Unemployment is at 9.4 percent, the war in Afghanistan is dragging on, the education system is failing children, and foreign countries are inching ahead of the U.S. in major industries. But what people really care about--what 99 of the top 100 questions submitted for President Obama's YouTube interview session today are about, is drugs. And leading them all is former King County Sheriff's Deputy MacKenzie Allen's question about legalizing the lot of them.
Allen is a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, and frequently speaks around the Puget Sound area about how ineffective the war on drugs has been and how decriminalization is the answer to driving down drug-related crime and violence.
As we said, drug questions--particularly marijuana-related--dwarf all other topics.The last time Mr. Obama answered a question about drug legalization, he bummed out everyone when he said:
"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 in 2009."
We'll see if he's changed his tune for 2011. I wouldn't count on it, though.