|Graphic: ABC News|
|If you voted for marijuana as a CitizenTube question, then your vote didn't count.|
Yes, questions about marijuana were the most popular in the CitizenTube voting Monday afternoon.
But YouTube, in a gutless move, decided at the last minute not to present the highest ranked questions to the President.
Initial reports that the President had ignored the marijuana questions were inaccurate; YouTube took pot, the top vote getter, out of the running.
President Obama never even got an opportunity to answer the most popular question of all.
|"We'll let you vote, but don't expect it to actually MEAN anything"|
If they were going to ignore the questions that got the most votes, then why, exactly, did YouTube ask viewers to go to the trouble of voting? And why did they go through the motions of counting those votes, if they were good for bupkis, nada, zilch?
Here's a more likely scenario:
YouTube blanched when they saw marijuana had once again proved itself to be a popular, mainstream issue by topping the vote.
So they chunked all the votes, and just picked the questions they would have asked anyway.
It seems obvious now that when YouTube said "We've collected the top questions," they didn't mean the questions viewers thought were tops. They mean the questions they picked to be tops.
"It's unfortunate that YouTube would shelter the President from something that's obviously on a lot of people's minds," said Ben Morris of the Marijuana Policy Project.
As pointed out by Morris, marijuana can no longer be safely regarded as a "fringe issue."
With recent national polls showing legalization approaching majority support, the time when politicians could afford laugh off the marijuana issue is coming to a close.
Last year, when marijuana reform questions topped the "Open For Questions" forum sponsored by the White House, the President did answer them.
Unfortunately, he chose to answer them in a dismissive and condescending manner, as in "what that says about the online audience," and never addressed the substance of the questions.