Ideas For Change: Legalize Marijuana
The website change.org is offering folks an opportunity to send an unmistakable message to the incoming administration. By logging onto the website here, visitors can “vote” on whether to “legalize the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana.”
Having gained over 1,800 votes so far, pot legalization is currently the top vote getter in the “criminal justice” category.
A few folks have written NORML in the past 24 hours expressing difficulty logging on to the change.org website. If so, try cutting and pasting the following url into your browser:
I’ve also listed instructions in the comments section below to help folks better navigating the site and vote.
According to the website:
The ‘Top 10 Ideas for America’ will be presented to the Obama Administration on Inauguration Day.
The ‘Top 10 Ideas for America’ will be determined through two rounds of voting. In the first round, ideas will compete against other ideas in the same issue category. The first round will end on December 31, 2008, and the top 3 rated ideas from each category will make it into the second round. The second round of voting will begin on Monday, January 5, and each qualifying idea will compete against the qualifying ideas from all other categories. Second round voting will end on Thursday, January 15.
What happens after voting?
Our work does not end with the voting process or the delivery of the top 10 ideas to the Obama administration on Inauguration Day. That is rather the end of the beginning. Instead of passively hoping the administration accepts each top idea, we will select a formal nonprofit sponsor for each idea to help create a nationwide movement to lobby the administration and Congress to turn the idea into real policy. … We will then build a national campaign to advance each idea in Congress, marshaling the resources of Change.org, MySpace, and our dozens of partner organizations and millions of combined members.
Want to assure that marijuana law reform is one of the “Top 10 Ideas” presented to President-Elect Obama? Then take five minutes to log on to the website and vote.
Please note that change.org is not affiliated with the with the Obama transition team website change.gov. If you have not yet done so, please take a moment today to contact the Office of the President Elect and demand that our next administration engages in a national dialogue on marijuana policy.
Here are three suggested ways that the Obama administration can take immediate, practical steps to reform America’s antiquated and punitive pot laws.
1. President Obama must uphold his campaign promise to cease the federal arrest and prosecution of (state) law-abiding medical cannabis patients and dispensaries by appointing leaders at the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the US Department of Justice, and the US Attorney General’s office who will respect the will of the voters in the thirteen states that have legalized the physician-supervised use of medicinal marijuana.
2. President Obama should use the power of the bully pulpit to reframe the drug policy debate from one of criminal policy to one of public health. Obama can stimulate this change by appointing directors to the Office of National Drug Control Policy who possess professional backgrounds in public health, addiction, and treatment rather than in law enforcement.
3. President Obama should follow up on statements he made earlier in his career in favor of the decriminalization of marijuana by adults by calling for the creation of a bi-partisan Presidential Commission to review the budgetary, social, and health costs associated with federal marijuana prohibition, and to make progressive recommendations for future policy changes.
December 10, 2008