For the record, I’m not a big fan of pot: I think it’s very stinky, and I just don’t see the need for doing it. But each to his or her own. But a lot of people do seem to care about the issue:
When the White House announced “We the People,” an online system for petitioning the government, they no doubt hoped it would become a high-minded way for citizens to interact with their political leaders.
And so, now that the system is live, how’s that working?
More than 77,000 people have signed petitions urging the Obama administration to legalize marijuana.
“Isn’t it time to legalize and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol?” asks the top petition on the White House Web site. “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?”
A half-dozen pot-related petitions are among the 64 that have been filed on the site so far.
The White House has promised a response to any petition that receives more than 5,000 signatures, though, importantly, it did not promise to agree with them.
A post on the official White House blog states that such petitions will be “reviewed by a standing group of White House staff, routed to any other appropriate offices and generate an official, on-the-record response.”
“Most of the time,” the blog says, “a response will come from a policy official at the White House or at a federal agency. From time to time, President Obama may also respond to petitions as well.”
No word on whether Mr. Obama might respond personally to the pot-loving crowd.
While this might seem a rather dopey (so to speak) issue, especially in light of our economic troubles, there’s historical precedent for its popularity.
Let’s not forget that betwen 1929-1933, the economy was worse than it is now. Yet in 1933, we repealed Prohibition. Surely, there were more ‘serious’ issues facing the Republic than booze? Ultimately, people realized it was counter-productive, and more effort than it was worth (although it had already in its short lifespan given rise to what would become organized crime).
Just saying. And with that, I leave you with this: