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Cop’s Marijuana Legalization Question Gets 1st Place in White House Video Contest

By Law Enforcement Against Prohibition January 29, 2012 Cop’s Marijuana Legalization Question Gets 1st Place in White House Video Contest
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President Obama to Answer Top-Voted YouTube Questions on Monday

WASHINGTON, DC — A question advocating marijuana legalization from a retired LAPD deputy chief of police won twice as many votes as any other video question in the White House’s “Your Interview with the President” competition on YouTube this weekend. President Obama is slated to answer some of the top-voted questions on Monday.

The marijuana question, submitted by Stephen Downing, a board member for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), 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?” The question can be viewed here.

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 infringement). Many of the other top-ranking questions are 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. For example, in last year’s “Your Interview with the President” competition, another LEAP member’s question came in first place overall, prompting President Obama to reply that drug legalization is “an entirely legitimate topic for debate.” That exchange can be viewed here.

Voting in the YouTube contest wrapped up Saturday 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.”