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  1. jon-q
    A petition to legalize and regulate marijuana quickly jumped to the top of a the White House's online petition site on Thursday, the first same day it was launched.

    The petition, on the White House's "We the People" site, asks: "Isn't it time to legalize and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol? If not, please explain why you feel that the continued criminalization of cannabis will achieve the results in the future that it has never achieved in the past?"

    The White House has promised to issue an official response for any petition that gets at least 5,000 signatures within 30 days. As of Thursday night, the marijuana petition already had more than 10,000 signatures.

    The petition was created and promoted by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).

    In addition, two other petitions concerning marijuana legalization had more than 2,000 signatures as of Thursday night.

    President Barack Obama has offered to answer popular questions on Twitter and YouTube, and those seeking to change the nations drug laws have pounced on the opportunity to bring their issues into the public spotlight.

    During a Twitter town hall event, where Obama answered Twitter users' questions in real-time, the most retweeted question was about the legalization of marijuana. The moderator of the online town hall, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, did not present the question to Obama.

    But the president did get a chance to answer a question about marijuana legalization during a YouTube Q&A in January. Obama was asked what his plan is to help alleviate the detrimental effects of America's drug war.

    He responded by saying that while he's not in favor of legalization, he did see room for adjusting the drug war to focus less on incarceration and enforcement and more on medical treatment and other forms of interdiction.

    Eric W. Dolan
    The Raw Story 22nd Sept 2011



  1. Balzafire
    Over 48,000 have signed it, including me. I also put it up on my Facebook account to get my friends to sign it.
    The president needs to know that we are gonna smoke and he needs our vote.
  2. jon-q
    Well it’s still the most popular petition on the Whitehouse website it was signed by 73,409 people.

    The petition official closed on the 22nd October, but it’s still possible to sign it.

    It’s also interesting to note that the threshold limit for these petitions changed from 5,000 to 25,000. This wouldn’t have affected this particular petition but it suggests the Whitehouse is trying to stack the odds in their favour for any future online petitions.

    I think we should expect a fairly predictable response from the powers that be, but you never know, they might just surprise us...

  3. Alfa
    I think for a nation of 312 million people, a minimum number of signatures of 25.000 is still low. If the Whitehouse truly takes these petition serious then popularity will increase a lot. And 25.000 will be very low.
  4. jon-q

    Official White House Response to Legalize and Regulate Marijuana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol. and 7 other petitions.

    When the President took office, he directed all of his policymakers to develop policies based on science and research, not ideology or politics. So our concern about marijuana is based on what the science tells us about the drug's effects.

    According to scientists at the National Institutes of Health- the world's largest source of drug abuse research - marijuana use is associated with addiction, respiratory disease, and cognitive impairment. We know from an array of treatment admission information and Federal data that marijuana use is a significant source for voluntary drug treatment admissions and visits to emergency rooms. Studies also reveal that marijuana potency has almost tripled over the past 20 years, raising serious concerns about what this means for public health – especially among young people who use the drug because research shows their brains continue to develop well into their 20's. Simply put, it is not a benign drug.

    Like many, we are interested in the potential marijuana may have in providing relief to individuals diagnosed with certain serious illnesses. That is why we ardently support ongoing research into determining what components of the marijuana plant can be used as medicine. To date, however, neither the FDA nor the Institute of Medicine have found smoked marijuana to meet the modern standard for safe or effective medicine for any condition.

    As a former police chief, I recognize we are not going to arrest our way out of the problem. We also recognize that legalizing marijuana would not provide the answer to any of the health, social, youth education, criminal justice, and community quality of life challenges associated with drug use.

    That is why the President's National Drug Control Strategy is balanced and comprehensive, emphasizing prevention and treatment while at the same time supporting innovative law enforcement efforts that protect public safety and disrupt the supply of drugs entering our communities. Preventing drug use is the most cost-effective way to reduce drug use and its consequences in America. And, as we've seen in our work through community coalitions across the country, this approach works in making communities healthier and safer. We're also focused on expanding access to drug treatment for addicts. Treatment works. In fact, millions of Americans are in successful recovery for drug and alcoholism today. And through our work with innovative drug courts across the Nation, we are improving our criminal justice system to divert non-violent offenders into treatment.

    Our commitment to a balanced approach to drug control is real. This last fiscal year alone, the Federal Government spent over $10 billion on drug education and treatment programs compared to just over $9 billion on drug related law enforcement in the U.S.

    Thank you for making your voice heard. I encourage you to take a moment to read about the President's approach to drug control to learn more.

    By Gil Kerlikowske

  5. shroooom
    What a load of crap. Sorry for one-liner.
  6. Terrapinzflyer
    I find it interesting the "official response" came late on a Friday- a classic washington trick to avoid the news cycles and bury a story. (note that enough signatures had been gathered to trigger a white response days earlier).

    Likewise it appears the response has cut off the ability to sign the petition- locking the number of signatures at 74,169.

    NORML, who started this petition, have a very detailed, and referenced response to the white house response on their site- should be one of the first results from a search.
  7. hatrix
    How can they just stop letting people sign the petition. That's so sketchy. Why offer this if you're just going to shut down any petition that makes itself noticed?
  8. Balzafire

    That was a rhetorical question, right?
  9. hatrix
    Yes haha it was. I'm just a little annoyed at the fact that it is the way it is, regarding the petitions.
  10. Scrubbs
    This isn't the 1st time that Marijuana is the number one subject matter at the white house. They know it, and we know it. They know that the majority of people want it legalized but of course they aren't going to do anything about it. I am sure everybody here knows that our govt. has been hi-jacked and there is no way in hell they are going to legalize Marijuana. In order for the people to get what they really want (for once) whether is Marijuana legalization or more fair tax laws, etc. they are going to have to fire most of the congress, the president, well actually about 95% of ALL the politicians.
  11. Terrapinzflyer
    I would argue the equation is not that simple. While supporters may be a "majority" in number (according to some polls), one must also consider the reality of the US representational government. For example- looking at a map of the 2008 elections (republican states red, democrat blue) paints a more formidable picture:

    In general, the cities, and also the wealthier and more educated regions) tend to be far more liberal. But popular opinion is different from a system where a majority of states see things differently.

    Even on the "left Coast" (california, oregon, and washington), long bastions of liberalism and marijuana reform, the states are vastly split, in large part by geography, with those west of the mountains tending to be fiercely liberal, and those east of the mountains fiercely conservative.

    Like so many issues- it is easy to see this as a no brainer- but scratch the surface and things are far more complicated then they appear.
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