The YouTube/White House “Your Interview with the President” just wrapped up, and unfortunately the web video giant didn’t find time to present President Obama with the marijuana legalization question from a retired police officer that received — by far — more votes than any other video in the contest.
“They did find time, however, to pick the President’s brain on pressing national issues like late night snacks, singing and dancing, celebrating wedding anniversaries and playing tennis,” said Tom Angell of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).
“It’s worse than silly that YouTube and Google would waste the time of the president and the American people discussing things like midnight snacks and playing tennis when there is a much more pressing question on the minds of the people who took the time to participate in voting on submissions,” said Stephen Downing, the retired Los Angeles police officer and a board member of LEAP.
“A majority of Americans now support legalizing marijuana to defund cartels and gangs, lower incarceration and arrest rates and save scarce public resources, all while generating much-needed new tax revenue,” Downing said. “The time to discuss this issue is now. We’re tired of this serious public policy crisis being pushed aside or laughed off.”
The top-voted video question from Downing is as follows:
“Mr. President, my name is Stephen Downing, and I’m a retired deputy chief of police from the Los Angeles Police Department. From my 20 years of experience I have come to see our country’s drug policies as a failure and a complete waste of criminal justice resources. According to the Gallup poll, the number of Americans who support legalizing and regulating marijuana now outnumbers those who support continuing prohibition. What do you say to this growing voter constituency that wants more changes to drug policy than you have delivered in your first term?”
Downing’s question came in first place for video questions and ranked second out of all questions (with the overall top spot going to a text question about copyright infringment).
Many of the other top-ranking questions were about marijuana policy or the failed “War On Drugs,” as has been the case every other time the White House has invited citizens to submit and vote on questions via the Web.
Voting in the YouTube contest wrapped up Sunday at midnight EST. In addition to the top-voted marijuana and drug policy questions mentioned above, there were a number of other similar questions that received thousands of votes but were mysteriously deleted after being marked “inappropriate.”
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.