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. James C says:

      “Billions are wasted on marijuana prohibition every year, with 80 to 90% of arrests for possession alone. As President, will you evaluate the current stance on marijuana and work to end the failure known as prohibition?”

      That’s the question I asked. I think we need to concentrate on the social networking sites as well; write a note on Facebook or on MySpace. Tell as many people as you know to log in and vote on change.gov! Let this administration know what we want.

    2. James says:

      well I voted for all the sennsible cannabis policy questions, good luck to us all

    3. Ray says:

      That question isnt even in the top 10.. I think the reason it was done in the late afternoon/early evening was hoping that the NORML and MPP people wont see it..

    4. Eric Carmichael says:

      Keep it up guys, post this everywhere you can.

      Argue with people, use statistics from this site. Get people THINKING!

    5. JD says:

      I wish they would address the fact that kids now die from marijuana, because of the laws they made to protect them from stupidity. Awareness has simply led them to choose the inevitable substance, with a sound mind, based on educated knowledge.

      Knowledge is power. If there is true harm, tell them the truth. Marijuana is no more of a gateway drug than alcohol, or cigarettes. (More kids have tried, and will be come destroyed from trying both those alternative “Legal” substances.)

      Marijuana users don’t “Advance” to harsh drugs. Users who found no psychological reward from marijuana, “Advance” to harder drugs. This includes kids/teens who self-medicate, when medication is too expensive, or not available, for underlying “Other” issues. (Completely unrelated to any marijuana use. This has reduced due to awareness, not due to making marijuana illegal. In areas where there is no “Awareness”, the numbers have not changed. Yet, the marijuana is just as illegal there, as it is in the other areas where awareness of hard-drugs is high.)

      Alcohol, cigarettes, Twinkies, and lettuce have no no “Accepted” medical or nutritional value, and are more dangerous. (Lettuce gives you colon cancer, and Twinkies make you overweight, enough to kill you.)

      Laws need to be made with an “Intention”, and the “Intention”, should be clear, and enforcement strictly adhered to. If a law is made to “Protect Frogs”, then it should include that intention. These laws, turn kids into criminals, into gangsters, into gunslingers, into felons… For something they have made a clear choice to do. For something they “Think” they can get away with. For something they don’t care what the outcome will be. For being a kid…

      These laws punish responsible individuals, and allow the real felons to flourish in our absence. It should be a felon to tamper with any inhaled or ingested food, in a way that encourages chemical addiction. (MSG is limited, so should adding crack to marijuana. That should be a felony. Punishable by law.)

      It should be a felony to produce X quantity, without a proper inspection of the facility, and operations. That is a business, and should require the same treatment that similar food/substance providers have. Records, inspections, branding identification, list of “Additional processing ingredients”, testing… (Responsibility.)

      It should NOT be “Controlled”, if it is for personal consumption. Including gifting, and short-sales. We do this to reduce our potential risk and harm, from others who push unsafe products. “Personal”, would be any quantity that is not above minimum wage, at a consumable level, not a fictitious, “Street value”.

      It is obvious, even to the most educated individuals, that there is no justification for this undesired control. We need to be spending these billions on education, and debt reform, and real control of hard-drugs. We need to stop playing these “Religious”, “Parental”, and “Political” games, and get real. We need to remove these individuals who don’t support reality from office. We need to get control of our country again. We need more of us to vote. We are the majority/minority here. (Of all races and creeds.)

      We are the ones getting hurt, loosing our jobs, our homes, our lives, our pride, our country.

      They don’t live here, we do! They live in a political fantasy, and continue to push false propaganda on our “Stupid kids”, as they continue to say. (Indirectly, by continually repeating all this false material in school and TV.)

      They are not stupid… They out-smarted the system, and now dealers are using our kids/teens as pushers. Because they know they can get away with it. (Not that it is a wise choice, but it is a smart choice. Smart as in “Educated”.)

      How many more lives will they ruin? What is next, coffee, sugar, fat, cholesterol, AIDS?

      Last time I checked, it was the governments job to protect us, not harm us. Using highly researched data, to establish a reasonable set of laws, that have been proven to harm us.

      Where is our ability to say, “This is unjust”, and reform it? Where is our “Stupid laws”, expiration date? In a changing world, why is there no “Auto review”, for outdated laws, which no longer pertain to today’s circumstances? Why are politicians the only ones allowed to carry the voice of so few, with the weight of so many?

      This government is failing. Time for the bank to cash-in, and cut our losses, while we still have a home. We are on our fifth mortgage, and we are worrying about how the garden looks. Great, this law, and others, have driven us into more debt.

      Make it legal, cash in on the tourism, world-wide. Get our money back. This is the one thing that every nation’s tourists want.

      Pay places to export goods, instead of taxing more. Raise import taxes, to balance the economy. We don’t make money if we keep buying others garbage. We need something that they desire. They all desire this! Be the first to reclaim what was wrongfully taken away from us. (Now I know how the Indians feel. I want my land back! We want our land back.)

    6. Adam says:

      I saw a segment on CNBC also.

    7. Steven E. says:

      With the United States government holding patents on Marijuana’s properties… It’s obviously going to take some sort of miracle for this to finally happen in this current state of corruption.

    8. Barberito! says:

      Please go to change.gov and VOTE! Under the second category “national security,” there is a question by AP asking: “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?”

      PLEASE, VOTE IT UP and if you want to, vote the others down! The cannabis questions don’t seem to be doing too well, this time around. Though we may not like the answer, we need to keep the “drug war” issue at the fore-front! Thanks, and peace!

    9. Mahakal says:

      Unfortunately, asking the same question repeatedly is likely to get no better results. I think we should be asking Barack Obama about decriminalization measures, and recognize that he is not our ally for full legalization at this time. Since he has already promised that states with medical marijuana laws ought not to be interfered with, we should be asking him to honor this promise. Going further, we will need to continue to promote greater social and political acceptance of cannabis especially compared to other (legal, and more harmful) alternatives.

    10. Obama has won and we know that is a good start. While it would be nice if President Elect Obama took the initiative and proactively championed the cause of legalization, or at least decriminalization.

      However, this is American politics, and it should be no surprise to us that with all of the priorities set forth for this administration, and with all of the special interests knocking at Obama’s door, that we should have to fight for what we want.

      Now we must become the squeaky wheels. It is now our job to demonstrate that we will not wait, and that President Elect Obama re-evaluate his priorities. The onus is on us to show our president that he actually does need to invest political capital in our cause.

      Do not be discouraged. Do not buy into the naysayers who want to admit defeat before the game has begun. We can do this!

      Women were oppressed and they were squeaky wheels.
      People of color were oppressed and they were squeaky wheels.
      Sexual minorities were oppressed and they were squeaky wheels.

      Now it is out turn!

      We won’t be quiet until we get the grease!

      Respectful, accurate, relentless.

      Yes we cannabis!