Smoke Two Joints in the Morning, Smoke Two More at Night, Legalizing Marijuana is the Number One Suggestion in President Obama’s Virtual Suggestion Box

Ending Marijuana Prohibition

The Register published a story yesterday regarding President-Elect Barak Obama’s experiment with a public suggestion box over at change.gov. Change.gov is a sort of government suggestion box where people can ask questions or offer suggestions to the newly elected President that supposedly he’s going to consider. Users on the site can vote suggestions up or down. And the top suggestion amongst the thousands offered to the new President. Yep, you got it, people wanna get high, legally.

From the Register:

“Obama’s Change.gov site will close down its internet suggestion box today, after a week of taking suggestions and opinions on the new administration’s executive policy from the web public at large. In standard Web 2.0 fashion, users can vote up or down on existing entries — the theory being that the best schemes will rise to top.

Supposedly, the “top ideas” will be presented directly to the new Commander-in-chief in the form of a “Citizen’s Briefing Book” following his inauguration on January 20.

Barring any massive last-minute changes, the tip-top idea will be best summarized by the philosopher/poet Chris Tucker in his cinematic role as Smokey: “I’m gunna get you high today, ’cause it’s Friday; you ain’t got no job…and you ain’t got shit to do.”

There are lots of other interesting ideas that the general public has come up with including suggestions for bullet trains and light rail, ending Govt sponsored abstinence programs, creating a more green country, etc. But top of the list is legalizing pot.

Barack Obama of course is the first President who has admitted that he smoked pot in the past and actually inhaled frequently because “that was the point.”

With the budget woes that are currently facing the country, certainly legalizing marijuana could provide for a windfall of Government revenue. It was largely the need for tax revenues that got the government to end the prohibition against alcohol back after the Great Depression. In an interesting editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle last week the tax benefits of legalizing marijuana were raised once again with the argument being made that the State of California could possibly address our current budget woes by a tax on the popular drug:

“The marijuana crop is valued at $13.8 billion annually – nearly double the value of our vegetable and grape crops combined. Our state is the nation’s top marijuana producer. Indeed, the average annual value of our marijuana crop is more than the combined value of wheat and cotton produced in the entire United States.

According to government surveys, 14.5 million Americans use marijuana at least monthly but both the producers and consumers of this crop escape paying any taxes whatsoever on it. While precise figures are impossible given the illicit nature of the market, it is reasonable to suggest that California could easily collect at least $1.5 billion and maybe as much as $4 billion annually in additional tax revenue, if we took marijuana out of the criminal underground and taxed and regulated it, similar to how handle beer, wine and tobacco.”

It will be interesting what our new President has to say about legalizing marijuana if he has the political gumption to actually broach the subject. Certainly almost 100,000 people on the internet have. One person though who it looks like doesn’t support marijuana legalization is Obama’s pick for Surgeon General, Sanjay Gupta.

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8 comments on “Smoke Two Joints in the Morning, Smoke Two More at Night, Legalizing Marijuana is the Number One Suggestion in President Obama’s Virtual Suggestion Box
  1. I hope this gets to his front desk. It would be good for the economy as well as the amount of arrests and police we waste on such a meaningless plant. I like the new site design Thomas. Looks really good.

  2. It was #1 during the December round of questioning, too – and was summarily dismissed with a one-liner. I’ve been shopping my own Op Ed around about this, and hope we’ll see it soon… the parallels to the Depression and Prohibition make for interesting thinking, too. Thanks for bringing more light to this issue, Thomas…

  3. Michael Fidler says:

    I don’t want to get into this right now, but this is an excellent post so I’ll try to be brief. It’s time to end this prohibition. Marijuana is the #1 cash crop in every single state in the US. And still the majority of it comes from outside the country Most of the high grade stuff is cultivated in Vancouver where it is illegal, but it’s not enforced or punished as harshly as it is here. Mexico is a major supplier of other the lower grades, which floods across our border Obama has spoken about this several time during his campaign, and from what I gather he plans to reform the Drug laws. The main changes he said he would consider would deal with the legalization or decriminalization of Marijuana. If this country wants to really get its shit together, then legalization is one of the smartest ways of doing it. The benefits of legalization for the economy and for society are too long to list here. But, it would be one of the most positive changes this country could ever make.
    BTW, I just subscribed to your blog. You bring up some thoughtful topics and issues which I rarely see discussed on many of the blogs I read. I glad I finally discovered it. I was thinking of posting this on socialmedian and starting a conversation. It would be great to have your input! Let me know if you would be interested.

  4. Plug1 says:

    i dont smoke as much as i used to (read: very rarely), but if i had the option when walking into my corner store — i would walk right past the cigs and beer cooler for a some leafy green.

    it is far less a health risk and i actually enjoy it from time to time. i dont however enjoy the current under-the-radar steps i need to take to procure it.

    with that said, and considering the other agenda items Obama has to face — im not getting my hopes us.

  5. jp says:

    Hmmm let’s see… Economy, Terrorists trying to kill us, etc. This topic being a priority for America is about as foolish as I have seen in years. Figures…

  6. ALFRED SUPINO says:

    AUTO BAILOUT: PRIOR TO READING MY SUGGESTION: GOOGLE, WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR; THE PRESIDENT WAS ON THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO THE NIGHT I STARTED WRITING THIS COMMENT. WHAT I HEARD FROM THE PRESIDENT WAS ENCOURAGING. HE TALKED ABOUT MANY OF MY ROOT CONCERNS, AND THE BASIC PRINCIPALS OF WHAT I SAW ON THE DOCUMENTARY “WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR”. I ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO SEE THIS ENLIGHTENING FILM.
    ALSO: ABOUT 2005 GM MADE THE EV-1, AN ELECTRIC CAR. THERE WAS A LAW ENACTED THEN IN SAN DEAGO, CA. FOR 0 EMISSIONS. THE EV-1 HAD APPROXIMATELY 5 MOVING PARTS AND USED NO PETROLEUM OF ANY KIND. THE CAR LOOKED AND PERFORMED LIKE A NORMAL VEHICLE. ON A FULL CHARGE (PLUGGED IN AT YOUR HOME) IT HAD THE ABILITY TO TRAVEL ABOUT 300 MILES AT 70 MPH, AT AN ACCELERATION RATE OF 0-70 MPH IN ABOUT 6 SECONDS, THE SAME AS ANY V-6 GAS POWERED CAR. THEY PRODUCED AT LEAST A FEW HUNDRED OR MORE, THEY WERE GIVEN TO AVERAGE AMERICANS TO TEST DRIVE AND HEAR THEIR RESPONSE. THE PEOPLE LOVED THE PERFORMANCE AND THE RIDE OF THE EV-1. BUT THERE WAS EVEN MORE GOOD NEWS, IN JUST THE FEW MONTHS WHILE GM WAS TESTING THE EV-1 THE BATTERY POWER SOURCES HAD REACH A WHOLE NEW LEVEL. USING A VOUCHER TO PURCHASE AN ELECTRIC/HYBRID CAR WOULD PUT PEOPLE BACK TO WORK AND FUND THE COMPANY FOR PRODUCING SOMETHING RATHER THAN JUST A HANDOUT. THE AMERICAN TAX PAYER WOULD ACTUALLY RECEIVE SOMETHING FOR THEIR INVESTMENT.
    FURTHER: A COMMITTEE WAS ASSEMBLED TO OVERSEE THE PROGRAM. THE COMMITTEE SUGGESTED A HYDROGEN POWERED VEHICLE WITH A DEVELOPMENT WINDOW 20-30 YEARS OUT. THE EV-1 PROGRAM WAS KILLED AND THE EV-1′S WERE COLLECTED, TAKEN TO A JUNK YARD AND DESTROYED.BY GM. THE POLICE WERE BROUGHT ON-SITE TO CONTROL THE CROWD.
    MOREOVER: IN ABOUT 2003 THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION PUT INCENTIVES IN THE TAX CODE FOR ANY LARGE CARS OR SUV (GAS HOGS) PURCHASED. ANY COMPANY THAT PURCHASED ANY LARGE CARS, OR SUV, OR HUMMER COULD GET A TAX CREDIT UP TO $100K, ON THE OTHER HAND ANY COMPANY PURCHASING A VEHICLE THAT WOULD CONSERVE FUEL ONLY RECEIVED A TAX CREDIT FOR UP TO $5K. RECENTLY SENATOR SHELLBY AND OTHERS SAID THE GOVERNMENT DIDN’T HURT THE AMERICAN AUTO INDUSTRY SO WHY SHOULD THEY HELP THE AMERICAN AUTO INDUSTRY NOW, I THINK HE IS BEING DISINGENUOUS. SENATOR SHELLBY MAY HAVE NOT WANTED TO HELP ANY UNION BUILT AMERICAN AUTOMOBILES IN THE INDUSTRY. THOSE TAX INCENTIVES GAVE EVERY INCENTIVE TO BUILD INEFFICIENT CARS, AND BURDENED ANY CREATIVE THOUGHTS ON CONSERVATION, NEVER MIND INNOVATION. WHAT I DON’T UNDERSTAND IS WHY THESE NEWS STORIES ARE FOUND ON HBO AND NOT THE LIBERAL NEWS MEDIA
    ENERGY CRISIS: ONCE AGAIN, LISTENING TO THE PRESIDENT ON THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO HE ACTUALLY MENTION VISITING A HYBRID CAR PLANT AND THESE CARS PLUG INTO AN OUTLET IN OUR HOMES. HE WENT ON TO SAY THAT THESE CARS AT THE END OF THE DAY COULD BE PLUGGED BACK INTO THE OUTLET AND REPLACE OR SELL THE ELECTRICAL POWER STORED IN THE BATTERY BACK TO THE POWER COMPANY. MY SUGGESTION FOR VOUCHERS TO THE HOMEOWNER TO REPLACE THEIR EXISTING ROOF WITH SOLAR PANEL ROOFS WOULD ACCOMPLISH THAT SAME THING AND ALSO POWER THE VEHICLE FROM THEIR SOLAR POWER SOURCE. THIS WOULD CREATE JOBS FROM THE RAW MATERIALS TO THE INSTALLATION. ONCE AGAIN THE AMERICAN TAX PAYER WOULD ACTUALLY RECEIVE SOMETHING FOR THEIR MONEY. THIS WOULD ALSO ALLOW COMPANIES TO SELL THEIR ENERGY CREDITS HELPING REDUCE GLOBAL WARMING.
    ALSO, ONCE AGAIN I MUST REFER TO THE ABOVE MENTIONED DOCUMENTARY “WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR” THERE WAS EVEN MORE EXCITING NEWS ON THAT FILM. THE DEVELOPMENT OF RESIDENTIAL SOLAR PANELS ATTACHED TO SHINGLE ROOFING MATERIAL. SOMEHOW THESE SHINGLES ABSORB THE SOLAR RAYS AND PRODUCE ENERGY. THE PRESIDENT’S AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT HAS THE RETROFITTING OF FEDERAL BUILDINGS AS PART OF THE REINVESTMENT PLAN. HOPEFULLY ROOFS ARE BEING REPLACED WITH THESE NEW COMMERCIAL MATERIALS, LIKE METAL PANEL ROOFS AND OTHER TYPES OF COMMERCIAL ROOFS SHOWN HAVE BEEN CREATED.
    FINALLY: AN OLDER GENTLEMAN AND HIS WIFE DEDICATED THEIR LIVES TO THIS TECHNOLOGY, THEIR NAMES I REGRETTABLY FORGET. THEY HAVE BEEN WORKING ON THIS TECHNOLOGY THEIR ENTIRE LIVES. THE MAN AND HIS WIFE ARE AT LEAST IN THERE EIGHTIES AND WOULD LIKE TO SEE THIS IN THEIR LIFETIME. OF COURSE HE DID NOT SAY THIS, BUT HIS WIFE ALLUDED TO IT , MR. PRESIDENT I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE THE LIBERTY AND RESPECTFULLY REQUEST THAT THIS MAN AND HIS WIFE ARE RECOGNIZED FOR THEIR HARD WORK, ACHIEVEMENTS AND TENACITY IN THIS ENDEAVOR. THEY WORKED ON THIS SCIENCE WHEN IT WAS A FOOL’S ERRAND.

  7. As someone from Canada who’s never smoked a joint, I would still think that legalizing pot in the US is something that will never happen. Yes, Obama is a progressive leader, but somethings might never change.