Ideas For Change: Legalize Marijuana

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director December 10, 2008

    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.

    57 responses to “Ideas For Change: Legalize Marijuana”

    1. Phil E. Drifter says:

      Hell yeah! Legalize it and cut organized crime off at the knees!

    2. Nik says:

      I suggest submitting and voting on as many Marijuana related questions as we possibly can!
      Many can be found by searching for terms on the question website.

      Vote, and periodically submit new questions on the topic!

    3. Dan Deising says:

      Marijuana is far less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco. Around 50,000 people die each year from alcohol poisoning. Similarly, more than 400,000 deaths each year are attributed to tobacco smoking. Marijuana is nontoxic and cannot cause death by overdose. The smoking of cannabis, even long-term, is not harmful to health. The government would make millions if not billions of dollars off taxes. If marijunan was legal, we the tax payers could save billions of dollars a year just in lowering the prison population.

    4. shaeton says:

      change is imminent, brace yourselves.

    5. Charles Queen says:

      The country does need to legalize marijuana for both recreational and medicinal purposes.The so called war on marijuana is nothing more than a scam.The amount of money given to the drug enforcement branch compared to that given to branches such as the FDA etc.. is appalling to say the least.These people have been given free acess to way to many billions of dolars and you can bet it’s not all being used for their so called war on pot.The corruptness that lies within that branch of the government both federaly and local is way out of hand.We need to take a firm stand and do everything in our power to see that this is stopped

    6. James Lawrence says:

      Amen, Amen, Amen.
      The ordinary citizens of this country have more discernment and understanding than most of the politicians in Washington. We must control the drugs with legalization, and take the control out of the hands of drug cartels and the streets. Cartels are not afraid of the DEA and the Drug Czar, they are afraid of loosing their money. Hit them where it hurts, in the pocketbook and get control of all drugs.

      For a real change let us save our children from the bad influence and decisions of our politicians and let us hope that the new President-elect will be a true statesman and do what is sensible and honorable and bring 40 years of bad drug policy to an end.

      SAVE OUR CHILDREN BY THE LEGALIZATION OF ALL DRUGS and get it all off the streets for good.

    7. Mahakal says:

      Should definitely consider posting/voting on “Open for Questions”, on the Change.gov site.

    8. J. Hyman Shipman says:

      If I had legal access to marijuana, maybe my horrendous neuropathy pains caused by 39 years of Type 1 diabetes would be alleviated.

    9. nln says:

      its a GOD DAMN PLANT MADE BY GOD yes God wants you to get high to deal With life SO get high and start dealing with shit oh yah and Dont do drugs every one i talk to in canada have no problem with weed they have more of a problem with the idea of kids smokin it to get high but whats better crack , E or a Spliff imm sure if weed was legal it wouldent even give drug dealers a reason to sell weed at school like when i go to school kids want weed then they get offered other shit E 5 cents – 10 $ a pill Most people use

      addictions to deal with problems
      whats your addiction
      were did u get this from how When ware who what why
      this stuff normal starts a school when a kid is in there prime years of growing up

      If you could buy weed at a gas station

      If u new they could get weed some ware else y would this guy be passin around dime bags well he oviously aint sellin weed Bust him

    10. nln says:

      i got the top 1 Idea sell it at coffee shops keep it at the shops 16+ Put the coffee shop around the corner from the school let kids smoke weed in this shop servalence the shop Keep these kids with problems away from the other kids let them have there owne place to chill sort out there problems Uhh no smokin pot on the street cant be high in public Keep it at the coffee shop

      even are tim hortons are fillin up with drug dealers as a meeting spot

      the fact that weed is illegal makes you think how dumb humans are lol