Thursday September 24, 2020
Mar-28-2009 14:17TweetFollow @OregonNews
President Obama -- Out of Touch, or A Hypocrite?Erin Hildebrandt Salem-News.com
When I think about the vast numbers of people who are serving time for nothing more than marijuana possession, and the havoc incarceration wreaks on them, their families, and everyone they will meet in the future, I'm very sad.
(SALEM, Ore.) - On Thursday, March 26th, President Obama hosted an Internet town hall meeting, inviting the public to submit and vote on questions to be asked about the economy.
It was exciting to see that several of the most popular submissions were questioning the economic wisdom of continuing the drug war, and specifically the war on marijuana consumers, in these tough economic times.
Unfortunately, while the President clearly got the message that there's tremendous public interest in this issue, he seemed to be out of touch with the realities of today's drug war.
His only response was to joke, "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, (and I don't know what this says about the online audience).
The answer is, no, I don't think that is a good strategy to grow our economy."
Although there were many questions asked about cannabis, most had little if anything to do with legalizing it to "grow our economy."
People were asking very serious questions related to the massacres south of our border, and whether bringing the drug profits funding them into a legal, taxed, and regulated market might help turn the tide. They were asking our President if he believes that chasing down cannabis consumers is really a wise use of our scarce resources in these difficult economic times. But he turned this important discussion into a tasteless, offensive joke, disparaging the citizens he had asked to submit questions in the first place.
Considering our tax dollars are spent to incarcerate more of our citizens per capita than any other nation, not to mention the societal costs of having 1 in 31 adult Americans behind bars or on parole or probation, this seems to me to be a serious issue.
Adding in the cost of all of the lives lost and families torn apart in an ideological and hypocritical pursuit of a "drug free America," (brought to you by Merck and Pfizer, of course), I don't understand what President Obama found so funny.
When I think about the vast numbers of people who are serving time for nothing more than marijuana possession, and the havoc incarceration wreaks on them, their families, and everyone they will meet in the future, I'm very sad. In addition to being punished through the loss of their freedom, there's also the enormous risk of prison rape. People who've ever been incarcerated more than 72 hours are not allowed to donate plasma because the doctors assume they've been raped and may have contracted a blood-borne disease. There's nothing funny about that.
Again, I don't understand what President Obama finds funny about any of this. Maybe it's only funny if you got away with using cannabis and became President, and you never again have to worry about being arrested, incarcerated, raped, and stigmatized for life.
Erin Hildebrandt wears many hats. She's wife to Bill Hildebrandt, mom to five beautiful kids, activist, artist, legally registered Oregon medical marijuana patient, public speaker, and an internationally published writer. She co-founded Parents Ending Prohibition, and her writing has been printed in Mothering Magazine, New York's Newsday, and Canada's National Post, among many others. Erin has been interviewed for a front page story in USA Today, and she has been published in the American Bar Association Journal. Speaking as a survivor of child sexual abuse, Erin also appeared on the Geraldo Rivera show. She has also testified before Oregon Senate and House committees, and Maryland Senate and House committees. We are very pleased to feature the work of Erin Hildebrandt on Salem-News.com.
Articles for March 27, 2009 | Articles for March 28, 2009 | Articles for March 29, 2009