What the Heck is so Funny?

This morning, a student from Schnecksville, Pennsylvania asked President Obama about lifting the prohibition of prostitution, gambling and drugs as a way to stimulate the economy. The audience erupted with laughter.

“Mr. Obama, I really appreciate how you are trying to stimulate the economy to help this country out[…],” the student from Lehigh Carbon Community College said into a microphone. “I was wondering if maybe you checked out some of the statistics about legalizing prostitution, gambling, drugs and non-violent crime in order to stimulate some of the economy?”

“I appreciate the boldness of your question. That will not be my jobs strategy,” Obama said to laughs, cheers and claps.

I know The President was speaking in front of a bunch of giddy college students, but it bugs me that these questions are taken as a joke when, as the student pointed out, science says prohibition of drugs and prostitution doesn’t work and stats show legalization could be a huge boost to the economy (gambling is already legal in many places across North America).

Maybe it just reminded me too much of a similar shrugging-off by Obama of the drug prohibition question at a virtual townhall meeting last March when the marijuana legalization was at the top of an online poll.

“There was one question that voted on that ranked fairly high and that was whether legalizing marijuana would improve the economy and job creation,” Obama said. “And I don’t know what this says about the online audience, but […] this was a popular question. We want to make sure it’s answered. The answer is no, I don’t think that’s a good strategy to grow our economy.”

Jack Cole, executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition said it best after Obama’s townhall comments:

“Despite the president’s flippant comments today, the grievous harms of marijuana prohibition are no laughing matter. Certainly, the 800,000 people arrested last year on marijuana charges find nothing funny about it, nor do the millions of Americans struggling in this sluggish economy. It would be an enormous economic stimulus if we stopped wasting so much money arresting and locking people up for nonviolent drug offenses and instead brought in new tax revenue from legal sales, just as we did when ended alcohol prohibition 75 years ago during the Great Depression.”

Jeremiah Vandermeer
Jeremiah Vandermeer

Jeremiah Vandermeer is Cannabis Culture Chief of Operations and Editor of Cannabis Culture Magazine & Pot TV.



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  3. Raul X on

    I see that as an even sadder topic here in mexico. im from california currently visting mexico.. it would be nice to start implementing a medical marijuana system down here for mexico . I was surprized to meet people like myself that are nice people and are dedicated growers who lead normal lifes dont hurt\bother anybody.. every one here though is very scared because of ignorance\religion and the stupid drug traffic(ers) who are responsible for many deaths here every day over territory greed\money\power .. the police are in it too.
    I shall spread what ever knowledge i got with my fellow brothers and sisters of the south. Everyone must grow. Like marc emery says “out grow the government” we are the people and we are more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Anonymous on

    im so angry il go smoke a joint and then laugh,,,,,

    thats why it should be legal.. i read this whole article ONLY because i was stoned,, so if weed can make me pick up a book, what the fuck is wrong with that, they say it makes you dumb,,,, i think it raises your IQ a couple notches,,


  5. Lygeia on

    The rich and powerful still need a little convincing to support legalization and/or depenalization. However, as inevitable as the end of alcohol prohibition was, is the legalization of marijuana. I think Obama may be smarter than you think he is on this issue. Until there is a great clamor from the American people that no one can ignore (and we are fast approaching this point), only then we will have legalization. We need to continue to provide an eloquent rationale for the legalization of marijuana to keep the pressure up.

  6. Anonymous on

    let him laugh. his administration’s strategy on job creation hasn’t worked at the speed necessary and hasn’t created nearly enough jobs. his approval rating is hemorrhaging fast. he’ll have to do something drastic to help the economy (ie – legalize it), or he will not be elected again. that’s a fact. the desperation will become more apparent following the mid term elections. till then, the president is a fucking sellout who enjoys pissing our money away on afghanistan…who is funded by the poppy. the irony is delicious.

  7. Anonymous on

    money is the ultimate form of slavery of the mind. I don’t want to get into but my example is this. Would a police officer pull me over for speeding while off duty? I don’t think so. If you like your job so much fucking do it while in plain clothes. That goes for everybody, we need a system of love not money. Do your job because you love people. Build a house for people to live in because you love them and feed people because you love them and love cooking. We need more love based actions instead of money based actions. Sad shit is money has replaced love in order to live.

  8. Anonymous on

    mixing the issues looses their meaning.
    If I were to ask I’d say at the end, but lets forget illegal acts, prostitution and focus on one of the “lesser of evils”. I say illegal acts – because thats a broader term, and people will always have a taboo about sex.

    What’s worse here is the hypocrisy. He’s publically admitted to drug use! He couldn’t just say, “maybee we (government) should discuss decrimilization. After all I know a little pot isn’t a big deal.”? – I think issues such as healthcare should be handled first but they could perhaps fund some studies in meantime. By the time they come to the issue they could see what // scientific // evidence is against/for the arguement.

    The guy asking here looks like just a kid, to me. I wonder if they just haven’t been watching penn & teller on showtime. (since they’ve covered all those issues in several episodes)

  9. Anonymous on

    Honestly watching this reminded me a lot of a Oprah talk show….a lot of ignorant laughing and seemed planned….maybe we will see Oprah being replaced sooner than we thought!

  10. Anonymous on

    I mean, you can go to a bar and if you are remotely good looking you will go home with someone and get laid for the cost of a few drinks.. Why shouldn’t ugly people have the same right? If they want to get laid, find a willing, consenting adult, hook em up with some cash and hump the night away.. Same with dating.. Any decent looking guy can take a chick out on a few dates (sometimes just one) wine and dine em, then get laid as a thank you.. It is frustrating law makers don’t see things this way..

  11. Anonymous on

    Somehow it reminded me of the hang scene in “the handmaidens tale”

  12. Anonymous on

    that we all are beeing kept as slaves does not mean we also have to behave like GOOD slaves.

    Most people in the audience were behaving MORE than good slaves.

    They, as a matter of fact EXELLED at beeing good slaves.

    Is this realy the lead exemple of what has become of our students ?

    Judging others for who they are and for what they believe in by ridiculising them?

    Are these the “better” people?

    Anything falling outside the narrarow confinement of THEIR reality beeing laughed at?

    Shame on YOU ! Is all I have to say to them since they don’t seem to have a bit of understanding or compassion towards ppl with broader insights as their own.

    Just their little under develloped world of prospherity and sound moral the way it’s been ideologised and pointed out for them ?

    Well, then so much for general consensus.

    Ever since the medival WITCH BURNINGS not much of this consensus seems to have changed a bit.

    By; Guerilla Geronimo

  13. Anonymous on

    I hate it when people mix issues.

    Ask the question about marijuana or gambling or prostitution but don’t lump non related issues together.

    If you lump them into one group you should expect this response every time.