PEEK

Obama Takes Pot Legalization Question During Online Townhall

"Do we really need that many victimless criminals?"

The White House's innovative Open for Questions forum has produced plenty of substantive questions on wonky issues. But roughly midway through, the president preemptively took one of the more popular and provocative questions of the bunch.

The query, which received more than three million votes, was: "With over 1 out of 30 Americans controlled by the penal system, why not legalize, control, and tax marijuana to change the failed war on drugs into a money making, money saving boost to the economy? Do we really need that many victimless criminals?"

Obama actually interrupted the M.C of the event -- Jared Bernstein, chief economist to the Vice President -- in order to tackle the topic. He kept his answer brief.

Sam Stein is a Political Reporter at the Huffington Post, based in Washington, D.C.
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