YouTube aired the online event, which was moderated by Google. The exclusion of the marijuana issue from the chat is particularly egregious as 18 of the top 20 most popular questions submitted by those voting on YouTube concerned medical marijuana, cannabis legalization in general, and other drug war-related issues. YouTube is a subsidiary of Google after being purchased by the search engine behemoth in 2006.
NORML spokesman Erik Altieri responded via email: “For the ninth time, the White House has solicited the American people for direct input on the issues they cared about and then, when the resulting answers called overwhelmingly for marijuana law reform, President Obama ignores the will of the American people on this burning issue.”
Stephen Dowling, retired deputy chief of police in Los Angeles and a board member of the vital organization Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), submitted the video question that received the most YouTube votes – over 4,500. (See the video below.)
Dowling responded to being shut out by the President and Google: “A majority of Americans now support legalizing marijuana to de-fund cartels and gangs, lower incarceration and arrest rates and save scarce public resources, all while generating new much-needed tax revenue … The time to discuss this issue is now. We’re tired of this serious public policy crisis being pushed aside or laughed off.”
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