Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Biggest Issue On Your Mind: Getting Permission To Puff?

Last week, the website — the official website of the Obama Transition Team — asked the public to provide them with a list of the top public policy questions facing America. Visitors to the site were then asked to vote on which questions should take priority for the incoming administration. According to the website, “participation … outpaced our expectations. … Since its launch … the Open for Questions tool has processed over 600,000 votes from more than 10,000 people on more than 7,300 questions.” Ironically but perhaps not surprisingly the top question for the new administration — as chosen on and voted by the general public — was one most politicians seem utterly unwilling to talk about. “Will you consider legalizing marijuana so that the government can regulate it, tax it, put age limits on it, and create millions of new jobs and create a billion dollar industry right here in the U.S.?” To anyone thinking the #1 question was some kind of fluke, consider this: More than a dozen of the top 50 vote-getting questions pertained to amending America’s drug policies.

Now, consider the state of our nation: we have record home foreclosures, record job loss, a stock market in crisis, the near collapse of the banking industry, the airline industry is in trouble, businesses are closing in record numbers, the automobile industry is almost defunct, we're fighting a war on two fronts (Iraq and Iran) with no foreseeable end in sight, we're "fighting" a war on terrorism, thousands of working families are still without health care, AIDS and HIV are becoming the number one killer of black women, the problem of illegal immigration and our boarders still needs to be solved, and the Government (and therefore the taxpayers) have bought out just about every major industry thereby making this a socialist nation.

Given all of this, I really don't think that the main thing on our minds is whether the President-elect will legalize marijuana. In fact, CNN conducted a poll in December of this year and the top issue for three-quarters of Americans...unsurprisingly, the economy. Furthermore, I just don't think this is the "change" we voted for: yet, considering how bad things are right now, to many, maybe it is.