March 26th, 2009
04:12 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama: Marijuana is not a good strategy to spur economy

(CNN) - In a statement that's sure to disappoint many of those who submitted questions to President Obama's virtual town hall meeting, the president made clear Thursday he does not support legalizing marijuana as a means to spur economic growth.

"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 and job creation," Obama said off-handedly at the town hall. "I don't know what that says about the online audience."

"The answer is no, I do not think that is a good strategy to grow our economy," Obama said to laughter from the town hall participants.

Some of the most popular questions submitted to WhiteHouse.gov in several policy areas were pot-related. Among the top questions was one sent in by a user named "Green Machine":

"Will you consider decriminalizing the recreational/medical use of marijuana(hemp) so that the government can regulate it, tax it, put age limits on it, and create millions of new jobs and a multi-billion dollar industry right here in the U.S.?"

Attorney General Eric Holder said last week federal agents will seek criminal charges against marijuana users only when both state and U.S. laws are violated, a shift from the Bush administration's policy. The decision would effectively end raids on registered medical marijuana providers in the handful of states that have moved to legalize the drug's use for medicinal purposes.\


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (279 Responses)
  1. Charles

    So I guess we learned nothing from prohibition of alcohol in this country. Hmmm....I wonder what created the Al Capones. I wonder why Mexican Drug Cartels are out of control? Why is no one questioning or answering if our legislation is creating the violence? Is drug use a crime or a sickeness? I am getting sick of how Obama thinks he can just ride off the momentum of Bush being out of office. This online question thing is a bunch of $#!%. No serious answers just a bunch of smoke blowing.

    March 26, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  2. tiff of Lithia Springs

    I don't think the country is ready to become Amsterdam.

    March 26, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  3. Jonny

    I'm extremely disappointed in President Obama's answer. To be frank he sounded a lot like George "I'm the decider" Bush with his arrogant and stupid answer.

    I strongly support Obama. I voted for him. I donated money to him. I strongly support what he is doing on the economy and on health care and on other issues.

    But he is wrong on this in a very big way. I understand he thinks it's a political hot potato. But the truth is to anyone with any real knowledge on the subject it's OBVIOUS that marijuana should be legalized.

    For someone who said his favorite show of all time is The Wire, I would expect more.

    March 26, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  4. jack

    no offense, but only an idiot would support and defend the continued criminalization of marijuana – the funny thing is, if it were to be legalized, and reason, logic and common sense dictates that it should, the number of people using it would probably go DOWN!

    March 26, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
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