 90,000 people submitted over 104,000 questions, cast more than 3,600,000 votes for the town hall questions, and over 64,000 people watched the event online. Surprisingly, the subject of legalizing pot dominated all of the top question categories. Marijuana issues made up the top four questions both under financial security and the budget, the first and third spots under jobs, and spots one and two under green jobs and energy. Obama said during the town hall event, “this was a fairly popular question, we want to make sure that it was answered.”

Kudos to President Obama for addressing the question, however, this is just the beginning, this issue will not go away, and the public voices grow louder every day for the government to acknowledge the obvious: That the War on Drugs is a colossal failure and the time is now to end the prohibition on the legal sale of marijuana.

The costs to our society are enormous. Thousands of pot smokers are arrested and imprisoned every year in this country, with law enforcement wasting precious resources to chase them down. The black market sale and distribution of pot, causes violent crime, which can easily be done away with in one fell swoop, if pot was legalized, regulated and taxed the same as alcohol.

Advocates of legalization have taken hope from recent announcements by the Justice Department that it will no longer raid California’s medical marijuana distributors, if they are in compliance with state laws.
Recently, the states of California and Massachusetts introduced bills to decriminalize pot and make use of the millions in tax revenue that retail sales would provide for state coffers. Other states are considering more relaxed laws:

•New Jersey – State Sen. Nicholas Scutari, a Democrat, in January introduced a bill that would permit medical use of marijuana. It passed the Senate last month and its prospects are good in the House, Scutari says.

•Illinois – A medical marijuana bill, introduced by state Rep. Lou Lang, a Democrat, is on the floor in both the House and Senate.

•Minnesota – State Sen. Steve Murphy of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party reintroduced a medical marijuana bill this year after its failure last year. It passed a House panel Wednesday, 9-6.

This is not a “druggie” issue, but one that affects all of us and the welfare of our children. Secretary of State Clinton said today that part of the growing problem of the increasing drug violence along the Mexican border is due to our Nation’s huge market for illegal drugs. If pot were decriminalized, many of those problems would no longer be an issue.

As this issue becomes increasingly relevant, especially as states scramble for tax dollars in a time of a painful recession, President Obama will soon have to re-address this issue in a more meaningful way.


7 Responses to “Obama Says ‘No No’ to Marijuana to Grow Economy – State Governments Saying ‘Yes Yes’”

  1. Posts about Steve Jobs as of March 26, 2009 » The Daily Parr on March 27th, 2009 1:42 am

    […] Finished guiding repeat clients the Wartons from Australia down Taupo on the 22nd and drove the 7 Obama Says ‘No No’ to Marijuana to Grow Economy – State Governments Saying ‘Yes Yes’ – chattahbox.com 03/26/2009 (ChattahBox)—During a first of its kind online town hall meeting […]

  2. John on March 27th, 2009 2:06 am


  3. William Schwartz on March 27th, 2009 7:16 am

    Note that Obama did not say he’s against legalization of Marajuana. He said
    “…no, I don’t think that is a good strategy to grow our economy.” To all those, like me, who want to see Marajuana legalized, stop complaining: Obama has more important issues for which he need to spend time and political capital. Give the guy some slack, get your priorities right, smoke a J and get a life.

  4. Charles Farley on March 27th, 2009 4:03 pm

    “Thousands have been arrested”????? Marijuana arrests hit a record 3/4 MILLION per year under Clinton and the Bush administration was more than happy to keep those numbers going. Now it appears we have the Hillary and Obama show on this issue. Hillary blames America’s addicts for Mexico’s problems, as if blame was somehow even a worthy issue of debate. And now Obama looks to be pulling the exact same thing Bill Clinton did with Marijuana, by turning an about face and crapping on his youth base. In 3 more years he can fool them again with the dangling pot leaf and it will work perfectly again!

  5. SunflowerPipes on March 30th, 2009 7:28 pm

    I respect Obama he is a talented politician, President Obama seems to posse’s insightful, reasonable judgment on many issues, although in the case of marijuana prohibition laws I find Obama’s choice to answer with mocking humor to be lacking. Smoking marijuana is an easy thing to laugh about, it seems there is something about being stoned that brings a smile to people’s faces, however marijuana prohibition is not a joke. We should not be making jokes as millions of Americans are arrested for being caught on the wrong side of moral politicking, we should not laugh as we spend over 30 billion dollars a year going after Americans for smoking weed, we should not giggle and poke fun as we watch billions of dollars in tax revenue slip through our fingers each year, and should we not be jolly as thousands of people are murdered by cartels profiting from America’s moral hypocrisy. I believe there are profound latent consequences in prohibition that are not even factored in to our assessments of the effects of illegality, such as how we view the rule of law and the role of law enforcement in the community, the divisiveness between users and non users, the stigma of mental shock of incarceration. I say pot prohibition is no joke it has real costs paid for in real lives. Freedom is achieved in a country by placing responsibility in the hands of the citizen and not by the state legally enforcing morality.

  6. Sue on March 31st, 2009 5:54 am

    Thank you for all the great comments! The prohibition of marijuana is indeed an issue that affects all of us. As Charles Farley said: “Marijuana arrests hit a record 3/4 MILLION per year…” Those imprisoned people, are someone’s children. They are being robbed of the best part of their lives because they got caught smoking a joint.

    Sunflower; Great Comment! You were spot on, “marijuana prohibition is not a joke.” The violent crime its illegal sale causes, affects everyone. The sick patients who need it to ease their chronic pain and are treated like criminals; this also affects all of us. And the states are losing out on precious tax revenue, and this affects all of us as our schools, roads and bridges crumble from lack of funds.

    President Obama cracked a joke referring to online stoners and everyone in the audience chuckled. But this issue is no laughing matter and we all need to keep reminding Obama and other leaders just how serious of an issue marijuana prohibition really is.

  7. Jordan Hauptly on June 15th, 2009 1:03 am

    i really strongly think that legalizing marijuana will greatly improve our economy we just need to set standards like a certain amount at a time i think its safer than alcohol people dont overdose on it. im not a stoner im just putting my opinion out there and saying this is obamas chance to be a great president in fixing this economic crisis.

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