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Published:March 30th, 2009 12:17 EST

Obama Should Legalize Pot To Stimulate Economy

By Robert Paul Reyes

Last week President Obama had a town hall meeting, he fielded some questions from the audience members and he also answered a few that were submitted via the Internet.

"More than 100,000 questions were submitted, with the idea Obama would answer those that were most popular. But after 3.6 million votes were cast, one of the top questions turned out to be a query on whether legalizing marijuana might stimulate the economy by allowing the government to regulate and tax the drug.

`I don`t know what this says about the online audience,` Obama said in the session in the East Room, drawing a laugh from his live audience, which included teachers, nurses and small-business people. "The answer is no, I don`t think that is a good strategy to grow the economy.`" Sheryl Gay Stolberg/New York Times

The query on whether legalizing marijuana might stimulate the economy was not "one of the top questions", it was by far the most popular question submitted online.

It`s not just a few stoners who want pot legalized, most Americans realize the benefits of legalizing this safe, healthy and wonderful natural herb.

I`m very disappointed that Obama didn`t take the issue of legalizing weed seriously, he dismissed it by saying: I don`t know what this says about the online audience. The president attempted to portray supporters of legalizing grass as pot heads who spend most of their time online causing mischief.

I have news for Obama, the online audience isn`t comprised only of slackers and stoners - about 93% of Americans have Internet access.

Legalizing marijuana is an excellent strategy for growing the economy. Instead of spending billions on the apprehension, prosecution, and incarceration of law-abiding, hardworking aficionados of marijuana, the federal government could make billions by legalizing, regulating and taxing the magic herb.

Legalizing pot would go a long way toward putting the Mexican drug cartels out of business. I hope the marijuana question is posed to Obama again during one of his press conferences, and the next time I hope Obama will give an honest and intelligent answer.