At today’s online town hall Obama, to his credit, took time to answer a question about legalizing marijuana:
There was one question that 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, but … this was a popular question. We want to make sure it’s answered. The answer is no, I don’t think that’s a good strategy to grow our economy. All right.
UPDATE: Jack Cole, executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a “10,000-member organization representing cops, judges, prosecutors and others who fought on the front lines of the ‘war on drugs’ and who know it is not working” responds to Obama in an email to NA Daily:
“Despite the president’s flippant comments today, the grievous harms of marijuana prohibition are no laughing matter. Certainly, the 800,000 people arrested last year on marijuana charges find nothing funny about it, nor do the millions of Americans struggling in this sluggish economy. It would be an enormous economic stimulus if we stopped wasting so much money arresting and locking people up for nonviolent drug offenses and instead brought in new tax revenue from legal sales, just as we did when we ended alcohol prohibition 75 years ago during the Great Depression.”
*Hat tip to Dave Gilson for the improved headline.