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Legalizing Marijuana Is America’s Top Political Issue — Again

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director March 15, 2010

    To the surprise of virtually no one who has been following public opinion polls for the past 18 months, the call to “legalize the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana” placed #1 in the 2010 Change.org online vote for the “Top 10 Ideas for Change in America.”

    Open voting at the Change.org website took place for six weeks — during which time citizens voted nearly 210,000 times on over 2,500 different ideas. This morning the website released the top 10 results here.

    Legalization’s first place victory was expected. After all, the issue topped a similar Change.org poll last year. Legalizing marijuana also finished #1 in the White House’s first ever Change.gov poll; it finished #1 in Barack Obama’s first-ever online Town Hall vote; and it finished #1 in the White House’s 2009 ‘Citizens Briefing Book.’

    Yet despite these consistent first-place finishes, the administration and the mainstream media remain dismissive. President Obama has twice publicly retreated from the issue — the second time chuckling that such a question would even be asked of him. His press secretary discounted the issue’s true public support, claiming that groups like NORML had somehow stuffed the online ballot box. As if! Meanwhile, mainstream media outlets brushed off the results as the work of “Internet trolls.”

    Trolls, huh? How do ‘trolls’ explain the consistent victories racked up by marijuana law reformers at the polls year after year? And how do trolls explain the rising public opinion poll numbers that now show that over 80 percent of the public supports legalizing medical marijuana, and a solid majority also backs legalization for all adults.

    Will today’s latest poll results finally be the time that President Obama, his press secretary, stuttering Robert Gibbs, Drug Czar Gil ‘legalization isn’t in my vocabulary‘ Kerlikowske, and the members of the mainstream press start to heed the public’s message that marijuana legalization is not a political liability, but rather it is a political opportunity?

    Probably not. But that doesn’t mean that we’re not going to stop telling them that it is.

    77 Responses to “Legalizing Marijuana Is America’s Top Political Issue — Again”

    1. SO THE WHITE HOUSES IZ FINALLY COME 2 D CONCLUSION THAT IF IT DONT MAKE DOLLARS IT DONT MAKE SENSE..I GOT AN E-MAIL FROM MY GOVERMENT D OTHER DAY..TELL EM ME 2 SUPPORT HEALTHCARE REFORM..I TOLD THEM I DONT SUPPORT ANYTHING THAT DOESNT REFER 2 D LEG. OF MARIJUANA! NOW THATS REAL HEALTHCARE LOL

    2. yessir says:

      ITS AN OUTRAGE!!!

      Let us not forget that our deaf government has already ignored the public’s words and will continue to do so until we clean house. Left .. Right .. It does not matter. Corruption began many many years ago and is now blatantly obvious, they just do not care. After all, what can we, the powerless, voiceless, public do to get the changes we desire?

      Walk softly.. carry a big stick.

    3. will says:

      Nothing new. Id expect the president to address the issue. Esp. for medical purposes, + the decriminalization of it.

      Im sure California, oregon+ Washington are the only 3 states to fully legalize the drug for recreational use.

    4. James T. says:

      Just more proof that the government really doesn’t care about what it’s people want. Its obvious that people are calling for reform in our drug policies, yet the only reform the media and the government brings up is the reform that benefits the Obama administration. And apparently they fail to see that legalization will help the economy after a couple years.

    5. Leslie Lea says:

      I sit here reading about a subject that I have great conviction and passion toward. I support the use of marijuana for both medical and recreational use. I see jails over crowded by “marijuana offenders”, all the money, lost of jobs and hardships on the families that help financially and emotionally with the devastation of a loved one being hauled away as a “common criminal”. I beg anyone/everyone that reads this to do whatever YOU can do within your means to make a difference. To stand up for what YOU believe in and what You feel is right. See what most of us don’t really know is that WE (me, you, them) are the only ones that can make the Change! Of course, I know there is great opposition…but think back…what great, life changing events in our history did not! In closing I would like to say to those that are fighting this once thought un-winnable battle, I for one will continue to express at every available opportunity the facts, my opinion and my knowledge. We can win this fight…if I don’t get to see it I pray for my son (21) and his sons to…Thanks for your attention on my outlook of the situation. Good Luck and God Bless!

    6. brian says:

      So when he laughs at us again can we stop pretending he is going to magically change his position in his second term? … If he offers some real change here, I’ll eat my words.

    7. Christopher says:

      It really makes you want to fight even harder.

    8. wash-voter says:

      Way to talk about the problem of having elephants in the room and use it as as a ploy to not actualy talk about the elephant in the room. “Hey, look shiny object over there”. Yeah we’re that stupid.

    9. Lea says:

      And most thought Obama was the smart one that would end Prohibition.
      To have to think that we should wait another five years until his second term lame-duck position kicks in is not an option that sets well with me. It may well be the way it goes however, it’s plain wrong. And Obama knows it.

      This latest victory at change dot org will be interesting to watch. Hope it fuels all pro legalization activists with renewed conviction.
      Remember the good folks in prison, the ones who loose their lives (drug cartel violence comes to mind), the sick and elderly, the VA veterans (there’s another question up at change dot org for their right to use cannabis), and please fill in the rest because the list goes on and on.

    10. Yoni says:

      It’s good to see that the fact that the American people ARE supportive of change is getting more and more recognized.

      Hopefully Obama won’t scoff at this one.

      Isn’t it the job of the politicians to fight for what the public desires? Even if they believe it to be wrong?

      If you are the president of a nation that is largely in support of murder, is it not your duty to support murder and allow it to all your citizens even if it goes against your personal beliefs?

      I’m not saying murder is in any way comparable to cannabis use, I’m just saying that it’s time for politicians to START DOING THEIR JOB AND STOP F***IN AROUND! If you can’t represent your people FIND A DIFFERENT JOB!

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