Change We Can Believe In?

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director December 29, 2008

    Change.gov, the official website of President-Elect Obama, has reopened its online polling page, “Open for Questions.” Of course we all know what happened the last time the incoming administration asked the public to decide what issue should be America’s top priority. And we’re all well aware of Obama’s less than favorable reply.

    That said, the fact that the legalization of marijuana finished first out of over 7,000 questions polled generated significant media coverage, including features by Fox News (watch the video here), Esquire, and The Hill.  So let’s keep the media and the soon-to-be President’s feet to the fire and continue to push the debate.

    Currently, over 25,000 public policy questions have been submitted to Obama’s website. Dozens of these questions pertain to cannabis law reform. Right now, the leading vote-getter among these (with 2,000 votes) is:

    “Why do you believe that marijuana should not be legalized? How is the prohibition of marijuana any different than the prohibition of alcohol? 100,000 Americans die every year due to alcohol but none to marijuana.”

    Please take a moment and log onto the Change.gov site to voice your support for this question, and others pertaining to the need to end America’s antiquated and punitive prohibition of marijuana. (To vote for this and other popular marijuana law reform questions, click on the “additional issues” link or perform a word search using the term “marijuana.”) The people spoke once before; it’s time we make our voices heard again!

    “Change we can believe in?” We shall see.

    88 responses to “Change We Can Believe In?”

    1. Brian says:

      I love how this round of questions does not have a “Criminal Justice” section like the first round of questions. Anyone else thinks this was done on purpose due to the fact that legalization of marijuana and war drugs were in the top 10 last time? Seems curious to me as the new sections don’t seem to fit the legalization / war on drugs topic.

    2. pedro says:

      Oh My God… i feel we’re getting so close!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! =]]]]]]]]]]]
      i honestly believe we will see it 100% legal, for the sick & healthy, in our lifetime!!!!
      we just have to wait for all these old people to die out.. lol

    3. mr reuben says:

      I have a feeling we are building ourselves up for another disappointing answer.

    4. RevRayGreen says:

      keeping the feet to the fire here in Iowa.

    5. Awesome! Let’s force them to respond to another question. We won’t be ignored!


    6. brent says:

      Why does it not show a marijuana question as a top economic question on change.gov ? We are talking about millions of jobs, and billions of dollars, right? BELOW ARE THE QUESTIONS I SUBMIITED TO CHANGE.GOV .WHEN I WENT TO COPY AND PASTE THEM TO THE BLOG RESONSE, I FOUND MY QUESTIONS ARE ALL FLAGGED INAPPROPRIATE! WHAT THE HELL! “will you legalize hemp and marijuana so we can use the billions of dollars it will create, and millions of jobs it will create to revolutionize or economy and stop black market crime?”
      shaw6038, oil city,PA – Economy View response Post a response

      “will you stop the DEA, and our fine police from attacking innocent people and imprisoning them, destroying people and families, crushing dreams, and breaking hearts, for those of us who otherwise are good ,law bidding citizens whom enjoy marijuana?”
      shaw6038, oil city,PA – Additional Issues View response Post a response
      “Why not use hemp to cure our energy crisis? It is the best plant to use for making bio fuel, it can be used to create electric, instead of burning coal. It seems silly to ignore all its positives, because of a few who just don’t know
      the facts.”
      shaw6038, oil city,PA – Energy & Environment View response Post a response

      “1 acre hemp makes as much paper as 4 to 10 acres of trees in a 20 year cycle , when it grows it reduces greenhouse gas, the same as all those trees we keep cutting down. Plan to do the sensible thing?”
      shaw6038, oil city,PA – Energy & Environment View response Post a response

    7. paul armentano says:

      To vote on popular marijuana law reform questions on the Change.gov site, go here:


      and click on the “additional issues” link:

      #2 most popular in this category: (3000 votes)

      “The people of this country want marijuana decriminalization, when will marijuana be decriminalized? Why continue to spend billions of dollars to prohibit marijuana when evidence shows that the war on drugs is, as you said, “an utter failure”?”

      #3 (2,900 votes)

      “The Drug War has been an incredibly expensive failure since it’s inception. Meanwhile, millions of our citizens have been incarcerated for using drugs. I think we need to end this folly. What do you think, Mr. President?”

      #5 (2,600 votes)

      “Why do you believe that marijuana should not be legalized? How is the prohibition of Marijuana any different than the prohibition of alcohol? 100,000 Americans die every year due to alcohol but none to Marijuana”

    8. CEOofRawness says:

      Just type in “marijuana” on the top left search bar on Change.gov (http://change.gov/page/content/openforquestions_20081217_private_url) and vote yes on all the marijuana related questions.

      I’m sure if the majority of the questions on the top 20 are marijuana-related then Obama will be forced to deal with this issue.

    9. mntnman says:

      I think change.gov is rigging the system.I also think there is an organized neg campaign going on…I notice alot more negs on the marijuana questions than last time.
      It is VERY important to get our questions to the top again so the transition team can’t claim it was a fluke.

    10. paul armentano says:


      The first round of voting at Change.org also ends on December 31. Marijuana legalization remains the site’s #1 question — the top 3 highest polled questions from each category go to round 2 — but a few other marijuana related questions could use a boost:

      * Legalize the Medicinal and Recreational Use of Marijuana (currently in 1st place in the Criminal Justice category)
      * Legalize Marijuana For Medical And Recreational Use (currently in 4th place in the Criminal Justice category)
      * End DEA classification of Marijuana as having no medical benefits! (currently in 5th place in the Health Care category)
      * Legalize Marijuana it fits in all causes like global warming to just plain better environment! (currently in 6th place in the Other category)
      * Save family farms growing hemp for methanol production (currently in 4th place in the Agricultural Policy category)


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