April 20 has long been considered marijuana's unofficial holiday. Fans of the drug-in-exile gather for weed-fueled concerts, festivals, or college smokeouts. But today's widespread use won't change the fact that marijuana is illegal. High on hope, advocates think the legalization debate is moving from the fringe (and Sean Paul songs) to the mainstream.
There have been some signs of modest movement toward legalization. Obama's Justice Department declared that it will no longer prosecute those who get high for medical purposes. In California, state lawmakers have also introduced legislation that would legalize recreational pot. The reason? It's not compassion for those undergoing physical pain, but rather because of cold hard cash — if taxed, the green cash crop could bring in billions for the state.
But if you ask Obama, like many people did during his online townhall, he has no plans to legalize pot. He doesn't think it's a good strategy to grow our economy. I guess Obama assumes Americans would be too stoned to get to work.