Barack Obama's YouTube Q&A session starts at 2:30 this afternoon! Which submitted questions will he answer? Because among the top 200 questions as voted by users, only two aren't about the war on drugs or marijuana prohibition.
The Huffington Post's Ryan Grim, who sifted through those top 200 questions, hears from the White House that "the president on Thursday will answer whatever questions YouTube puts before him." Meaning, YouTube will do the dirty work of culling all of these drug questions into something nice 'n' fluffy.
As a police officer, I saw how waging the war on drugs has cost a trillion dollars and thousands of lives but does nothing to reduce drug use. Should we discuss legalizing marijuana and other drugs, which would eliminate the violent criminal market?
This is a fine question that Obama won't come anywhere near answering directly. But when he gets whichever drug policy question YouTube selects, he should at least try not to insult the questioners. The last time he held one of these "online town halls" in 2009, most of the top questions were about drugs, too. Here's how he addressed it:
"Can I just interrupt, Jared, before you ask the next question, just to say that we — we took votes about which questions were going to be asked and I think 3 million people voted," he said to aide Jared Bernstein. "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 — (laughter) — and job creation. And I don't know what this says about the online audience — (laughter) — but I just want — I don't want people to think that — this was a fairly popular question; we want to make sure that it was answered. The answer is, no, I don't think that is a good strategy — (laughter) — to grow our economy in 2009."
Ouch. As long as he doesn't laugh this time about how all the people who took an interest in his forum are stupid stoner hippies, it would be an improvement.
[Image via AP]