Smile Politely

My vote might be up in smoke

Last week, President Obama continued to break new ground as a world leader when he hosted an “online townhall” in which 3.5 million people voted on which questions they’d like for him to answer. Of all the questions, one in particular was a hot topic: whether or not legalizing — or decriminalizing — marijuana use would be something of a good thing for the nation, both economically and fundamentally.

That our president addressed this was nice; in the past, the mere mention of this might make the more timid elements of our society spew vitriol at its utterance. But what came after reeked of the kind of ignorance and fear that has come to be synonymous with the generally silent and compliant Oval Office, at least in regards to making changes that are vital to the country’s growth.

What happened was this:

Of course he was going to get the laughs on this one; this type of punch line draws easy chuckles whether or not these folks were currently baked or not. That he so vehemently opposed the idea to reserved applause is what really got to me though.

For a country in economic turmoil, it doesn’t seem that Obama has done much thinking about why now might be the time to reconsider his half-baked stance.

We arrested more than 700,000 people last year for smoking or selling weed. We spend almost 44 billion a year incarcerating Americans. One in one hundred are currently serving time. Of these people, almost one million are in jail for non-violent drug crimes. The costs? Right here. That’s your tax dollars at work.

Say, President Obama? I’ve got a couple questions for you too, since I voted and donated to your campaign for two years with the notion that intelligent ideas were not just going to be laughed off.

What’s so funny about enduring black markets during a major recession? Why should our number one cash crop go unregulated and untaxed, creating a black market that simply fuels an already completely lost War on Drugs? Why should we be spending our increasingly valuable economic resources incarcerating people for non-violent crimes? What would be wrong with allowing adults to make adult decisions about what they choose to do with their days and nights?

Until you do a little more thinking, my next vote for you might just hang in the balance.

And I don’t even pull tubes anymore, homie. Just sayin’…

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