President-elect Obama opposes the legalization of marijuana, but plans to overturn President Bush’s limitations on human stem cell research, according to the first answers to the public’s questions posted on the Obama presidential transition team’s Open for Questions web site.
The top-ranked question overall framed the issue of legalizing marijuana in the context of economic recovery.
Question: “Will you consider legalizing marijuana so that the government can regulate it, tax it, put age limits on it, and create millions of new jobs and create a billion dollar industry right here in the U.S.?”
Team Obama Response: “President-elect Obama is not in favor of the legalization of marijuana.”
Long a hot topic among the American people, stem cell research generated the fourth most-voted for question:
Question: “Will you lift the ban on Stem Cell research in your first 100 days in office?”
Team Obama Response: “President-elect Obama is a strong supporter of Federal funding for responsible stem cell research and he has pledged to reverse President Bush's restrictions.”
Second- and third-ranked questions focused on the war on terror vs. the Constitution, and the Wall Street bailouts.
Question: “What will you do as President to restore the Constitutional protections that have been subverted by the Bush Administration and how will you ensure that our system of checks and balances is renewed?”
Team Obama Response: “President-elect Obama is deeply committed to restoring the rule of law and respecting constitutional checks and balances.That is why he has pledged to review Bush Administration executive orders. President-elect Obama will also end the abuse of signing statements, and put an end to the politicization that has taken place within the Department of Justice and return that agency to its historic and apolitical mission of fair and impartial administration of justice.”
Question: “What will you do to establish transparency and safeguards against waste with the rest of the Wall Street bailout money?"
Team Obama Response: “President-elect Barack Obama does not believe an economic crisis is an excuse for wasteful and unnecessary spending. As our economic teams works with congressional leadership to put together a plan, we will put in place reforms to ensure that your money in invested well. We will also bring Americans back into government by amending executive orders to ensure that communications about regulatory policymaking between persons outside government and all White House staff are disclosed to the public. In addition all appointees who lead the executive branch departments and rulemaking agencies will be required to conduct the significant business of the agency in public so that every citizen can see in person or watch on the Internet these debates.”