White House Online: Obama's Buzz Killer

Pot advocates flooded the White House site with marijuana legalization questions for President Obama's online town hall meeting. The buzz died quickly.

By most accounts, President Obama's March 27 online town hall meeting went well: More than 100,000 questions were submitted, with almost 3.5 million votes deciding which queries were the best. But for at least one group-pot advocates-the meeting was, well, a downer, dude.
As they did in January when the Obama transition team hosted a site urging online users to offer suggestions for the best ideas for the incoming administration, the pro-marijuana crowd flooded the White House site for the online town hall meeting with questions about legalizing and taxing marijuana as a way to help the economy. They then mounted an organized blog campaign to vote the questions up the queue.
The January effort voted the pot legalization question as the top issue facing the country, and the online town hall campaign neared the top of the list of questions participants wanted answers to. Unlike January, when both Obama and administration officials ignored the question, the pot advocates got what they wanted March 27. Then again, they didn't.
"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," Obama said with a wry smile and to the amusement of the in-house crowd. "And I don't know what this says about the online audience."
When the laughter subsided, Obama rained on the pot parade.
The answer is, no, I don't think that is a good strategy [more laughter] to grow our economy," he said.
As several pro-legalization sites noted, "Bummer, man."