January 26th, 2011 By: Russ Belville, NORML Outreach Coordinator
Dear President Obama,
Once again you have asked us about changing American policy and the direction this country should take. Your “Ask Obama” forum sponsored by YouTube promises to take questions from the American people on the issues they find most important in terms of national policy.
When you did this in 2010 you heard from us loud and clear aboutmarijuana law reform. We asked about re-scheduling cannabis to allow medical marijuana to flourish, decriminalizing marijuana to end thousands of arrests, legalizing pot to raise tax revenue, ending prohibition to cripple Mexican drug traffickers, regulating cannabis to keep it out of kids’ hands, reforming drug laws to re-prioritize police resources, embracing industrial hemp as a truly green energy source, and using science, not politics, to dictate our drug policy.
And you flat-out ignored us, despite those questions dominating in both quantity and popularity.
When you did this in 2009 you got the same response from the public. That time you didn’t ignore us; you just laughed at us (see:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLFmGu57jLI).
We know you’re a busy man and there are many pressing issues facing this country. So we took the time to review the Top 100 questions on the “Ask Obama” site just now and condense each one into a few words so you could get an idea what the country is voting on.
Understand that this is not the list that appears when one clicks on the site. This list is compiled by choosing “All Questions” and then choosing “Sorted by popularity”. When one first visits the site, one of seven random topics including Jobs & Economy, Foreign Policy & National Security, Health Care, Education, Immigration, Energy and Environment, and Other, is presented in “Sorted by what’s hot” order, so it isn’t as if a certain topic becomes popular and then gets more popular because more random visitors are exposed to it.
So here they are, out of 97,344 people who have submitted 77,551 questions and cast 826,973 votes, these are the Top 100 Questions(as of Tuesday, 10pm Pacific). I’ve taken the liberty of color-coding questions about the Drug War in white, questions about you ignoring our questions about the Drug War in yellow, and questions that are not about the Drug War in red.
Wait, make that the Top 101 Questions, so I can have at least one red question… Click the graphic above to read the full-sized version… or continue reading for all the questions…