President Obama advertises on NORML’s YouTube Channel

Why does music from British rock legends "The Who" keep playing in my head when I see this ad?

Remember when we were told that “legalization isn’t in the president’s vocabulary?”

Remember when Mr. Obama laughed off a suggestion that marijuana legalization could help the economy?

Remember when he emphatically stated he would not pursue a strategy of decriminalization of marijuana?

Yeah, we do, too.

So imagine our surprise at NORML to find an ad for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign nestled in the prime ad spot on our YouTube channel: NORMLtv (

What’s the campaign strategy for the marijuana smoker vote, Mr. Obama?  Keeping at the head of the DEA one of Mr. Bush’s administrators?  Maintaining the Bush-era policy of raiding medical marijuana providers?  Escalating numbers of marijuana arrests on your watch?

Or will it just be, “Look, you think I’m bad, imagine what happens if (fill in GOP nominee) wins!  I just want to force pot smokers into costly rehab they don’t need on the threat of prison.  (Fill in GOP nominee) wants to (fill in terrible threat we’re already experiencing now)!”

You want the absolute guaranteed votes of 90% of the 25 million American adults who use cannabis annually in America?

Convince Congress to pass and then you sign Barney Frank and Ron Paul’s Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act.

It doesn’t cost you anything.  Marijuana is still illegal in all fifty states and 99% of all marijuana arrests take place at the state and local level.  It just means marijuana is no longer a federal issue; states are free to set up any marijuana regulations they choose.  The people in marijuana friendly states will support you more and the ones who hate pot still think you’re a secret Muslim agent from Kenya anyway.

Well, I take that back.  Your contributors from Big Pharma might not like you endorsing the competition.

UPDATE:  Apparently, based on comments below, I should’ve explained how BlogAds work. NORML didn’t “accept” advertising from the Obama campaign.  We offer up a piece of screen real estate to the BlogAds company.  They sell advertising packages to third parties, like the Obama campaign, which promise to place their ads on websites matching certain demographics and content keywords.  So we don’t even know who or what is going to appear up there as an ad (within limits; obviously there isn’t going to be a phone sex ad or Klan rally promotion going up there… we can limit certain types of ad content.)

It’s possible that the ad algorithm just saw “within 50,000 on Alexa”, “large youth demo of readers”, and “Congress / House / Senate / Obama”  on our website and automatically placed Obama’s ad there because he wants to reach young politically active people on popular websites.  In fact, I seem to recall some “Marijuana: The Anti-Drug” ads showing up on our BlogTalkRadio page in the early days of NORML SHOW LIVE.  I’ve seen ONDCP ads show up on other pro-marijuana sites.

We’re not a 20th century newspaper; it’s not as if Obama’s campaign team called and said, “Hey, NORML, how about we support you by advertising and you support us by accepting the ad.  The day the ad appeared on NORMLtv was the first time we saw it there and probably just as shocking to the president.

View full post on NORML Blog, Marijuana Law Reform