Barack Obama issued a proclamation today celebrating the drug education program D.A.R.E., prompting the question of whether he’s trying to put some distance between his administration and the issue of legalizing marijuana. If so, not a bad idea, given the platform he's inadvertently given the subject.
Obama opposes legalization, as did 63 percent of Americans in a CBS poll last month. But that we’re even discussing it attests to the legalization lobby's effective use of Obama-sponsored online balloting – underscoring not just that pot smokers can get their act together, but also the utter manipulability of these click-in ballots.
-After the election the Obama transition team invited Americans to visit its website and vote on the top policy questions facing the country. Forget the economy, war, health care, climate change. No. 1 on the list: Legalizing marijuana.
-Then in Obama’s online "town hall" March 26, the top-voted questions in the budget, financial stability and "green jobs" categories, and No. 2 in health care, all were about pot legalization.
I’ve written before about the unreliability of online ballots – not just their lack of representativeness, but their vulnerability to intentional manipulation. After the town hall, Obama’s spokesman, Robert Gibbs, griped that pot legalization advocates had mounted a campaign to stuff the ballot box. Apparently true. But the administration, of course, has now twice given them the perfect venue in which to do so.
Then again, the White House isn't alone, as the brains behind NASA's “Stephen Colbert Wing” of the International Space Station may attest. One wonders what they were smoking.