Let's get high on democracy

By Mark Everett Hall
March 26, 2009 10:44 AM EDT

The top question on the Jobs section of the White House's online experiment Open for Questions was about the War on Drugs that's "sucking money from tax payers and putting non-violent people in prison longer than the violent criminals." Bet the White House PR folks didn't want to see that.

Moving along, the number one issue in the section on Green Jobs and Energy focused on "decriminalizing the recreational/medical use of marijuana(hemp) so that the government can regulate it, tax it, put age limits on it, and create millions of new jobs and a multi-billion dollar industry right here in the U.S."

Okay, let's skip to the section relating to Financial Stability. Doh! The top vote-getting questions there were on legalizing marijuana.

And the top concern among Americans in the Budget section? You guessed it: how legalizing marijuana might help balance the budget.

I'm guessing the American people want to get high during these tough economic times and they don't want the Feds interfering.

Remember, these were not the top questions because stoners ganged up online and submitted them (as if potheads could get that organized), but  they were the top vote getters among all 3.6 million votes cast by more than 92,000 people, a few probably straight and sober.

Can we expect legalized pot as a result of this unscientific poll of concerns felt by Americans? No. Even a president who admits he inhaled dare not be perceived of being "soft on crime."

But it does show that citizens online are thinking creatively about how to solve our current financial predicament. Pity we can't expect the same from our leaders in Washington.

Update: Obama answered all the pot-related questions with one answer: "No." Legalizing it will not be part of his Administration's plan to fix the economy. No surprise there.