We'll start with this. More to follow.
A number of people were irked by President Obama smirking and chuckling over the potheads on line. It was irksome; there was no atempt to defend a policy position that is clearly wrong. There was just some throwaway ridicule and a knowing statement to the audience that implicitly said "You know this is NOT happening." And the audience chuckled along.
While I agree with that irked reaction, as far as it goes, it misses a point In responding to a very popular question in this way, Obama was conceding the policy point without engaging it. He was saying, and the audience was agreeing with him, that smoking marijuana isn't a big deal. It's funny, kinda like Vinny in the Bronx in his underwear making fun of Brian Williams, but it 's not really important. Obama would not have cracked this little joke about grand theft auto, or rape or tax evasion, or pretty much any crime that people do time for. But a lot of people are doing time for this funny little indulgence. Not a large fraction of the lawbreaking dope smokers, but a large fraction, internationally speaking, of the general population is in jail because they did something that the elites in that room have also done, and find kinda, well, cute, in their position in the stratosphere.
After all, Obama himself has indulged in the wacky weed. I expect that most of his audience has done so as well. As have I. And, I suspect, you, reading this.
Opposing legalization is indefensible. Nobody even tries anymore to defend the position. It's not just that they find it funny that people point this out. It's that they know it, and don't even try to defend their opposition.