Currently Reading: Obama’s Surprise

Several reputable news outlets report that Obama may legalize cannabis on the Federal level to get a boost right before the election

Pull Quote:
“Do we believe, even for a second, anybody believe that if Obama had been busted for marijuana, under the laws that he condones, would his life have been better? If he had been busted under his laws, he would have done hard fucking time.”
– Penn Jillette, political commentator and entertainer

In 2011 more young people in this country smoked cannabis than cigarettes, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Plenty of wisecracks have been made about those who support cannabis legislation will forget to turn out and vote, due to their level of inebriation, but with Obama running neck-and-neck for re-election in November some buzz about FEDERAL legalization has surfaced.

“In 2004 George W. Bush’s re-election campaign worked to put anti-gay marriage ballot initiatives up for vote in several swing states in order to turn out more hard-core conservatives to the polls,” The Atlantic Wire wrote this summer. “This year the question is whether marijuana legalization measures will turn out young voters for Obama.”

Yahoo News added this report shortly after:

“The theory is that young voters, disenchanted with Obama because of the fact they are still living in their parents’ garage three years after graduation and can’t get a job, will be motivated to turn out for him because he supports legalized dope smoking.”

In an election year everyone is polling and watching very closely what issues matter to the public. There is no doubt that what Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of New York, has done is on Obama’s radar. Cuomo has moved to decriminalize minor possession in New York, and his approval rating is 70 percent.

“This simple and fair change will help us redirect significant resources to the most serious criminals and crime problems,” said Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, in the Chicago Reader. “And, frankly, it’s the right thing to do.”

The “grass gap,” a new political buzzword refers to the inequitable arrests of minorities for minor cannabis possession. In Chicago, African-Americans account for 78 percent of those arrested, 89 percent of those convicted, and 92 percent of those jailed for low-level possession also according to the Chicago Reader.

Others have argued that Obama’s hypocrisy is a liability in the election. With new biographies detailing Obama’s cannabis consumption while in his adolescence, it’s hard to take this conservative stance on enforcing the antiquated drug laws. Penn Jillette, the famous magician and Libertarian talk show host, made headlines with his comments on a recent podcast he broadcasts called “Penn’s Sunday School.”

“Medical marijuana is completely legal in California but that you can still get busted by federal police,” Jillette argued. “Basically, the color of the cop’s uniform determines whether or not a person is breaking the law.”

He also hypothesized what life would have been like for Obama if he was subjected to the criminal prosecution for minor possession that his administration has pursued during his four years in office.

“Do we believe, even for a second, anybody believe that if Obama had been busted for marijuana, under the laws that he condones, would his life have been better?” Jillette asks. “If he had been busted under his laws, he would have done hard fucking time. And if he had done time in prison, time in federal prison, time for his ‘weed’ and ‘a little blow,’ he would not be President of the United States of America. He would not have gone to his fancy ass college. He would not have sold books that sold millions and millions of copies and made millions and millions of dollars. He would not have a beautiful, smart wife. He would not have a great job. He would have been in fucking prison, and it’s not a god damn joke!”

Most pundits wrote Jillette’s comments off as a “rant” in order to belittle his points. But the Atlantic Wire already has the new slogan for a final push in the swing states where young voters can make all the difference: “Bong the Vote.”


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