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Open Letter to Barack Obama Concerning His Remarks of March 25, 2009

Here’s a letter I sent to Obama today.

Mr. President:

You lost a lot of support today with your offhanded dismissal of the online community which brought you to power. I am one of those, a 52 year old software developer helping my daughter work her way through college. I even made a website to support your candidacy, obamaredneck.com, so you can imagine how abused and disappointed I feel right now.

With your first hand experience of marijuana, how can you justify its Schedule I status? How can you justify spending billions each year to harass and imprison marijuana producers, distributors, and users? How can you justify preventing sick people from getting marijuana and locking up their suppliers?

And with your emphasis on ethanol, how can you ignore the immense utility of hemp, which is four times as efficient at producing ethanol than corn? Hemp is also four times as efficient at producing paper than trees.

Mr. President, my calculations show that legalization of cannabis would create at least 100,000 jobs in the US directly in the industries of marijuana and hemp production. That seems a drop in the bucket when we’re losing over 500,000 jobs a month, but it’s not nothing.

Legalization of cannabis would not be a panacea that would solve all our problems but studies have shown that it would save the Federal government and the States $50 billion a year, and could bring in taxes of another $10 billion a year or so. This is also not a huge amount, but again it’s not nothing. It’s around four times the budget for NASA.

Mr. President, it’s not so much that you are not supportive of legalization, we all knew that going in, but we all believed that you were a listener. We believed that you wanted our input, and that when you asked for our advice, you would listen. And that is why we voted for you, and voted in huge numbers for you.

And so it’s your dismissal of us that hurts the most. “I don’t know what that says about the online community”? Really, Mr. President, it’s going to be a long four years if that’s going to be your attitude about those who played such a big part in getting you where you are today.

Sincerely,

Obama Redneck

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