Obama Previously Laughed Off Marijuana Questions, But Can He Ignore a Cop?
WASHINGTON, DC -- A video question about legalizing drugs from a former deputy sheriff has come in first place in YouTube's "Your Interview with the President" competition, where users submitted and voted on questions to be posed to President Barack Obama.
Obama is scheduled to answer the top-voted questions today, Thursday, Jan. 27, at 2:30 PM EST in an interview that will be streamed live online at http://www.youtube.com/askobama
The first-place question from MacKenzie Allen, the retired deputy sheriff and a currently a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/copssaylegalizedrugs#p/u/6/Zbz9lnVbrwc
“As a proud American with a career in law enforcement behind me, I find it frustrating that many elected officials pay little or no attention to the serious harms caused by our failed drug policies," said MacKenzie Allen, a retired deputy sheriff who served in Los Angeles, CA and King County (Seattle), WA. "That's why I took advantage of what is likely my only opportunity to pose a question to our president, via the Internet. I’ve watched for decades as we throw good money after bad and, more importantly, life after life, at a 'War on Drugs' that is waged with counterproductive tactics and an overall flawed strategy. For the sake of those law enforcers who are still bravely on the front lines of the 'Drug War,' I hope our politicians will heed the call to finally discuss a new approach to drug control."
The Obama White House has previously asked citizens to submit and vote on questions via the web several times, with marijuana and drug policy issues rising to the top virtually every time. During a town hall meeting following one such round of voting in 2009, President Obama laughed off a marijuana legalization question, saying, "I don't know what this says about the online audience."
LEAP Executive Director Neill Franklin, a former Baltimore narcotics cop, responds, "The fact that these questions keep getting the most votes says that Americans are tired of our elected officials ignoring this important issue. Some of my best friends have been killed in line of fire while enforcing these senseless laws. It's not a laughing matter, and the president shouldn't treat it as such."
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) represents police, prosecutors, judges, FBI/DEA agents and others who want to legalize and regulate drugs after fighting on the front lines of the "war on drugs" and learning firsthand that prohibition only serves to worsen addiction and violence. More info at http://www.CopsSayLegalizeDrugs.com.
# # #
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 27, 2010
CONTACT: Tom Angell (202) 557-4979 or media//at//leap//dot//cc