PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET  1:00 pm March 26, 2009

Obama Responds To Online Pot Army As Dismissively As Possible

by Jim Newell

Barry Obama promised to answer the most popular user-submitted Internet questions during his ongoing “Online Town Hall” today, which is simply a feed of a regular real-life town hall — NO ROBOTS AT ALL. Anyway, since all anyone on the Internet wanted to know was whether he would let them smoke marijuana without getting arrested, he had to respond in some kind of dismissive, rapid, jokey way — because marijuana is so awkward and wacky, fucking stoners, ha ha ha! — and that’s precisely what he did. Good to know that he takes these gimmicky online ideas so seriously.

(“JARED” is of course his tElEpRoMpTer’s name.)

Can I just interrupt, Jared, before you ask the next question, just to say that, you know, we — we took — we took votes about which questions were going to be asked, and I think 3 million people voted or 3.5 million people voted. 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 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 to grow our economy. So — all right…

Everyone likes to make basic hippie cracks, sure, but that doesn’t mean Obama should be an asshole on national primetime Internet.

At least he hasn’t made any jokes about retarded kids yet.

Obama Jokes About Pot-Brained Online Audience [Marc Ambinder]

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Dave J. March 26, 2009 at 1:03 pm

The answer is, no, I don’t think that is a good strategy to grow our economy.

Oh, come on! “Grow our economy”??? The man is responding in CODE, people! Translation: blaze away!

P Drizzle March 26, 2009 at 1:06 pm

I want my donation back goddammit. That $50 victory postcard was too thick to double as a rolling paper.

Dreamer March 26, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Why can’t we be like Canada? Former Canadian Minister of Health Allen Rock was once asked (he was a minister at the time) in a chat show if he ever used Marijuana and he said: well, I never used it for medicinal purposes. He did not lose his job, no one debated it for days

Monsieur Grumpe March 26, 2009 at 1:08 pm

I wanted to ask when he’s going to change the tax laws so I can deduct the voices in my head as dependants.

4tehlulz March 26, 2009 at 1:08 pm

I wonder if the stoner set would sing a different tune when ADM holds a monopoly on the reefer crop.

hockeymom March 26, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Duuude is seriously harshing my buzz.
And whatnot.

liquiddaddy March 26, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Uh…what was I saying?

Tommy Says Soooo, Jugdish! March 26, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Hahahaha, potheads, the Unicorn never arrives, does it?

shanemacgowan March 26, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Since potato chip manufacturers and 7-11′s seem to be thriving even without legal weed, there seems to be no point to this strategy.

Dreamer March 26, 2009 at 1:10 pm

Why is Hopey stealing Biden’s staff? Isn’t this Jared character, Binden’s Economic Policy Advisor?

Gin-o-saurus March 26, 2009 at 1:10 pm

Ok, Ok, we can’t smoke the dope. That sucks Mr. president, but with you having all that hope and change and such going on, Im going to accept your response.

But what about legalizing skiing ? Surely, as a enterprising chicagoan you must know the potential economic windfall in tax revenues. This needs to become a priority, Geithner’s a wallstreet guy … Im sure he’s been telling you the same thing.

Come here a minute March 26, 2009 at 1:11 pm

He weaseled out of the question by talking about whether it will help the economy — leaving aside whether it will reduce crime or improve the Mexican drug war problem. At least he didn’t joke about that.

Colander March 26, 2009 at 1:11 pm

[re=273948]Dreamer[/re]: We could technically be at a point where Obamzy might get away with fighting for stoner rights, but that’s like gay rights, and that fringe crap has to wait until he’s got FOUR MOAR YEARS outta the way.

But I don’t see this happening. Maybe when Sir Hillary is in there.

randomsausage March 26, 2009 at 1:11 pm

I wonder who supplies Barry’s shit?

magic titty March 26, 2009 at 1:12 pm

Weed will cease being ‘fun’ and ‘cool’ and ‘hip’ the day it becomes ‘legal’.
It’s better this way, potheads.

comradepaulson March 26, 2009 at 1:14 pm

He couldn’t have snuck a “Dave’s not here” into his response? Jack-ass.

Mustang March 26, 2009 at 1:17 pm

Mr. Hand: Am I hallucinating here? Just what in the hell do you think you’re doing?
Jeff Spicoli: Asking the president about shit, and having some food.

Dreamer March 26, 2009 at 1:17 pm

[re=273959]Colander[/re]: I bet majority of American’s would not mind if marijuana was legalized, so why are we hostage to the will of an ignorant fringe?

P Drizzle March 26, 2009 at 1:17 pm

[re=273953]Tommy Says Soooo, Jugdish![/re]: Don’t harsh my Hope buzz dude. Give it a decade and then its legal, overpriced, industrial Mexican-quality weed for everyone!

ph7 March 26, 2009 at 1:18 pm

Help the economy?!?!?!

Barry needs to appoint the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers as Secretaries of Depression Philosophy: “Grass will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no grass.”

Lascauxcaveman March 26, 2009 at 1:18 pm

[re=273957]Gin-o-saurus[/re]: OMG, I took my kids skiing last weekend. Are you saying I’m engaging them in illegal activities?

Maybe the courts will be lenient, as we were partaking at a little homegrown operation.

Tommmcatt March 26, 2009 at 1:23 pm

To be clear, Mr. President, and with all due respect, you can have my bong and primo pussycat hybrid when you pry it from my dead, cold, motherfucking hands.

Grow the economy my ass.

NoWireHangers March 26, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Now the mothers of stoners are going to call local radio station, sobbing in agony.

shortsshortsshorts March 26, 2009 at 1:29 pm


Accordion-o-rama March 26, 2009 at 1:31 pm

As much as I support drug reform, Barry’s right. His support of legalization would raise such a sh*tstorm from the right that all other economic action would get hopelessly bogged down. The most he can accomplish during his term in to tone down the idiotic, inflammatory rhetoric we’ve had to put up with since Reagan, in hopes that public support for sane drug policy will eventually emerge. And that he is doing.

NoWireHangers March 26, 2009 at 1:32 pm

I take offense to this stereotypical representation of “The Stoner” as a confused, forgetful, loser who is jobless, unshowered, and always hungry. We are not all just Cheeches and Chongs and bongs and Guy/Girl on the Couch types. We’re not all dreadlocked hackey sack tie dye Dead Phish fans. Some of us have the glaucoma! Why, some of the greatest minds of multiple generations smoked the reefer! It’s non-addictive! As Bob Saget would say, “You ever suck some dick for marijuana?” Why you be insultin’ Mary Jane, Barry? We’re not some freak political niche group like religious conservatives or furries.

Zadig March 26, 2009 at 1:33 pm

Honestly, and I am all in favor of legalization (and regulation), I think it’s a good thing that he dealt with it this way. There are like a hojillion other things on the plate right now, and bringing up marijuana legalization right now would only be a distraction and a weapon against him.

NoWireHangers March 26, 2009 at 1:35 pm

[re=273982]Accordion-o-rama[/re]: Yes, you are right. I guess I can focus on the positives, because at least the feds stopped raiding the dispensaries in states where pot is legal. That was huge.

d4g33z March 26, 2009 at 1:36 pm

I hate it when I rollover a photo and nothing funny pops up. Time to spark one up…

tunamelt March 26, 2009 at 1:38 pm

So was this the Ron Paul faction or the Wonkette Troll Army that got this on the question list?

teebob2000 March 26, 2009 at 1:39 pm

He just can’t call it yet, though — clearly — he’d blown a fat blunt before the 60 Minutes interview so you know which way he’ll eventually go.

teebob2000 March 26, 2009 at 1:39 pm

[re=273991]d4g33z[/re]: Newell’s lazy that way…

NoWireHangers March 26, 2009 at 1:40 pm


problemwithcaring March 26, 2009 at 1:40 pm

[re=273961]magic titty[/re]: I feel you on that. But the gubment tells me that every time I blaze a joint, a Mexican eats a baby.

sati demise March 26, 2009 at 1:42 pm

[re=273969]Dreamer[/re]: Right wing villagers? Corn fed christianists?

Wish Barry would get the WHOLE discussion out some why drugs are better treated as a ‘medical’ problem rather than a ‘criminal’ problem. He is dodging this issue. And the costs of the border drug war in the US and Mexico.

Would he rather give money to doctors or prison guards?

Police shoot unarmed student over a couple spoonfuls of marijuana:

P Drizzle March 26, 2009 at 1:42 pm

[re=273984]NoWireHangers[/re]: I know, right? My joblessness has nothing to do with a certain horticultural propensity.

Sadly this is one of the things Barry just has to say even though he doesn’t believe it. Kinda like giving no props to the married gayz. I just wish his teleprompter had told him to wink at me through the screen cause then I would know we’re cool.

tunamelt March 26, 2009 at 1:44 pm

You can smoke raisins, you know.

Gin-o-saurus March 26, 2009 at 1:47 pm

[re=273973]Lascauxcaveman[/re]: You’re already preparing them for a career in finance, I love it !

problemwithcaring March 26, 2009 at 1:48 pm

[re=273984]NoWireHangers[/re]: Yea! Everything you said! (Except for the forgetful part. I am 27 years old, have been at my job for three weeks and keep spacing on the name. And the smoke breaks during lunch aren’t helping.)

4tehlulz March 26, 2009 at 1:48 pm

The problem here is that marijuana suffers from a perception problem; perhaps if Tim Geithner pushed to call it “Legacy Leaves,” this would help get things moving on this front.

Hooray For Anything March 26, 2009 at 1:49 pm

Fret not, stoners. The administration has already said that they’re not going to prosecute people for medicinal marijuana and considering how easy it is to get a medicinal marijuana card in San Francisco (doctors who’ll prescribe it actually advertise in the alt weeklies and on telephone poles), it’ll almost be like it’s legal.

El Pinche March 26, 2009 at 1:50 pm

[re=273969]Dreamer[/re]: You can bet most of the ignorant fringe is made up of gun loving, christian, tobacco supporting republicans. Have thumpers really thought this out yet (well, we know that answer)?

Altria Group Inc, R. J. Reynolds, would most likely be the first adopters. Most of McCain’s former campaign aides would become lucrative ganja lobbyists. WAKE UP SHEEPLE!! COLLIE IS THE NEW GOLD STANDARD!!11!!

El Pinche March 26, 2009 at 1:52 pm

[re=274022]Hooray For Anything[/re]: I’ve been trying for years to convince my doctor that I have glaucoma. there’s got to be a better way.

sati demise March 26, 2009 at 1:53 pm

[re=274022]Hooray For Anything[/re]: yea, well Arizona had medical marijuana for a year, and then they didn’t.
Almost legal to illegal again-overnight!

sati demise March 26, 2009 at 1:55 pm

[re=274021]4tehlulz[/re]: “Legacy ‘buds’” is better…..

imissopus March 26, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Legalization is going to be a state-by-state issue. If California legalizes it (and at this point that’s maybe the only reason I’m sticking around) and it’s a boon to the economy and our tax revenues AND gets the Mexican cartels to quit putting grow farms and armed migrant workers in the national forests, then maybe other states will take the cue.

Of course I thought gay marriage was here to stay too and look at what we did to that.

NoWireHangers March 26, 2009 at 1:58 pm

[re=274026]El Pinche[/re]: Headaches. Anxiety. Depression. Anorexia. Agoraphobia. For the ladies there’s Menstrual Cramps.

joeybrill March 26, 2009 at 1:58 pm

You will have to wait until the majority of godless hippies turns 65. That’s the way it works.

Tommmcatt March 26, 2009 at 2:02 pm


I hate to break it to you, but you are actually 43 and have been at that job for the past fifteen years.

lazyb March 26, 2009 at 2:03 pm

While it would have been lovely to see him light up and sign off on his new Marijuana Legalization Act, I think it’s still kinda wonderful to have a president laughing and speaking dismissively about marijuana. Didn’t get all pissy and start running on about drug wars and mandatory minimums and gateways and such. It’s was like “marijuana! Cute little potheads, I don’t give a fuck but I’m not legalizing anything!” and that’s a very good start.

Mustang March 26, 2009 at 2:04 pm

[re=273988]Zadig[/re]: The prez says: Look — I know that the nation is in a crisis the likes of which has not been seen in 100 years, but I think the priority is clear. I will make marijuana legal tomorrow, like it or lump it, and then we can all get high and everyone will be rich from selling pot, which rocks.

quoth teh Raven March 26, 2009 at 2:04 pm

[re=274022]Hooray For Anything[/re]: Yeah, except the Feds just raided a dispensary in SF yesterday. Hauling buckets of the beautiful leafy stuff out in droves. Way to go Barry!

Hooray For Anything March 26, 2009 at 2:06 pm

[re=274026]El Pinche[/re]: You could pretty much get a prescription here in San Francisco just for having a bad case of the Mondays. And you don’t need a prescription from your doctor, but just from “a doctor”

chascates March 26, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Pot will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times with no pot.

sarahconnor March 26, 2009 at 2:13 pm

[re=274036]NoWireHangers[/re]: don’t forget morning sickness. weeee!

Zadig March 26, 2009 at 2:16 pm

[re=274043]Mustang[/re]: He will sign the bill, and then roll it up. “Dude, Geithner, man,” he will say, “Dude, your forehead is crazy, haha.”

Agreeing with the Preznit again, I think it really does say something about the people submitting these questions that out of all the shit going down right now, the most popular question was about pot. Not just a realignment of US drug policy, which is actually topical given Mexico and all, but the complete legalization of pot specifically, which will completely revive the US economy, according to High Times.

FlipOffResearch March 26, 2009 at 2:23 pm

I don’t believe legalizing dope on a national basis is the best strategy. I think legalizing it state by state would work the best. Just like the 55 mph speed limit, once a few states upped it other states were pressured to follow suit. Then everybody realized 55 was too slow and they said “fuck that law. Who’s idea was that anyway.”

Politicartoons March 26, 2009 at 2:24 pm

The last three Presidents have experimented with marijuana. When can the rest of us see what it’s like?

Oh sorry, Mr. President. You wanted to talk about the completely unrelated issues of the Mexican border, the deficit, and the fact that kids grow up knowing their society views them as criminals, which might explain why they don’t want to get involved in the Yes We Can movement. Or they do, but then they get laughed at because look–Mexicans with guns!

Man… This could have been a better country if Kucinich’s parents were better looking.

iolanthe March 26, 2009 at 2:32 pm

[re=273990]NoWireHangers[/re]: No they didn’t. A dispensary in the Bay Area was popped just this morning. Hmmm …

sati demise March 26, 2009 at 2:42 pm

[re=274026]El Pinche[/re]: try ‘back pain’ or just ‘pain’, and go to another doctor!

nougatmaster March 26, 2009 at 2:43 pm

Zadig: the kid that knows he’s looking at time while some fat cop shoves his face on a cruiser hood may disagree.

rina March 26, 2009 at 2:54 pm

[re=274095]FlipOffResearch[/re]: Word. I soooo need New York to legalize it. My doctor has already guaranteed me a prescription if and when that happens.

Question to the Californians out there: does your medical marijuana include hash? Just curious.

Lascauxcaveman March 26, 2009 at 2:54 pm

[re=274021]4tehlulz[/re]: I think you mean “Liberty Leaves.” Sounds more patriotic.

“Roll a Freedom Fattie for America today!” April 20 will be our next national holiday. On that great day, I will join the mellow masses. In line at the local Jack In The Box.

sati demise March 26, 2009 at 3:01 pm

[re=273969]Dreamer[/re]: Rush Limpballs? teh oxycontin is fine but devil weed will send you straight to hell.

Zadig March 26, 2009 at 3:13 pm

[re=274134]nougatmaster[/re]: I hate to sound callous, but really? Tough shit. I honestly do want the War on Drugs re-evaluated, and marijuana legalized, but it’s a case of what’s really pressing right now. I’d argue that the new tent villages (George Towns) springing up across the country are a bigger deal. Or maybe the credit crisis, or the energy crisis, or health care or education.

But, you know what? Let’s set all that on the back burner so we can legalize marijuana, which wouldn’t benefit your rhetorical kid even if the legislation passed tomorrow, because that doesn’t change the fact that he was caught breaking the law. And it wouldn’t pass tomorrow. If Obama had answered differently today, there would be a fight that would drag out beyond 2012.

Let’s be clear here: whatever argument you may make about the justice of the drug war, if you get caught partaking of an illegal recreational drug, you ARE a criminal, and the law will punish you for it. This fact advertised pretty heavily from middle school onward. That this kid knowingly broke the law and thinks that receiving the attendant punishment for it is unfair, he gets zero sympathy from me.

assistant/atlas March 26, 2009 at 3:14 pm

[re=273948]Dreamer[/re]: This is yet another indication that Canada is some weird future version of the US where everyone is nice and happy and has health care.

[re=273961]magic titty[/re]: Fuck cool. My broke-ass state could use the massive amounts of green–the tax revenue cash, that is.

Mobilize to Legalize, people. We Need the Green. (your first two slogans are free, potheads!)

CorkPopper March 26, 2009 at 3:24 pm

And he STILL won’t answer the question about Starbuck on BSG. WHAT IS HE HIDING???

Zadig March 26, 2009 at 3:32 pm

[re=274181]Zadig[/re]: Damn, that still sounds mean and curmudgeonly as hell. Just to clarify, I don’t hate potheads, and I think the legal status of pot is butt-fuckin’ stupid. And I don’t think that people who smoke pot deserve to go to jail. But I do think that people who bitch about receiving consequences for illegal actions they take voluntarily are about as worthy of sympathy as the CDS traders that were fine with risks until they bit them in the ass.

Zadig March 26, 2009 at 3:33 pm

[re=274191]CorkPopper[/re]: He’s worried that we’ll find out Michelle is the last Cylon.

Capricatony March 26, 2009 at 3:38 pm

They should have phrased it thus: “Mr. President, as the rare black pothead never to be arrested for it, do you think weed has impaired your ability to succeed in life?”

problemwithcaring March 26, 2009 at 3:54 pm

[re=274199]Zadig[/re]: RE: people who bitch about receiving consequences for illegal actions…

Thanks you. Finally someone with courage enough to take on whine-and-cheesers like of Rosa Parks and Ghandi…

chascates March 26, 2009 at 3:57 pm
CorkPopper March 26, 2009 at 3:57 pm

[re=274203]Zadig[/re]: That would explain the biceps, then.

CorkPopper March 26, 2009 at 4:01 pm

[re=274218]problemwithcaring[/re]: Number one, Rosa and Ghandi didn’t bitch. Number two, oh SURE those potheads are fighting oppression, they’re total heroes, they are.

I don’t have a problem with pot smokers, being an occasional toker myself, but puh-lease.

mullingitover March 26, 2009 at 4:07 pm

Uh, stoners?

You do realize that, illegal, weed is worth somewhere in the neighborhood of…ITS WEIGHT IN GOLD?!

You also realize that, legal, weed is worth its weight in oregano?

Do you then also realize that legalizing weed will destroy AT LEAST as much wealth as the current economic clusterfuck?

Thank Obama for not making matters worse. California has a nice balance, we should adopt their ‘legal but still totally illegal!’ model nationwide to allow everyone to be sorta-criminals and allow weed to keep its absurdly astronomical value. For the good of humanity.

Spiderfrommars March 26, 2009 at 4:08 pm

[re=274011]tunamelt[/re]: AND banana peels.

Capricatony March 26, 2009 at 4:15 pm

[re=274236]mullingitover[/re]: I don’t see a problem with making weed just another ingredient in lasagna.

Atheist Nun March 26, 2009 at 4:43 pm

This is the correct drug-hazed Masterplan: [re=274236]mullingitover[/re]:
Don’t upset the balance in The Force.

Zadig March 26, 2009 at 4:44 pm

[re=274227]CorkPopper[/re]: Shit, when Thoreau went to jail for his Civil Disobedience dealie, he went GLADLY, and was really fucking embarrassed when his aunt showed up and bailed his ass out and paid his back taxes.

problemwithcaring March 26, 2009 at 4:44 pm

[re=274227]CorkPopper[/re]: Hey just cause I smoke blunts in a park and post comments on the White House website to make my case, instead staging elaborate public protest – you think I have less moral standing than Gandhi? Puh-lease!

arclight March 26, 2009 at 4:48 pm

I would be much happier if we could drink at the workplace. Yeeeeah Gin & Tonics will reviewing the QA Test Plan! Boo ya, motherfuckers! And if the Project Manager wants to light one up, who am I to say no? Puff, puff, give! Just like they do in those Cabinet meetings talking about how they’re going to make abortions mandatory for all 13-year-old girls!

sati demise March 26, 2009 at 5:02 pm

[re=274199]Zadig[/re]: CDS traders bit all of us taxpayers in the ass.
Someone smoking American grown weed bites no one.

Zadig March 26, 2009 at 5:13 pm

[re=274356]sati demise[/re]: maybe a flawed example, but the point was taking risks that you aren’t prepared to go bad on you.

tiedupinabrooklynbasement March 26, 2009 at 6:12 pm

That shit really pisses me off! I thought O was down with saving treez. What up Prez. Why is it that you preach all…hold on..I dropped the blunt…shit..

mdingo98 March 26, 2009 at 6:22 pm

yeah ur right.

mdingo98 March 26, 2009 at 6:27 pm

[re=273982]Accordion-o-rama[/re]: what he said

bonghitsforjesus March 26, 2009 at 6:37 pm

[re=274099]Politicartoons[/re]: FTW: Man… This could have been a better country if Kucinich’s parents were better looking.

iolanthe March 26, 2009 at 6:46 pm

[re=274150]rina[/re]: Yes, here in Cali medical marijuana includes hashish.

The dispensary with which I am most familiar sells hashish, cannabis soft drinks, cannabis candy, cannabis baked (snicker) goods, cannabis-infused cooking oil and butter, and yes, cannabis lasagna, etc. etc.

A couple of generations ago, I enjoyed it frequently and recreationally, like nearly everyone my age.

During that time, I found that it was the only thing around that was even better than Midol for what is euphemistically called “female trouble.”

Imagine my delight in 1996 when I found I could semi-legally obtain it for that purpose. Turns out it also stops four-alarm migraines dead. I used to have about one ER-worthy migraine per month (related, apparently to the Female Trouble.) Sometimes taking 3 or 4 Imitrex (at $50/pill) wouldn’t even slow the headache down, and someone would have to drive my whimpering puking ass to the ER for a shot of Percodan … which always knocked me silly, but often didn’t help the headache.

Today, one good brownie stops 95% of the headaches.

For the other 5%, the ones that used to make me cry and vomit, one brownie plus one Imitrex has me feeling right as rain within about a half-hour, and I’m far *less* impaired than on the Percodan.

It needs to be legal.
Or, if not legal, at *least* not Schedule One.

arclight March 26, 2009 at 7:11 pm

[re=274467]bonghitsforjesus[/re]: Awww but look at that ass he gets to tap now! DAYUM!!!!!

waldenasta March 28, 2009 at 10:20 am

Criminalizing weed is like when the US tried Prohibition. People want to smoke some weed, just like people wanted to have a few drinks. Mr. Hillary hit the nail right on the head when he said that Americans have an “insatiable appetite for illegal drugs”. The fucked up part is that the drug companies and their lobbyist don’t give a shit about the country. They don’t want you taking your drug, they want you taking their drug. Drug laws of god awful anyway, after all a person could get more time for getting caught with drugs than for murder. Are we living in a fucking bizarro world??

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