Video at link. The hypocrisy really stuck out at me when I saw the ad. I have no doubt Obama is the lesser of two evils on this issue, but he's still too far on the wrong side of it to pull this off. Joking about what you arrest them and their peers for is sure to win over the youth vote.President Obama recorded a video with the actors who portrayed stoner duo Harold and Kumar to promote the Democratic convention to young voters. But critics of the White Houses drug policy are not laughing.
The fact Obama uses these characters to joke about this issue while on the other hand continuing to arrest people hes appealing to is really disingenuous, Morgan Fox, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project, told TPM Tuesday. As president he conducts more raids on medical marijuana facilities than Bush.
The Harold and Kumar movies are inextricably tied to pot, which is featured or mentioned more or less continuously in each of their three films. At one point, the two characters smoke marijuana with an actor portraying President Bush, who they accuse of hypocrisy for arresting drug offenders.
The campaign film, too, derives its humor from the Harold and Kumar franchises drug gags. Without naming the characters, it features the two actors looking spaced out, laughing at cartoons and munching on junk food in a dirty apartment similar to the one in their own movies. Press materials promoting the video refer to Kal Penn and John Cho (of Harold and Kumar) fame.
Obama press secretary Ben LaBolt said Tuesday that the film was meant to appeal to the youth vote by focusing on Penn, a former White House staffer and longtime campaign surrogate. But he declined to directly address the hypocrisy charge.
Kals been a longtime supporter of the president, he said. Hes done more work organizing in states, getting college kids mobilized, than anybody else and were proud to have him lead our youth efforts
Drug laws have been a recurring issue when Obama tries to connect to younger voters. A recent interview with users on online message board Reddit generated hundreds of questions about his marijuana policy, although Obama did not address the issue. After receiving a flood of similar questions online in 2009 for an interactive town hall, Obama joked, I dont know what this says about the online audience before restating his administrations stance against drugs.