Tuesday, March 31, 2009

President Laughs At Supporters

I wasn’t going to do a post today because I have something very special planned for tomorrow (are you as excited as I am?). But this is something I just had to mention. Our president held a “town hall meeting” last week where he answered questions submitted over the internet. And guess what the number one question was. That’s right, the legalization of marijuana.

So the president knew this in advance and had time to prepare an intelligent response to this question, which is clearly important to a large portion of the American public. And how does he respond to this question? With mocking derision. His response:

“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. The answer is no, I don’t think that [is] a good strategy.”

He chuckled as he said it, and his studio audience laughed right along. Ha ha, stupid stoners think the president gives a shit about them. And in the few days since, many have written about our president’s mocking of the very people who played a big role in getting him elected. Not to mention the embarrassing follow-up by his press secretary. So I’ll say no more about that aspect of it. Shame on you, Mr. President!

But in all fairness, the topic of the questions to be addressed was the economic situation. And with the trouble our country is in, does anybody really think that the few billion dollars saved and generated by legalizing marijuana would be any more than a drop in the economic bucket? Hardly. So the president’s response, that legalization would not be an effective strategy to boost our economy, is probably true. Granted, he could have said this without deriding anybody. But his answer alone, taken literally, did not really rule out any future changes in the legal status of marijuana. Just that legalizing it to save the economy would be pointless.

On the other hand, I think the question was not phrased correctly and/or not really answered completely. Because if marijuana were legalized, I would assume that hemp too would be legalized. And that’s a whole different story. Legalizing hemp could indeed go a long way toward fixing what’s wrong with this country. Like reducing our dependence on foreign oil for starters. And I think virtually anyone would admit that our being the only country in the world that forbids the growing of the most valuable crop known to mankind just because it is related to a plant that produces a “dangerous narcotic drug” is beyond ridiculous.

So perhaps if our president had given his answer some serious thought, and not been so flippant in blowing off a serious issue, he might not have come across as so pompous and condescending. Not to mention insulting. So please, Mr. President, next time a large group of your supporters poses a serious question to you about an issue that is very important to them, take them a little more seriously. Maybe if you could ignore the propaganda and the hysteria it produces and inject some of that rational thought you are known for, things could really change. We might even stop trying to cut off our nose to spite our face.

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