Obama Ad Mocks Potheads (But Asks for Their Support)

CANNABIS CULTURE – The Obama campaign has released a Web campaign ad featuring the President calling a supporter asking for their help.

The callee turns out to be Kal Penn, who plays the pothead Kumar in the Harold and Kumar movies, and was the associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. Penn will be hosting Thursday’s online convention from North Carolina.

The ad shows Harold (John Cho) and Kumar sitting around watching TV and eating pizza like stereotypical stoners, even though both Cho and Penn told High Times in 2008 that they don’t smoke.

The fact that the man making the phone call is also a former pot smoker whose policies don’t follow the promises he made towards medical marijuana in his last campaign is an irony not lost on the activist community.

In response, reformers have released an ad called, “What if President Obama had called a real marijuana user?” It starts with the same footage of Obama making a phone call, this time to a surprised young man who says, “I didn’t think you’d call after you dismissed or mocked all the questions about marijuana that were submitted on WhiteHouse.gov, Reddit and YouTube, even though all those questions were rated higher than anything else.”

When Obama says he’s counting on his callee, the man says, “You’re counting on marijuana users to fall for a lame political video designed to exploit us while your administration simultaneously support arresting us and raiding our homes?” When Obama mentions trust, he says, “You mean like how we trusted you when you promised in the last campaign that you’d leave medical marijuana alone in the states where it’s legal? But in the last four years under your presidency, we’ve seen more dispensaries raided than in eight years under President Bush.”

Poignantly and pointedly, the marijuana user in the reformer’s ad points out, “The WOD is a major factor in what the NAACP calls ‘The New Jim Crow.’ Nearly one out of three African-American males are in jail at one point in their lives because of the racial disparity in the WOD.” Lucky for Obama, he wasn’t one of them.

The reformer adds, “Aren’t there two political candidates who support legalizing marijuana and shifting law enforcement resources to real crime?” Libertarian party candidate and legalization supporter Gov. Gary Johnson is at the Democratic convention, along with NORML’s Greta Gaines, making that point.

Arianna Huffington’s Shadow Convention 2012 has done two strong segments on the WOD, and The Huffington Post is featuring articles by Richard Branson and others on the topic. Steph Sherer of ASA wonders whether Johnson, who has chosen California reformer Judge Jim Gray as his running mate, will be Obama’s Ralph Nader this election. Peace and Freedom party presidential candidate Roseanne Barr and the Green Party’s nominee Jill Stein, M.D. are also for legalization. Stein spoke at Seattle Hempfest, as did Judge Gray.

“Did you say you’re looking for Kumar?” the man says in the end of the reformer’s ad. “He was arrested like the other 850,000 people who were arrested last year under your administration’s policies. Maybe you can find him a house or a job when he gets out. Finding those things can be really hard when you’re burdened with a drug conviction.”

The campaign asks all to Tweet the following: @barackobama @kalpenn @johnthecho It takes more than lame jokes to earn votes. It takes action. Change the marijuana laws. #EarnMyVote



  1. gutrod on

    Hit him where it hurts: at the polls.
    Obama’s unkempt promises might come back to bite him. Seems like a good man but a liar just the same.

  2. Green Partier on

    January 22nd, 2013 –
    Today President Mitt Romney has announced the Drug Control Strategy for his administration, which is the most sweeping and intrusive escalation of the “War on Drugs” since the presidency of George Bush in 1989. Publication of any magazine, newspaper, newsletter, online website, television or radio program that doesn’t fully support the latest offensive in his law enforcement programs are to be hereby banned, material to be seized and publishers of such items to be arrested and detained without hearings according to the terms of the Patriot Act of 2001. Simultaeously, Raids in 49 states of retail outlets that market drug paraphenaglia or marijuana growing supplies are taking place using local and state law enforcement under the direction of the DEA. All equipment and items confiscated in these actions are being destroyed, with no compensation paid to the owners.
    Though unconfirmed by government spokesmen, civilian aircraft pilots have reported the beginning of construction sites on several decommissioned military bases in southern and western States , with large razor wire perimeters being laid out and foundations of small circular towers (possible guard towers?) being located at the corners of these mysterious compounds. When asked today about these sites, White House press Secretary Bill O’Reilly said “No comment.”
    Tommorrow President Romney is scheduled to address the public in a nationally televised speech outlining his plans in what he describes as “Holy War Against Drugs”. There are some press leaks describing an intent to suspend the writ of Habeas Corpus and invoke the War Powers Act, which will temporarily suspend many civil liberty laws. Stay tuned for further developments.

  3. Rider on

    Decriminalization means dealers still go to jail. Sooner or later you’ll lose yours. It also means that kids will still be buying it from street dealers. The price will remain very high. Legalization gives us a safer product, makes it harder for kids to get and provides competitive pricing.

  4. Cotey on

    Seriously? 1/100 Americans are in prison, mostly for possession, and we’re supposed to ignore it? In Canada, Harper is now mirroring the failed policy that caused this. What about patients who can’t get access? What about the more than 50,000 Mexicans dead because of prohibition (in the last 6 years), plus countless other deaths worldwide? The daily raids and gang violence are ‘cool’?

    And how is decriminalization better? It makes consumption okay, but production bad; so, where does the cannabis come from?

    It’s selfish to be fine with prohibition because it hasn’t YET affected you. I have access as well, but many don’t and many die or get imprisoned because of its illegality.

    Obama is a hypocrite and a liar; if you’re American, vote 3rd party, or you’re voting for NDAA, Patriot Act, drone strikes, surveillance of citizens, invasions of other countries, anti-Internet neutrality laws, drug war, and more…

  5. MenaceMotors on

    and it’s somehow made into a Funny thing. What a disgrace. Rather listen to a bubbling Biden talk.
    Now that’s funny