March 26th, 2009 5:33 pm | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics, Cops and Courts

Cannabis for the Economy? Obama Takes a Pass


You'll recall when WW asked Barack Obama about medical marijuana. Well, we weren't the only ones curious about his cannabis connections.

The president took another hit on the issue during an "online town hall" this morning in the White House East Room, where he answered questions from people at home.

Turns out quite a few folks think legalizing pot might be good medicine for the economy. Bummer for them: Obama coughed at that suggestion.

(Although there was so much laughter in the room, you'd think the administration was already experimenting with the notion. Notice, too, Obama's phrases like "ranked fairly high" and "grow our economy." What's up with that?)

Here's the relevant portion of the transcript featuring Obama and moderator Jared Bernstein, via the White House press office:
Obama: Can I just interrupt, Jared, before you ask the next question, just to say that we — we took votes about which questions were going to be asked and I think 3 million people voted or ...

Bernstein: Three point five million.

Obama: Three point five million people voted. 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 — (laughter) — and job creation. And I don't know what this says about the online audience — (laughter) — but I just want — I don't want people to think that — this was a fairly popular question; we want to make sure that it was answered. The answer is, no, I don't think that is a good strategy — (laughter) — to grow our economy. (Applause.)

So — all right.

Bernstein: Thank you for clearing that up. (Laughter.)
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