US Gov’t Welcomes Petitions from Citizens then Promptly Dismisses Them

(‘If pot is such a threat, why isn’t it dangerous at all?’)

As part of their open government initiative, the Obama administration has been welcoming petitions from the public. If any petition gets enough support, White House staff will review it, ensure it’s sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response.

Garnering the most votes was a petition to legalize and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. This motion echoes the general sentiments of the US people, of whom more than half favor legalizing marijuana.

So what happened next? Did Obama give a speech about how he would be addressing the outdated pot laws? Did the policy makers finally admit defeat in the pointless war on drugs? Well, given how today’s post is so rife with cynicism, you just know neither of those things happened.

Instead, Obama’s Drug Czar put out a perfunctory response reiterating all the same old misleading talking points which have been manufactured and parroted throughout the many decades of drug prohibition.

Russ Belville from Norml offers an excellent point by point rebuttal of the Czar’s official reply, concluding with the following:

Thank you for wasting America’s time ignoring her wishes.  I encourage you to take a moment to actually read and answer the questions on these petitions.  Every answer you gave to “whether we should consider regulating cannabis like the far more harmful substances, alcohol and tobacco” was an excuse to make alcohol and tobacco prohibited like marijuana.

Every answer you gave to “how will the continued criminalization of cannabis achieve the results in the future that it has never achieved in the past?” illustrated that you’re continuing the same failed strategies as your predecessors.  We the People were hoping for some change.

It is such a shame. Another excellent opportunity for reform squandered by the protectors of the status quo. No wonder people are taking to the streets – their political system is clearly broken.

The global war on drugs should be condemned to a dark note in human history, next to witch hunting and bloodletting. Too bad our governments spearheading the change we are already beginning to create.

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