President-Elect Obama, The People Have Spoken; Will You “Answer” Their Question?

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director December 12, 2008

    Marijuana is #1.

    To follow up on yesterday’s post, change.gov (the website of President-Elect Obama’s transition team) has now closed the webpage “Open for Questions.”

    NORML wishes to thank all of you who took the time to visit the website and demanded the incoming administration to reform America’s marijuana laws.

    Your message got through loud and clear.

    After receiving nearly 100,000 total votes on more than 10,000 separate public policy issues, the most widely voted on question for Obama is:

    Will you consider legalizing marijuana so that the government can regulate it, tax it, put age limits on it, and create millions of new jobs and create a billion dollar industry right here in the U.S.?

    (Equally impressive, 16 of the top 50 overall questions posed to the new administration pertained to drug law reform. Now do we have your attention?)

    According to the latest update on the Change.gov site, “Over the next few days, some of the most popular questions selected by the Change.gov community will be answered by the Transition team, and their responses will be posted here on the site.”

    So does this mean that the Obama will post a response to the public’s outcry for tangible marijuana law reform? Or will the incoming administration choose to remain silent on the one progressive issue that the American public, but not their elected official, is ‘buzzing’ about?

    Meanwhile, over at the website Change.org (which is not affiliated with the Obama administration), your votes (Nearly 2,500 of them as of this morning) have made the question, Should we legalize the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana? the top rated idea on the website!

    According to the site, there will be a second round of voting (this first round ends on December 31, 2008) in January to determine which top 10 ideas are presented to the Obama administration on Inauguration Day.

    Finally, over at the highly popular website Digg.com, over 2,500 visitors have added their support for making marijuana law reform a key platform of the incoming administration. You can join the discussion here.

    It was just over a month ago when statewide marijuana law reform initiatives in Massachusetts and Michigan prevailed with more votes than America’s soon-to-be 44th President — once again reaffirming the widespread popular support for changing our nation’s antiquated and punitive pot laws. It wasn’t clear that either the national media or the incoming administration was listening then. Are they listening now?

    46 responses to “President-Elect Obama, The People Have Spoken; Will You “Answer” Their Question?”

    1. Bob says:

      I am glad to see the marijuana community come together to make our voices heard. I agree the new administration should not overlook the lasting question of changing the laws of marijuana in the U.S. Hopefully the squeaky wheel gets the oil.

    2. Josh says:

      That’s definately a good start 🙂

    3. SpongePaul says:

      Let us all Hope that for once, with OVERWHELIMG support not only in ALL polls in All voter initiatives and even the change website, DEMANDING that the laws be changed will finally get the attention of the pres and our elected officials, who if they were doing thier job, this would not be an issue, since the majority has spoken for years that MJ be decrimed.

    4. Cherokee Fred Hussein aka Stupid old man says:

      If a person of reasonable intelligence and not a religious fanatic were to look at the facts and history. They could see this War on US (drugs) was illegal from day one. It is against many of the rights granted in our great country. Many did not mind in the beginning because the laws were passed to enslave blacks and Hispanic look it up! The war is now perpetuated by corporate greed, by the private jail people, the legal drug folks, the booze lobby, the drug testing industry, the cops, FBI, CIA, DEA, drug task forces across our great country. They say sacrifice our rights and continue to jail non-violent people that bother no one. You are sitting in your home having a toke and a beer and they break down your door and put you in jail and if you have an ounce they take your house and car and money and put you in jail for mandatory maximum of five years for trafficking. This is all crazy in our free country we will never respect a law born of racism, perpetuated by lies, and fueled by corporate greed. We as a people could save 150 billion a year and stop this crazy illegal war hug a hippie not put them in jail..

    5. Cherokee Fred Hussein aka Stupid old man says:


      You can go to a doctor he can prescribe an opium derivative or a synthetic heroin they even have a THC pills. So why are some drugs illegal and some are legal. Even the most unsophisticated individual should be able to see the War on Drugs is a scam. It is a way to take 100 billion of your money plus the 50 billion lost in tax revenue and blow it. If you are on the receiving end (our representatives Senate/House) you get rich. The most important thing to me is the estimated 2,000,000 (that’s Two Million and growing every day) of our fellow American citizens in jail. They are non-violent marijuana users responsible free Americans with rights! They are your sons, daughters, parents and even grand parents. They are having homes taken away from third generation owners. They are the old man down the street that everyone likes jailed. They are college students having their futures ruined. They are mothers having their children taken away. They are sick people being deprived of a medicine that works for them. They are disabled people having their Medicare benefits taken away. They are mothers kicked out of public housing and made homeless. They are good young people with no record being raped and even killed in jail. They come out changed scarred for life with distrust for our system and fear for there so-called protectors. They are one in every three blacks. They are mainly the poor and powerless that can be discarded by our so-called leaders (Senate/House)! For what? Growing a weed that helps people, makes them feel better or just to get a buzz and relax in our hectic world (much like drinking a few legal beers without the health hazards of liquor). It is there God given right as Free Americans and they will not conform to a law that is wrong and based on lies started for pure racism in the 30s !!!
      While the fat cats go to the doctor and get OxyContin (opium derived), which is much stronger and more addictive than opium ever dreamed of being ask Rush (Yet legal). Millions take the so-called legal drugs every year (legal = owned by major drug company and producing 1000% profits to them). Between liquor and so-called legal drugs 600,000 die every year. So why, when people VOTE and make marijuana legal, doctors in 12 states prescribe it. The FEDS STILL (emphasis on STILL) under the direction of our so called leaders (Senate/House) go in and arrest the doctor, his patients, the guy selling the weed, the guy renting the building to the guy selling the weed, even the one in the car with a person selling the weed even if they do not know about it and sending them all to jail? Without a fair trial they are not allowed by the federal judges to present the truth to defend them that is why they have a 99% conviction rate! With mandatory federal minimum sentences they do hard time with long sentences at 45K a year per person. (Ask why here) WHY YOU ASK?
      It is all for pure simple greed period end of story!!
      Corporations and others that do not want weed legal because it would cost them $$$$$:
      Major pharmaceutical companies = estimates are as high as 80% loss. Billions in profits if marijuana were make legal. (It cures many common ailments maybe yours depression, insomnia, cramps, chronic pain, migraines, and many others!) With no side effects you cannot even overdose with weed it is impossible.
      Drug Czar DEA = They would lose there jobs we save 20 billion of our $$$$$ so do not expect them to tell the truth about this war they will say anything you suckers will believe to keep the war, there job, going! And the money and power that goes with it.
      Liquor industry = estimates are as high as a 40% market loss billions.
      Private Jail industry = Total loss they would have to close we would save billions and quit putting our neighbors in jail and ruining there lives (even if they are poor or of color they are still fellow Americans with rights like the right of free choice!! How about life liberty and the pursuit of happiness? (To me the war is illegal and strips us of our rights as free Americans)
      Drug Testing industry = Loss 44,000,000 a year
      Our Representatives (Senate/House) = They would lose millions contributed to them through PACs every year from the corporations above. So don’t expect much in the way of truth, compassion or facts from these guys they have been lying to us for decades and taking the money to the bank in big sacks. Or they sell a house for $700,000.00 more than it’s worth to a needy constituent (not the poor kind one needing a favorable vote).
      They would all lose money and will lie, steal and enslave millions to stop Free Americans from having access to a weed that hurts no one, any one can grow, helps millions ever day and they cannot find a way to profit from. Simple isn’t it?
      One other point the right wing folks keep throwing up, “Making drugs legal would send the wrong message to the youth of our country.” I have heard that one a million times standard scare tactics they use. Today the youth of American are being drug tested in schools, arrested for a joint and having there lives ruined due to an arrest record, put in jail and being raped, killed and warped. Not to mention the distrust for any authority figure, they know its lies they smoke the stuff (like we use to get an old guy to buy us beer). I say they would be better off if we legalized and regulated drugs (Against the law to sell or give to minors like beer!) Illegal drugs will be sold to anyone with the money its already illegal so who cares, idiot!

      NOW YOU KNOW!!
      By the way we need your help open the window shout, “STOP THE WAR ON US.”
      Save billions return respect for our rights show our representatives who runs this country! It is us the 75% that say you have had your fun with your war enslaving us it’s our turn!

    6. Great to hear that the pressure is being put on the administration. That is what grassroots is all about – take advantage of every opportunity to get your view out. Force Obama’s administration to deal with this problem. Obama should start by ridding us of the drug czar, a pathetic position that just pours false propaganda all over the country.


    7. Florida is a Fascist swamp says:

      If Obama ignores the top voted question then we can all conclude he will do nothing to reform the drug laws.

      My guess is he will ignore the question.

    8. Paranoid in PA says:

      I don’t believe that President Elect Obama can ignore the question. He really has no choice but to answer it. If he would choose to ignore it, the back lash from the American people would be devastating to him and his presidency. After all, his whole campaign and anticipated presidency is based on listening to the people and to ignore them the first time they speak would be a horrendous mistake. I guess we are just getting too used to George W. Bush’s tactics that we can’t imagine a President who will take the moral highroad and do the right things. To believe otherwise, is more than I could take.

    9. Mahakal says:

      Excellent news, and good work getting the word out.

    10. Paranoid in PA says:

      Change is coming ! or is it?

      My concern is that we will win the battle and retreat, thinking we won the war. Are we ready to push this movement forward to where we actually are within reach of a major victory that cannot be ignored? Do we have what it is going to take to move forward? There are so many great organizations making small but steady strides in the legalization of marijuana, but is any of them independently, large and powerful enough to take the reins of this battle to a forceful end? Norml, Leap, MPP and on and on are all well known activism organizations but the memberships of each one is not going to pull this off. Combined, I feel that we could potentially make a large imprint on this issue, but what we need right now is a Martin Luther King Jr. for our cause. We need to unite very quickly or this will be over before it starts. We need to be prepared to take our cause to the streets if necessary. Are we truly ready for that? I fear that if we do not grab on to this tremendous boost to the cause and hold on for dear life, we will go home with our tails between our legs and back to the closets it took us 30 years to crawl out of. If that happens, shame on us.