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Andrew Belonsky, Death & Taxes: Marijuana Legalization Tops At White House’s Petition Page

Marijuana Legalization Tops At White House’s Petition Page
by  Friday, September 23, 2011

Americans are petitioning President Obama and the rest of the White House to legalize and tax marijuana.

The White House recently unveiled a new webpage called “We The People,” through which average Americans can start and distribute legislation-minded petitions.

“Our Constitution guarantees your right to petition our government. Now, with We the People, we’re offering a new way to submit an online petition on a range of issues — and get an official response,” said the White House on September 1st, ahead of the site’s official launch. “We’re announcing We the People before it’s live to give folks time to think about what petitions they want to create, and how they are going to build the support to get a response.”

Well, that site has gone live, and Talking Points Memo points out that three of the six most popular “We The People” petitions call for the legalization of marijuana.

About 5,000 people have signed a petition demanding the government “stop interfering with state marijuana legalization efforts,” a direct reference to the Department of Justice’s meddling in states like Montana.

Another petition reading, “legalize, regulate and tax marijuana,” has over 5,000 signatories, while the top petition on the site — “legalize and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol” — has already collected over 18,000 supporters.

President Obama has a complicated history when it comes to medical and legalized marijuana. Though he said in 2008 that he would take a “hands off” approach to medical marijuana, the president has ordered the Justice Department to crack down on dispensaries. He also avoided pot-related questions during his Twitter Town Hall earlier this year, although they were the most popular subject of questioning. Despite widespread support for medical and legalized marijuana, the commander-in-chief consistently ignores having a deep, detailed conversation on the herb’s place in the nation.

Considering this checkered pot past, one wonders if the White House will make good on sending out the aforementioned “response” or if they’ll continue to overlook the topic, thereby inflaming voters who would like to see our country move past the archaic, discriminatory and expensive war on drugs.


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