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Jan-31-2012 13:34printcomments

YouTube Ignores Cop's First Place Marijuana Legalization Video Question for Obama

Site Finds Time for Questions About Dancing, Late-Night Snacks and Playing Tennis.

U.S. President Barack Obama
U.S. President Barack Obama

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - YouTube chose to ignore a question Monday, advocating marijuana legalization from a retired LAPD deputy chief of police that won twice as many votes as any other video question in the White House's "Your Interview with the President" competition on the Google-owned site. They did, however, find the time to get the president on record about late night snacking, singing and dancing, celebrating wedding anniversaries and playing tennis.

Stephen Downing, the retired LAPD police officer and a board member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), had this to say about the site ignoring his question: "It's worse than silly that YouTube and Google would waste the time of the president and of the American people discussing things like midnight snacks and playing tennis when there is a much more pressing question on the minds of the people who took the time to participate in voting on submissions. 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."

The top-voted video question from Downing is as follows: "Mr. President, my name is Stephen Downing, and I'm a retired deputy chief of police from the Los Angeles Police Department. From my 20 years of experience I have come to see our country’s drug policies as a failure and a complete waste of criminal justice resources. According to the Gallup Poll, the number of Americans who support legalizing and regulating marijuana now outnumbers those who support continuing prohibition. What do you say to this growing voter constituency that wants more changes to drug policy than you have delivered in your first term?" The question can be viewed at

Downing's question came in first place for video questions and ranked second out of all questions (with the overall top spot going to a text question about copyright infringement). Many of the other top-ranking questions were about marijuana policy or the failed "war on drugs," as has been the case every other time the White House has invited citizens to submit and vote on questions via the web.

Voting in the YouTube contest wrapped up Saturday at midnight EST. In addition to the top-voted marijuana and drug policy questions mentioned above, there were a number of other similar questions that received thousands of votes but were mysteriously deleted after being marked "inappropriate."

More information about the contest and the top-voted questions can be viewed at The Gallup poll referenced in Downing's winning question can be found online at

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) represents police, prosecutors, judges, FBI/DEA agents and others who want to legalize and regulate drugs after fighting on the front lines of the war on drugs and learning firsthand that prohibition only serves to worsen addiction and violence. More info at

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Diane February 1, 2012 1:21 pm (Pacific time)

No surprise that Google/YouTube is once again not playing fair. Google is not the Google that it used to be; it's no longer to be relied upon.

M. Dennis Paul, Ph.D. January 31, 2012 11:42 pm (Pacific time)

This is a no-brainer (You can use this line "This is your President on Drugs" or "This is your President not on drugs" Either way, it implies a no-brainer"). Follow the scripts for most every "town-hall" meet for Obama. If your question requires honest consideration for a logical proposition, it is discarded or given as short a dodge as possible. If your question feeds into the image Obama is trying to portray (Folksy, business-like, man of the people, blah, blah) it is given enough time to garner photo-ops and sound bites suitable for the evening news. This garbage is so rehearsed it makes the average sit-com look absolutely amateur by comparison. Honesty, sincerity, integrity.. these are all things America must learn not to expect from any of the cartoon characters in office or running for office.

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