Retired LAPD officer Stephen Downing submitted YouTube's most popular question for President Barack Obama's Google Plus hangout on Monday, but Google chose to avoid the marijuana stank.
The Internet giant, with a great promotional opportunity for its expanding social network, had control over which questions were asked. Downing's, which said the country's drug policies are "a failure and a complete waste of criminal justice," did not make that cut.
It ranked as the top vote getter on YouTube and the second most popular overall behind a text message query related to copyright and piracy, according to drug legalization advocacy group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).
Downing, a LEAP board member, issued the following statement:
"It's worse than silly that YouTube and Google would waste the time of the president and of the American people discussing things like midnight snacks and playing tennis when there is a much more pressing question on the minds of the people who took the time to participate in voting on submissions. A majority of Americans now support legalizing marijuana to de-fund cartels and gangs, lower incarceration and arrest rates and save scarce public resources, all while generating new much-needed tax revenue. The time to discuss this issue is now. We're tired of this serious public policy crisis being pushed aside or laughed off."
Note that the statement goes after Google and YouTube but not the President. And the White House did send an email to TheWrap earlier in the day noting that decisions on the questions asked would be made by Google.
And what about the online piracy question that ranked even higher than the pot query?
Obama said that he believed the integrity of the Internet could be respected while still protecting intellectual property that creates jobs in the United States.