Obama Town Hall: Response to 3.5 million votes on Marijuana

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

Following up on my previous article Obama Town Hall: What’s Really On People’s Minds?…MARIJUANA, President Barack Obama pledged to open up the White House to the American people...well, sort of!

Of the 3.5 million people that voted, “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,” he laughed.

Some people didn’t find this funny? The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) prepared their own heated response titled  “What Is So Funny About Taxing And Regulating Marijuana?” The audience didn’t have to laugh, and NORML shared their 2 cents on the matter. Their article ends on a witty note: “Sorry Obama, this time the joke’s on you.

It seems major publishes have picked up on this topic as well:

  1. Huffington Post: Obama Takes Pot Legalization Question During Townhall (VIDEO).
  2. Christian Science Monitor: For Obama, an online do-over of Tuesday’s press conference
  3. Fast Company: The Banality of Obama’s “Cutting-Edge” Web Event
  4. The Associated Press: AP Top News at 3:29 p.m. EDT
  5. US-News: Obama: Marijuana Legalization Not Good For The Economy

Overall I think this online Town Hall approach to getting the people involved is pure genius. This is a small example of how it is a bit controversial, but now adays, what isn’t? I have a feeling this is an issue that won’t go away and I predict that NORML and marijuana supporters will be a bit more prepared for the next Town Hall. I imagine President Obama will have something more to say as well.

Posted under Events, Online Marketing, Online Video, Viral Marketing

Obama Town Hall: What’s Really On People’s Minds?…MARIJUANA

As found on the White House Website, “The White House is open for questions”.

In yet another tech-savvy move by President Obama, WhiteHouse.gov is once again asking the public to pose questions directly to President Obama via its ‘Open For Questions‘ service. The topic of this week’s forum is the national economy. 61,671 people have submitted 64,654 questions and cast 2,456,511 votes, and  the most popular questions for 3 of the 11 categories are all about the Legalization and Taxation of Marijuana. Here are a few examples:

Green Jobs & Energy: “Will you consider decriminalizing the recreational/medical use of marijuana(hemp) so that the government can regulate it, tax it, put age limits on it, and create millions of new jobs and a multi-billion dollar industry right here in the U.S.?”

Financial Stability: “Would you support the bill currently going through the California legislation to legalize and tax marijuana, boosting the economy and reducing drug cartel related violence?”

Jobs: “What are your plans for the failing, “War on Drugs”, thats sucking money from tax payers and putting non-violent people in prison longer than the violent criminals?”

Budget: “With over 1 out of 30 Americans controlled by the penal system, why not legalize, control, and tax marijuana to change the failed war on drugs into a money making, money saving boost to the economy? Do we really need that many victimless criminals?”

The National Organization For The Reform Of Marijuana Laws (NORML) posted an article titled: Obama ‘Open For Questions’ About The Economy — Ask Him To Support Taxing And Regulating Marijuana. They are rallying as much support as possible because “according to website, President Obama will “answer some of the most popular submissions live at WhiteHouse.gov” on Thursday morning. That means that we only have a few more hours left to contact the White House”.

I’m interested to see if this goes through. Even if it’s not weed-related, please take a moment right now to log on the WhiteHouse.gov/OpenForQuestions and vote for the questions above, as well as other topics. NORML wants you to “let the President know that millions of American voters believe that the time has come to tax and regulate marijuana.”

To check out President Obama’s reactions, tune into the online town hall will be at 11:30 AM Eastern, the voting will close at 9:30 AM.

Posted under Events, Online Video