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Aaron Houston - is this guy the best we can do?

hossua34

New Member
Last night, I was watching the Daily Show - Colbert Report block as I do every night, when Stephen Colbert opened a segment about North Dakotans' attempts to legalize industrial hemp farming. As he often does, he turned to a surprise guest for an interview. That night it was Aaron Houston - lobbyist for the Marijuana Policy Project and "therefore an expert on hemp", to quote Colbert.

Immediately I rolled my eyes and braced for the inevitable. I have seen this guy before, most notably in a Showtime documentary on medical marijuana, called "In Pot We Trust". What I was therefore already aware of was this: Aaron Houston is a pussy. Ok, maybe not a "pussy"... such wording is a little harsh. But the fact remains, that perhaps the most visible insider advocate for our cause (which is ultimately, marijuana law reform at many different levels) is a timid, shy and not particularly well-spoken little man. "Kid" would be a more fitting description, although I can only assume Houston has reached the age of legal adulthood; in all honesty, it seems as though the guy got his position because of a family connection or some such favor.

Houston immediately began the interview by responding to a question about hemp with some rehearsed line about the MPP's goal to legalize medical marijuana for seriously ill patients... Not even ten seconds in, he had already flung the interview down an irrelevant path and demonstrated that he was totally incapable of answering any questions about hemp - even simple ones to which any stoner would know the answer. Throughout the three or four-minute long interview, Houston repeated his pre-rehearsed lines and mission statements like a broken record, and wilted before Colbert's comedic interrogation. I hate to say it, but the guy really could have used a few tokes before stepping onto that stage...

As a college student with a mind for law and politics - not to mention a smoker and strong supporter of legalization - I find it humiliating that Aaron Houston is somewhat becoming the "face" of the legalization movement in Washington. We need a guy who knows how to talk to people, who is educated, confident and quick-witted - a guy who knows how to sculpt words into logical arguments instead of sputtering out the usual mottos and worn-out catchphrases. In short, we need Nick Naylor from that movie Thank You For Smoking, but instead we're getting the Little Lobbyist That Could. I for one simply do not believe there aren't better, more qualified, and willing candidates out there for such an important position.

--end rant--
 

beensmokin420

New Member
I strongly disagree,

Colbert was bashing stoners and he didn't give Houston anytime to respond to the 100 questions he kept asking.... COLBERT IS AN IDIOT! I dunno how anyone can watch that show, I only watched for that segmant w/ Houston but it was a jip. I mean no disrespect to you hossua34 but I just don't think that he was givin a fair amount of time to speak and give his answers, it was like they put him on there just to make fun of him and the whole culture.

Hemp is NOT Marijuana and I don't understand how someone cannot understand that. Houston said it loud and clear though, if you smoke hemp your gonna get the headache of your life!

In all I thought the whole bit was straight bullshit and just another whack at the Marijuana Culture.
 

hossua34

New Member
I strongly disagree,

Colbert was bashing stoners and he didn't give Houston anytime to respond to the 100 questions he kept asking.... COLBERT IS AN IDIOT! I dunno how anyone can watch that show, I only watched for that segmant w/ Houston but it was a jip. I mean no disrespect to you hossua34 but I just don't think that he was givin a fair amount of time to speak and give his answers, it was like they put him on there just to make fun of him and the whole culture.

Hemp is NOT Marijuana and I don't understand how someone cannot understand that. Houston said it loud and clear though, if you smoke hemp your gonna get the headache of your life!

In all I thought the whole bit was straight bullshit and just another whack at the Marijuana Culture.

Aaron... is that you?!?! :3:

No, I fully understand that the segment was set up to poke fun at this issue. But still, I didn't find his performance under pressure (albeit in a comedic situation) the least bit impressive. If he had no way to counter Colbert's wit, he could have at LEAST played along with the jokes. Instead he seemed nervous, repeated himself like a broken record, and did little or nothing to address the real issue of the interview, which was hemp.

The Colbert Report interview is nothing compared to seeing how this guy performs in from of congress members, even in casual situations. THAT is important stuff... And in "In Pot We Trust" you can tell he doesn't possess the persuasive skills to sell a vaccum cleaner, let alone the idea of medical marijuana to a congressperson from a conservative district... For crying out loud, at one point you get to see him at his best, approaching a Republican congresswoman outside an elevator and introducing himself and his position... She walks into the elevator, he takes a step back, giggles, and starts playing with his cell phone. "This happens a lot," he says.

The worst part is that he comes off not even as an annoying gnat in the halls of Congress. He comes off as LESS than that.
 

beensmokin420

New Member
Agreed, Houston does not perform very well at all under pressure. I too have seen "In Pot We Trust" and I thought his approches were a bit weak as well however, I do respect him for being out there and trying to change the laws, its more than most of us have ever done for the cause and he seems to have dedicated his life to this culture. He'll get better w/ time, he is young and fairly new to politics but he'll come around once he understands how the system works. I do love how he gets that one senator on camera all pissed off saying "there's no such thing as medical marijuana, there's no such thing as medical marijuana, there's no such thing as medical marijuana..." He makes that senator look like an immature child w/ a childish grudge against pot.

Good debate! :3:
 

hossua34

New Member
Agreed, Houston does not perform very well at all under pressure. I too have seen "In Pot We Trust" and I thought his approches were a bit weak as well however, I do respect him for being out there and trying to change the laws, its more than most of us have ever done for the cause and he seems to have dedicated his life to this culture. He'll get better w/ time, he is young and fairly new to politics but he'll come around once he understands how the system works. I do love how he gets that one senator on camera all pissed off saying "there's no such thing as medical marijuana, there's no such thing as medical marijuana, there's no such thing as medical marijuana..." He makes that senator look like an immature child w/ a childish grudge against pot.

Good debate! :3:
I agree with all of that. I also think it's admirable how much time and effort he dedicates to this cause. But what if he had said to that senator, "Is there anything with substance that you'd like to say about this issue, or are you going to just continue repeating yourself?" Then he would have looked like more of an a-hole, and he might have even provoked a legitimate debate right there in that hallway.
 

Agapeti

New Member
But what if he had said to that senator, "Is there anything with substance that you'd like to say about this issue, or are you going to just continue repeating yourself?" Then he would have looked like more of an a-hole, and he might have even provoked a legitimate debate right there in that hallway.

I think being diplomatic and "out there" as far as introducing himself, treating people with respect and basically getting his foot in the door is the way to go. I don't personally see him as being the worst we could possibly do. Provoking, insulting, and otherwise treating people poorly is clearly not the way to win votes. I think he's doing a good job representing the community.
Clearly his job is difficult because of the opposition he's facing and I agree he's young, but he's doing a good job so far and I think he'll get better as time goes on.
 

JMo15

New Member
Honestly, I know absolutely nothing about medical marijuana or the laws regarding it or the details of the plan to implement it further...but....

Dammit I could have done better. I would have played around with Colbert and eating the chips. And I would have made sure that my voice was strong and heard instead of drowned out. He seemed very stiff - stiff to the point of people not wanting to listen to what he has to say in the first place.

Of course, Colbert was being a dick beyond anything I've ever seen. He was a complete asshole to him. But that's something you have to deal with when you are making plugs for your cause. He needs an interview coach BADLY.
 

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
imo...
Colbert is not a journalist, reporter or talking head. Colbert is a comedian playing a conservative journalist. it is not a place to look for an honest interview. anyone going on that show would do well in watching a few episodes before appearing. my question would be why go on the show if you want a serious interview?

Aaron Houston is doing more for the movement than any of us with possibly the exception of 420/Rob. He is who we have right now so we need to back him up, hope he grows into the job or is replaced. but we need to stand with him while we wait.

if we keep waiting for perfect leaders we will wait a very long time.
 

Frog

New Member
and That's the Truth !!!

It's a Parody show folks, it's comedy !!!

And Arron is young and will learn how to handle thangs
give Da'Kid a shot ... maybe he needs to team up with some Older warriors to learn.
I know we sure need to get some analysts for Us on the job!!!
We need to get on the Evening News and off the Comedy shows.
I didn't see a word about the raids last week, could have been over shadowed by the Market but just seems to never reach the masses.
Unless it's funny.

I could use a job, again.
Since I'm on the radar now,
hard to maintain a Black cover.
 
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hossua34

New Member
I'm not implying that he's not doing great work for the cause. I just have to believe there are better choices at this time than a rookie young kid (of course I say that without even knowing his age, he could be a babyfaced 45 year old for all I know). Somebody with just the SLIGHTEST bit of charisma would be way more likely to break through to some of these congressmen than Houston is. Somebody who's a smooth talker... I mean, I realize the Colbert Report is a comedy show, give me a break. But how many times did Houston say we need to "replace the failed system of prohibition with one of regulation and taxation" in that 4-minute interview, anyways?

P.S. I may not be a Washington lobbyist, but I resent the implication that most of us on here do little or nothing to help promote the cause. How many of us regularly send parts of OUR checks to organizations like the MPP, instead of the other way around? Just sayin...
 

JMo15

New Member
imo...
Colbert is not a journalist, reporter or talking head. Colbert is a comedian playing a conservative journalist. it is not a place to look for an honest interview. anyone going on that show would do well in watching a few episodes before appearing. my question would be why go on the show if you want a serious interview?

Aaron Houston is doing more for the movement than any of us with possibly the exception of 420/Rob. He is who we have right now so we need to back him up, hope he grows into the job or is replaced. but we need to stand with him while we wait.

if we keep waiting for perfect leaders we will wait a very long time.
If we keep putting people such as Aaron into the public eye as representatives of our cause, we will also continue to not be taken seriously. Sure, he's out there, but seriously, is he helping us?

I said he needed to get a good interview coach. I still stand by that.
 

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
P.S. I may not be a Washington lobbyist, but I resent the implication that most of us on here do little or nothing to help promote the cause. How many of us regularly send parts of OUR checks to organizations like the MPP, instead of the other way around? Just sayin...
actually what i said was...

"Aaron Houston is doing more for the movement than any of us with possibly the exception of 420/Rob."

sending donations to org's that support the cause is a good and nessesary thing. please continue. but this guy is out there. his name is known so if you ask me that is putting a bit more on the line. i volunteer alota time here but i'm not willing to make my name known and put it all on the line. he is willing to do that.

i guess i just feel we need to be more supportive of our fellows instead of finding so much fault. remember.... divide and conquer. perhaps he isn't the best man for the job but if the best man doesn't step up to the plate you get the willing man instead.

i respect him not for his talents but his commitment.

did you know that some marijuana websites actually scheme against each other out of greed or who knows what motivations?

i'm for unity myself. i'm for supporting the like minded in this stuggle. i want him to be as successful as he possibly can. he is not the voice of our movement. we are the voice. we need to become one united voice.

:peace:
 

hossua34

New Member
perhaps he isn't the best man for the job but if the best man doesn't step up to the plate you get the willing man instead.
This is 100% true and it's also a sad reality that comes accross most notably in "In Pot We Trust": the opposition to pot on the governmental level is PURELY political, not moral in any sense.

Does this mean that vocally supporting marijuana legalization is equal to political suicide? I don't necessarily think it is... Jim Bob and Betty Sue Republican simply do NOT care about pot as much as they care about stopping abortions, keeping gays from marrying, and deporting all the illegals. I desperately hope this is something Houston addresses with politicians when he does manage to actually converse with them...
 

JMo15

New Member
i'm for unity myself. i'm for supporting the like minded in this stuggle. i want him to be as successful as he possibly can. he is not the voice of our movement. we are the voice. we need to become one united voice.

:peace:
That's how I feel as well.

Still think that he badly needs an interview coach to get him to act more confident in front of the camera.
 

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
ok, i will yield the point that he needs to work on his skills :cool:

i don't honestly think it will matter who is a spokesperson for marijuana. i think those in control or who think they are in control already have their minds made up and only if they feel it will help their agendas will they change their votes. woody harrelson is a great front man for hemp but i don't think he is really listened to by opposition forces. willie nelson isn't taken seriously. its gonna take people making a stand and perhaps even doing the unthinkable and voting to make the changes we need.
 

BlwnDroOn24s

New Member
http://www.newscloud.com/read/Aaron_Houston_The_Colbert_Report

he could have been smoother and a little more aggressive but it would be difficult under that kind of pressure and annoyance. If i was trying to make my point and he kept changing the sunbject and shit I would probly just get pissed. At least everyone can hopefully tell that Colbert is basically just mocking the things that he says bc they r so ridiculous
 

JMo15

New Member
ok, i will yield the point that he needs to work on his skills :cool:

i don't honestly think it will matter who is a spokesperson for marijuana. i think those in control or who think they are in control already have their minds made up and only if they feel it will help their agendas will they change their votes. woody harrelson is a great front man for hemp but i don't think he is really listened to by opposition forces. willie nelson isn't taken seriously. its gonna take people making a stand and perhaps even doing the unthinkable and voting to make the changes we need.
YES YES YES.

I wish people would stop thinking that their vote is a wasted vote because they aren't voting in the large majority. The way I look at it, voting for the majority is more of a wasted vote because they don't need your vote to win. We need all the help we can get, though, so stoners need to get off their ass and stop complaining about "the man" in a smoky room and get to the polls.
 
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