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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. Vote like a Beast says:

      Once again. Marijuana will never be legalized as long as pot smokers vote for prohibitionist canidates. President Obama said it best, “We can agree to disagree on some issues ( like marijuana) while working together on others.” You see people who want Marijuana to be illeagle ( already a minority, according to zogby polls) will NOT vote for any politician who doesn’t support prohibition, people who want Marijuana to be regulated like alcohol ( a majority ) WILL vote for a drug warrior based on agreement on OTHER issues. The NRA and AARP have supreme political power in the U.S. because their members accept no compromise, regardless of agreement on other issues. To them there are no “lesser of two evils”, you either support their position or no vote.
      In 2000 Gore told liberals, I can’t be seen with you, but you should vote for me. Saint Ralph Nader captured just 2% of the vote and that was the end of Republican-lite. Yes that did result in Bush winning, but Democrats got the message and returned to their progressive roots in 2008,instead of continuing the drift to the right.

    2. smiles says:

      Ok people, we have 3 hours left to vote at change.org . marijuana question was #1 but come to find out their are some people trying to change that and there doing a hell of a job too. http://www.democrats.com/encourage-obama-to-appoint-a-special-prosecutor

      there sending out e-mail’s as we speak to boost their question past the marijuana issues

      we need everyone to go to change.org and vote like hell, make phone calls , send emails to family and friends. get the word out it’s the only way we have a chance thx for your time and effort plaese go to other sites and pass the word

    3. Vote like a Beast says:

      A couple of suggestions. 1. Norml or MPP or somebody needs to post a voter guide every 2 years. DO NOT endorse a canadate unless they specifically ask for it. Instead produce an enemies list. Let people know that by voting for this person they are voting FOR prohibition. Few Canidates want to be endorsed by NORML, but NO canidate will tell you not to vote for themselves. Where I live I am represented by 2 Democrat senators and 1 Democrat House member. I consider myself to be a proud liberal and most liberal groups give these 3 high ratings. But not where it counts. They stay far away from drug reform and I stay far away from them.
      2. NORML needs to run a canidate for PRESIDENT. Can they win, of course not. But if they siphone off enough votes to throw the election to the other side(a la Saint Nader) , just sit back and watch the CHANGE in Marijuana policy.
      ELECTION RESULTS 2012: REPUBLICAN: 48%
      DEMOCRAT: 47%
      NORML: 2%
      By 2014 Democrats will be sounding very anti-prohibition, if they’re rewarded with votes marijuana will be legal by 2016. CONTINUE TO VOTE FOR PROHIBITIONIST AND MARIJUANA WILL NEVER BE LEGAL. How many times has some South Park head obnoxiously told you “elections are always between a douchebag and a turd sandwich”. Answer, NO, it’s between Drug Warrior A and Drug Warrior B, and I’m not voting for either one.

    4. owenbrady says:

      vote yes on everything including magic mushroom votes!

      this will only pass with ur help

    5. Jeremy says:

      Keep it up guys! Were making progress!

    6. shaw6038 says:

      I think they are screwing with the poll! The number one question in addtional issues is about appointing some Fitzgearld dude to investigate the ” Bush crimes “. Yea right! They can’t tell me that is on more peoples minds than marijuana reform, not to mention that isn’t gonna happen anyhow. Bunch of fuckin jerks!

    7. shaw6038 says:

      So is the change.gov poll closed now? Where is the vote tally located? I’d like to know where the top marijuana question placed overall, and how many cannabis related questions were asked in total. How does that # compare to other single topic questions totals?

    8. Watch Zeitgeist the movie says:

      This is a great question it dose not include marijuana as a drug but places it beside alcohol where it belongs.

      Every time we give in to augments that class marijuana as a drug we are just shoot our self’s in the foot! Not a single legal recreational drug exist in America not one. As long as weed is regarded as a drug it will never be legal.
      Remember and use this phrase “It’s a Herb not a drug”

      I know it may seem like a semantic augment but even in Obama’s youtube clip on weed. He classes cannabis as a drug and goes on to say it should be treated the same as any other drug. If you were to ask him if the cigarettes he smokes are drugs and should be regulated like any other drug I’ll bet he would say no.

      Alcohol and tobacco were once marked and sold as drugs, but were removed from that category there is no reason weed can’t do the same. Question like this one are a great start.

    9. Gabriel Robles says:

      you know what if obama is in fear ive been thinking…. … …or what if the tobacoo company bought him evrey man has his price…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-Znv41SIJU&feature=related

      or what if somewone bought obama what if weve been tricked?
      what if there plans are to keep jailing us?What if all our work has been nothing but we ask and get the wrong answers?What if you trust somewone and when your jailed nowone comes to your aid??

      What if they just care more about the money then seing us dead?

    10. joeblow says:

      you people write paragraphs on hear no better yet books. look why are you preaching to the quire. THat one guy he wrote a page long sermon on why we should. WE GET WE KNOW IT ALREADY STOP FUCKING TALKING ABOUT IT. IT PISSES ME OFF TO KNOW FUCKING END YOU PEOPLE YOU VOTE THIS PEICE OF SHIT IN THINKING OMG CHANGE WHEN IN ALL REALITY ITS THE SAME OLD SHIT. IM FED UP WITH THES POLICIES AND RULES REGULATING MY LIFE THAT GOD GAVE ME. THESE ASSHOLE ACT LIKE THERE TO ONES WHOM GAVE US LIFE I SAY FUCK THAT THEY SHOULDNT BE ABLE TO TELL US WHAT TO DO. THATS OUR NEW STAND NOT BEGGING TO LEGALIZE IT. WE NEED TO STAND UP FOR OUR RIGHTS. WE NEED TO PETITION IN WASHINGTON DC. IM GOING THERE IN APRIL WILL I SEE ANY OF YOU BICKERING BASTARDS THERE PROBABLY NOT. WE NEED TO GO THERE AND PICKET IN FRONT OF THE WHITE HOUSE YOULL SEE ME ON THE NEWS IM SURE. LIKE I SAID ILL BE THERE IN APRIL. JOIN ME IF YOU CAN OR IF YOU REALLY FEEL LIKE YOU SAY YOU DO DONT LET YOUR BARK BE BIGGER THAN YOUR BITE. SORRY FOR THIS IM JUST PISSED OFF AT AMERICA THE WORLD BECAUSE IM TIRED OF BEING PUSHED AROUND AND TOLD WHAT WHEN WHERE HOW AND WHO.

    11. The Oracle says:

      Obama had better legalize cannabis! It had better not be another case of defining “change” as changing the people in office who merely keep prohibition alive, keep things the same. The economy is in the dumps, and the money to stimulate its recovery and maintain troops in the Middle East has to come from somewhere. Legalize it and control the worldwide distribution and sales of the premioum Afghan hash to pay for keeping Afghanistan as a protectorate, reshape the Middle East, and with the revenues from that internationally and domestic revive the economy into a green, eco-friendly machine!

    12. Ted Dankson says:

      There’s one question for decriminalization in National Security in the #2 spot. VOTE FOR IT. It’s only behind by 327 votes. WE CAN DO THIS.

    13. Edwin says:

      Hopefully soon marijuana laws are reformed.
      It is sad to see so many hard working people, college educated, etc, have their lives changed for simple possession charges. Many cannot acquire certain jobs because of it. So much for a free country eh.

    14. Philo says:

      On the question site, type ‘*’ (the little ‘star’ above the ‘8’) in the search box. This will list out ALL the questions in order regardless of category. Cannabis comes up at #9 and several other times in the top 50. Get the word out and KEEP VOTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    15. RevRayGreen says:

      I got 670 yes’s submitted but kept having a server error getting back to the list. Problem was mixed in the pro-marijuana questions are some that are for ex: more harsh penalties and more prisons, so it is very important to read each one and not get click happy.

      to quote one of the question’s, that was actually funny and sums it up. “I don’t use mariuana or care.Will you make marijuana legal so you can deal with more serious issues so all the stoners will shut up about it ? “

    16. Sean Duvall says:

      This sort of hounding isn’t going to get decent answers. For our president-elect to give us the answer we so desire would be political suicide. Secondly, the question itself seems flawed – marijuana smoke IS carcinogenic, it can cause cancer. Casting it as harmless discredits the entire movement.

      A better question would be to ask if

      “You would seriously consider paving the way for studies to be done investigating the effects of cannabis on society, the effects of prohibition, and the possible effects of decriminalization and legalization.”

    17. Logan says:

      I don’t know if having so many marijuana questions is good for channeling focus on the most popular question we want at the top. It kind of spreads the cream too thin, don’t you think? I don’t think any media will circulate how many marijuana questions there were… the news will report how many unique votes to a popular question though, if it tops a category!

    18. JG says:

      I think that we’re closer now than ever before. I agree with one of the earlier comments, we need to take this to every medium possible. Digg, reddit, facebook, myspace, etc. We really need to push it.

      I myself started a facebook group, HEMP USA, Humans for an End to Marijuana Prohibition. I invite you all to search for it and join. Once you’ve done that invite all your sensible friends to join. Better yet, create your own group.

      My goal with this group HEMP USA is to gather a respectable number of supporters and draft an online petition to lawmakers, to show just how many honest, tax paying citizens support this cause.

      Every little bit counts. Please come and join HEMP USA if you have FaceBook.

      -jg

    19. Jesse says:

      Is the fact that youve appointed an author of The War on Drugs as VP the reason you’re choosing to continues it funding, as well as failing to maintain a consistent stance on marijuana or stand by your promise to stop prosecuting the sick and dying?

      “While running Senate 2004, Obama told college students that he supported decriminalizing medical mj use, before later raising his hand in opposition 2007, only to later say he has “always” supported decriminalization. Can you clarify your views?”

      “Is the fact that you’ve appointed an author of The War on Drugs as VP the reason you choose to continues its funding, ignoring polls such as Time/CNN showing that less than a fifth of the population supports the continuation of arresting and jailing.”

    20. Danny B says:

      I just posted a question on the Change.GOV and this would be a fair idea

      “Will you pass a bill to let us the people vote for the legalization of marijuana, for as each state votes for their own independent decision on the legalization of marijuana.”

    21. Jerry says:

      The drug , alcohol and tobacco companies have been using deceptive ads to decieve and trick the people into believing marijuana is the problem when it’s their own drugs that , kill and cause irreversible harm to the human body . Marijuana does none of these things .

    22. Cherokee Fred Hussein aka Stupid old man says:

      We are currently 12, need to move up. If you voted for our issue pleas vote against the ones above us this will help move us up. We now have over 900 against which is deducted from total positive votes.

      Cherokee Fred Hussein Stein aka Stupid old man

    23. fringe says:

      the best thing to do is search with * then vote up all cannabis questions AND vote down all others whether you agree of not. Do this for say.. the top 30. This takes 5 minutes and you are done!!!

    24. Raoul says:

      WE all must stop letting the government do this to us. They take our money and build themselves us, abandon our civil liberties and continue to grow. We need to organize on a large scale and let the powers that be know that WE WILL NOT TAKE IT ANYMORE.

    25. AL from Cali says:

      hey #66, ever hear of a vaporizer or brownies? Does wonders for the lungs. As for all this change.org drama all I have to say is: after we all get ignored and laughed at again just think to yourself “Ron Paul 2012″ because we need someone who actually cares about our liberty and freedom as individuals.

    26. Anonymous says:

      Currently NUMBER 1 in National security!!! Keep it up!!!

      “Our current war on drugs is failing America. Billions of dollars are spent on a losing campaign. Our prisons are overflowing with people that don’t deserve to be there. What is the government going to do in an effort to fix this major problem?”

    27. J, TN says:

      Have any of you contact any larger publications such as HT and such? Maybe they could mention it, if they already haven’t.

    28. Florida is a fascist swamp says:

      Hey joeblow
      Long paragraphs all in capital letters are very hard to read, but I get it your mad as hell and your not gonna take it any more. I’m with ya but I won’t be in April I’m on house arrest.

      Anyone who won’t get a year in jail for attending should be putting in for their vacation time now.

    29. Darral Good says:

      check this out:

      http://www.change.org/ideas/view/
      legalize_the_medicinal_and_recreational_use_of_marijuana

      first of all who is

      Jose Torres (Unemployed / Disabled / Activist / Supporter), Newark, NJ Nov 07 @ 09:25AM PST

      and why does his web page list him as doing NOTHING FOR THE MOVEMENT?

      he’s never written any letters to the editor?

      CMON!

      I just sent him this message-

      I have written and had published thousands of letters to the editor about the legalization of marijuana and ending the war on drugs and I’ve never seen a single letter writen by you.

      what’s up with that?

      how did your name and picture show up on this web page?

      you are not even a member of any activist organizations? how is that?

      here is my page on their site- they spoofed me too.

      http://www.change.org/profile/view/206824

      — On Fri, 1/2/09, Darral Good wrote:

      From: Darral Good
      Subject: Re: Nov-L: Forming the New Political Agenda
      To: “Nora Callahan”
      Date: Friday, January 2, 2009, 6:37 PM

      are you sure that’s the official site?

      I put my profile on one that was just spoof site

      and I noticed that another powerful activist

      njweedman has been spoofed as well

      check out his web site:

      http://obeygiant.com/voteforchange/ed-nj-weedman-forchion/

      and did you see the story on the thousands of shooes all over the miami highway?

      http://www.miamiherald.com/459/story/834846.html

      I think someone with a very powerful computer is doing some weird stuff right now.

      I can’t figure it out.

      OBEY GIANT? what the hell!

    30. Anonymous says:

      free your mind has 8000 positives and should be at sixth place but does not even show up on the “Currently in the Lead”.

    31. mrcsmitty says:

      We have hope for an Honest Government ! That ideas and Facts will be real and not just based on what the highest bidder wants to be fact. That trampling our “lesser” citizens to fill certain pockets with wealth by lies and greed will stop! That ruining our great planet with petroleum products and chemicals only because of bias studies and greed will come to an end! That thousands of Law Enforcement and Border Guards can stop losing their lives over lies and greed! That thousands of Innocent-Honest-Hard Working Americans won’t have their Lives and Families ruined by unfair laws funded by lies and greed! That America will be what our Founding Fathers intended it to be, FREE! That our Economy can Flourish with Savings from our bias War on our own people if it were to stop! That Millions of Jobs can be created and sick could have natural relief! That we can end our current failed wars on our people and stop the injustice! That prohibition on our rights will end! That prohibition will end! I know we can do it! YES WE CAN!!! We can be back to an America that’s government is OF the people, BY the people, FOR the people and not OVER the people! YES WE CAN!!!

    32. Ticked says:

      H E L L O ! ! Pedro (12/30/08) wrote what is unfortunitly ‘ the truth ‘ ‘hard headed’ vs. ‘the Heads…..May the best man win…….

    33. Dopey says:

      You know what i think bc marijuana was the top ? in the last poll they put this ? up there about arresting the current leaders. This is so Obama can go back and say see its a bad idea to arrest bush we cant do that and we certainly would decriminalize marijuana. Do you think there both good Ideas? Spoken by Obama or his camp gaurantee. WAtch

    34. Fortuenti says:

      My submission:

      “Were it not for the nefarious President Nixon , this site would not now be so besieged with calls for marijuana policy reform. Have you considered implementing the recommendations of his very own Shafer Commission and allow 10th Amendment to prevail?”

      Submitted via “Share Vision” screen:

      “ End the legacy of the NEFARIOUS President Richard M Nixon;

      =======================
      END THE WAR ON DRUGS
      =======================

      MARIJUANA, in particular.

      No need for any more costly studies by the gov’t — they’ve already been done. It’s just that they were cast aside because they did not conform with political agendas. Just google keywords “Shafer Commission” to find out more.

      Our incoming president can save BILLIONS of [BORROWED, mind you] dollars and redirect law-enforcement priorities to more beneficial and effective areas by simply implementing the recommendations of the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse. 37 years late is better than never.

      Thank you.”

      ====P.S.====

      We need to keep reminding ourselves that the CSA and War On Drugs? were the offsp?ring of Richard (“I”) M (“not a crook”?)? Nixon? & Company [?note:? if he wasn’?t a crook? then why did he need a blanket pardo?n from his succe?ssor Geral?d Ford and why did nearl?y ALL of his inner? circl?e end up going? to priso?n??]? Even his very own Shafer Commission recommended marijuana policy reform but he disregarded its findings because Cannabis was popular with blacks, hippies, anti-war activists, Jewish psychiatrists and others this paranoid megalomaniac considered to be political enemies.
      http://www.cannabisculture.com/articles/2500.html

      So there? you have it, a small? group? of REAL CRIMI?NALS who contr?olled? the US Gov’?t makin?g criminals out of the “?littl?e peopl?e”? who just want to live their lives? in peace? and seek respi?te from pain or relax? from the drudg?ery of life with a NATUR?AL,? eco-?frien?dly HERB.?

      DRUG WAR = RICHARD NIXON?’?S LASTI?NG LEGAC?Y.?

      “Tricky Dick” Nixon, the only US presi?dent to have ever been force?d to resig?n in DISGR?ACE or face CERTAIN impeachment/conviction yet his drug polic?y reign?s supre?me and his party? worsh?ips his Sacre?d Cow to this day as if it were the Gospe?l of Chris?t (?don’?t ever forge?t that MOST Republican?s are MAKE-?BELIE?VE Christians to boot!? After all, what would Jesus think of locking people in cages and warehouses and STEALING their property because of a plant that His Father put on the Earth? A question the “Christian Right” refuses to answer)

    35. Adam says:

      It’s often easy to forget Obama is a political figure in a dirty political game… he has to fight through an immense amount of **** in order to decriminalize marijuana – it won’t be easy for him. OUR DRUG LAW MUST BE REFORMED!

    36. OBAMA & HOLDER says:

      NO YOU WON’T!
      you people are so silly foe voting in this mess. go ahead
      and kick yourself!

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