(I am already fairly convinced this ultra-statist uber-leader doesn't give a rip about civil liberty, privacy, or self-determination...so these are certainly no reasons to which he would pay any mind in re-considering his drug war.)
Now he has dispelled any notions of a sane policy, even as it regards just marijuana for which substantial majorities of the public now support decriminalization if notoutright legalization.
Obama was asked the following question at the behest of more than 3 million online voters :
With over 1 out of 30 Americans controlled by the penal system, why not legalize, control, and tax marijuana to change the failed war on drugs into a money making, money saving boost to the economy? Do we really need that many victimless criminals?
Obama's perfunctory response :
"There was one question that 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, 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. All right."
Of course, the master manipulator evaded the root of the question - excessive incarceration and a criminalization system that is, in fact, a drain on the economy.
Unfortunately, the obviously pro-legalization people who voted for this question (a huge % of whom also probably voted for Obama) stupidly thought they'd get a thoughtful answer, not a cursory one-word dismissal.
Of course, they were wrong. In typically-misleading fashion Obama set up a straw man - as if anyone ever stated that marijuana legalization is a "strategy to grow our economy" - and dismissed it out of hand.
And there's your change, folks.
Fortunately, this may become a federalism issue with over a dozen states' (and many more lesser jurisdictions) already having enacted various forms of safe, legal access to marijuana under their laws.
Response from Jack Cole, executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) :
"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."
[Source : Obama Takes Pot Legalization Question During Townhall]
"I inhaled...uhhh....frequently....uhhhh....that was the point."