President Obama participated in a promotional video for the Democratic National Convention in which he appears to call famed stoner duo Harold and Kumar. It’s an effort to appeal to younger voters. This naturally ruffled the feathers of marijuana lobbyists due to Obama’s abysmal record on marijuana rights, having raided more medical marijuana dispensaries than President Bush.
People upset about this are right. One of the most disappointing aspects of Obama’s presidency has been his continued support for the drug war, especially when he knows that it is a failed policy and he promised to respect state laws on medical marijuana. And for him to use famed stoner characters, acting stoned for laughs, to promote the DNC when he’s arresting people for engaging in that very behavior is hypocritical.
At the same time Kal Penn is a longtime supporter of the president and even left the TV show House to work in the Obama White House. Also, it seems a little silly to get bent out of shape because the president is using stoner characters to help youth outreach. As someone who has seen and enjoyed the immense silliness of the Harold and Kumar movies it’s hard to garner up any sort of moral outrage at their use.
All in all it’s probably win-win. Obama gets to promote the DNC through young and likable actors who are known for funny characters, and marijuana advocates get a platform to discuss the problems with the current law and the problems with Obama’s record on marijuana.