Late Friday, the White House answered the top-vote-getting petition and seven other marijuana petitions in one response (Friday afternoon is traditionally considered a good time to “dump the trash” — put out a bunch of stuff they have to release but don’t want to have noticed much, just before the weekend.)
LEAP has already responded
Late Friday night the White House issued a typical evasive rejection of the several marijuana legalization petitions that collected more signatures than any other issue on its “We the People” website. Even though recent polls show that more voters support marijuana legalization than approve of President Obama’s job performance, the White House categorically dismissed the notion of reforming any laws, focusing its response on the possible harms of marijuana use instead of addressing the many harms of prohibition detailed in the petitions. […]
“It’s maddening that the administration wants to continue failed prohibition polices that do nothing to reduce drug use and succeed only in funneling billions of dollars into the pockets of the cartels and gangs that control the illegal market,” said Franklin, who serves as executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), a group of cops, judges and prosecutors who support legalizing and regulating drugs. “If the president and his advisers think they’re being politically savvy by shying away from much-needed change to our drug policies, they’re wrong. The recent Gallup poll shows that more Americans support legalizing marijuana than support continuing prohibition, so the administration is clearly out of step with the people it claims to represent. President Obama needs to remember his campaign pledge not to waste scarce resources interfering with state marijuana laws and his earlier statement about the ‘utter failure’ of the drug war.”
Five of the top 10 petitions on the “We the People” site are about some aspect of marijuana or drug policy reform. The eight marijuana petitions that the White House’s Friday rejection was intended to address have collectively garnered more than 150,00 signatures.
Good job by LEAP.
Again, nothing surprising in the pathetic petition “answer” by Gil Kerlikowske.
According to scientists at the National Institutes of Health- the world’s largest source of drug abuse research – marijuana use is associated with addiction, respiratory disease, and cognitive impairment. We know from an array of treatment admission information and Federal data that marijuana use is a significant source for voluntary drug treatment admissions and visits to emergency rooms. Studies also reveal that marijuana potency has almost tripled over the past 20 years, raising serious concerns about what this means for public health â€“ especially among young people who use the drug because research shows their brains continue to develop well into their 20’s. Simply put, it is not a benign drug.
And then he talked about the “balanced” approach, which is his nonsense mantra to deflect any criticism.
Again, this is nothing more than we expected. Nobody expected that we would put in a petition and the government would stop in their tracks and say “Oh, my. I never realized that. We need to stop this injustice immediately.”
It’s all about having one more option to promote a national discussion (as LEAP has nicely contributed with their release).