Marijuana question sky-rockets to top of new White House petition site

By Eric W. Dolan
Thursday, September 22, 2011 23:15 EDT
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A petition to legalize and regulate marijuana quickly jumped to the top of a the White House’s online petition site on Thursday, the first same day it was launched.

The petition, on the White House’s “We the People” site, asks: “Isn’t it time to legalize and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol? If not, please explain why you feel that the continued criminalization of cannabis will achieve the results in the future that it has never achieved in the past?”

The White House has promised to issue an official response for any petition that gets at least 5,000 signatures within 30 days. As of Thursday night, the marijuana petition already had more than 10,000 signatures.

The petition was created and promoted by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).

In addition, two other petitions concerning marijuana legalization had more than 2,000 signatures as of Thursday night.

President Barack Obama has offered to answer popular questions on Twitter and YouTube, and those seeking to change the nations drug laws have pounced on the opportunity to bring their issues into the public spotlight.

During a Twitter town hall event, where Obama answered Twitter users’ questions in real-time, the most retweeted question was about the legalization of marijuana. The moderator of the online town hall, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, did not present the question to Obama.

But the president did get a chance to answer a question about marijuana legalization during a YouTube Q&A in January. Obama was asked what his plan is to help alleviate the detrimental effects of America’s drug war.

He responded by saying that while he’s not in favor of legalization, he did see room for adjusting the drug war to focus less on incarceration and enforcement and more on medical treatment and other forms of interdiction.

[Marijana growing in Manali via PabloEvans / Flickr]

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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