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Top Question on Obama website: When will marijuana be legalized?

President Elect Obama is known for reaching out beyond the beltway to take the pulse of the nation. His website, Change.gov offers all of us the chance to communicate our hopes, dreams, fears and needs. This is governance from the ground up, the way it was meant to be. A new program just instituted on the website, is one where citizens may pose specific questions, and others can vote on their importance, bringing significant questions to the top of the list. In the short six-and-a-half hours the “Open for Questions” segment of Obama’s change.gov website actually stayed open, 7300 questions were posted, 10,000 people participated and 600,000 votes were cast for the most important issues on people’s minds. Guess which question had the most votes? "Will you consider legalizing marijuana so that the government can regulate it, tax it, put age limits on it, and create millions of new jobs and create a billion dollar industry right here in the U.S.?" Yes, it’s true. With all of the incredible and difficult issues facing us today, the question above was the most prominent in people’s minds. Questions two through six, in order of popularity, read: "What will you do as President to restore the Constitutional protections that have been subverted by the Bush Administration and how will you ensure that our system of checks and balances is renewed?" "What will you do to establish transparency and safeguards against waste with the rest of the Wall Street bailout money?" "Will you lift the ban on Stem Cell research in your first 100 days in office?" "What will you do to promote science and mathematics education to Elementary and Middle School students?" "Will you appoint a Special Prosecutor - ideally Patrick Fitzgerald - to independently investigate the gravest crimes of the Bush Administration, including torture and warrantless wiretapping?" I want you to get this. Constitutional protections, the Wall Street bailout, stem cell research, elementary and middle school education, and the investigation of torture and a warrentless wiretapping by the Bush Administration played second fiddle to a demand for a change in marijuana laws. Not only that, the seventh of the top ten questions reads as follows: "13 states have compassionate use programs for medial Marijuana, yet the federal gov't continues to prosecute sick and dying people. Isn't it time for the federal gov't to step out of the way and let doctors and families decide what is appropriate?" trumping questions about our farming policies, use of mercenaries in our military, and “greening’ the environment. Then there’s this one, just missing the top 10 by one slot: "The US "War on Drugs" wastes billions every year tracking down and incarcerating non-violent users. What is your position on the legalization of marijuana? How do you feel about treating rather than imprisoning users of harder, addictive drugs?" Question 12 was one about universal health care. Here is Question 13: "How will you fix the current war on drugs in America? and will there be any chance of decriminalizing marijuana?" Question 14 asks the president to preserve Net Neutrality. Here’s question 15: "What kind of progress can be expected on the decriminalization and legalization for medicinal purposes of marijuana and will you re-prioritize the "War On Drugs" to reflect the need for drug treatment instead of incarceration?" Questions 16 and 17 reflect demands for solar energy investment, and banking accountability, and 18 reads as follows (followed by demands to sever the relationship between the FDA and big pharma, and investment in high-speed passenger rails. "The U.S. has the world's highest incarceration rate, largely due to the War on Drugs. Our prisons are festering pits of rape, racism, and gang violence, and divert a lot of tax money to the corrupt prison industry. How can we fix this?" So, here’s a quick tally. Two of the top ten, and six of the top twenty questions addressed our government’s policies surrounding cannabis (recreational and medicinal) and the War on Drugs in general. It doesn’t end there. Following question 21 about tax incentives to home owners for installing energy efficiency measures we have: "Would you consider the legalizing of growing hemp (not marijuana) for food, clothing and bio-fuel use?" and "Drug control policy in America is a mess, most specifically with regards to marijuana. Federal and state laws are in conflict all over the country. What do you plan to do about this? Will you allow the states to make their own determinations?" After that folks asked about public transportation, gay marriage, sustainable farming practices, and abuse of executive power. Then we get to questions 28 and 29, "What about the use of Hemp and finally legalizing marijuana for personal use?" "If we did not have over 2 million people in jail, many of which on marijuana charges, we would save billions a year and keep families together. Will you commit to a comprehensive drug treatment plan that will help keep families together?" These two queries just edged out a request to prevent bailout recipients from using the money for lobbying. Apparently, the arrest of nearly 1,000,000 otherwise law abiding citizens each year for mere possession of cannabis, the relentless persecution of the sick and dying, and the continued incarceration of 1 out of every 100 adults, (and jailing or probation of 31 out of every 100 adults) is finally getting on peoples nerves, Yes, these questions will not go away. I’m afraid lawmakers around the country will have to suck it up and realize that, as Barney Frank put it: this is an issue where the public is way ahead of the politicians. To see all 7,300 questions in order of their importance to the populace, click here. P.S. I kind of like questions 33 and 34 "What will you do to ensure that the government takes scientific research into account when making laws? Especially when it comes to questions about the legalization of marijuana and the use of medical marijuana." "On the campaign trail, you said you would put an end to the federal raids on medical marijuana patients. Will you implement this policy within the first year of your term?" Get my point? Are you listening? You can read other posts by Brinna on OpenSalon.com
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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legalize

i agree on the legalization of pot i'm only 14 i've been smoking for a year and it makes me feel so much better just about everyone i know smokes and they are all healthy and smart people i still get the same grades at school and i'm definitely not fat, its a safer alternative for all pain medications and other pills and actual drugs people use and are prescribed thats side effects are sometimes death its stupid not to legalize it. do it for AMERICA

this topic

yes makin it legal would help ever so much, the reality of a persons mind is ultimate, there is danger to anything there is a downside to anything , everywhich way you choose there is an outcome, yes their is alot of humans who smoke weed bc their freind does or bc they want to escape" well they are not escaping, i smoke, people who smoke can say that it is a lifestyle, their are alot of ppl who would still smoke it even if they had the thc pills, as i said smokin is a lifestyle, i dont think any different of a person commin from what they do, remember mind exspansion" before lsd was considered "wide spread and out of reach of control" you could buy acid tests, yes there is a money makin profit, money is evil though but we obviously need it to live in this world so we live with evil. i quote "until the human race can realize everyone's reality is different, there will be no change". i also stand for what i think is right, what i think is right is not only considered on makin certain things legal it consists of at a controlled state let people live in their own reality, not in harm, but in the essense of life so say, this post will not even be read or cared about but i feel like typin whats on my mind, it is a wonder how a persons mind can be altered by someones words and teachings, not only are drugs harmfull "anything can be" but the teachings and words of one person can cause harm to everyone, trying to scare people will only make them stronger in what they love" another quote" "u take a dog into your house off the street, the dog will beg for food and lick you" you take a human form the street and he will bite you. ty for your time

LEGALIZE MARIJUANA

THE AMERICAN DRUG INDUSTRY make all kinds of chemically made pills and fluids that they say is "HEALTHY" or "NONHAZARDOUS". Thats a load of crap. Marijuana is a plant that God created. No one in the world invented marijuana..... It is just a plant. America was founded on natural tobacco, plants that were here long before humans came about. It was the Native Americans who believed that we should use the planet because thats what the Lord intended. If anything, all these pills that can be bought over the counter are way more dangerous than weed.... lets be honest. Then there is this "medical marijuana"............ ITS JUST DAMN WEED THAT YOU GET FROM YOUR LOCAL WEED MAN..... NO MORE.... NO LESS.....
Forget about health reasons for a moment.... There are people locked up in jail for smoking weed or sold weed to survive in this country and haven't done anything to anyone.... Lets release all of those people..... talk about saving money..... that would free up alot of money in the economy.
Making marijuana legal would end most of this drug war that we have going on now..... YES... CRACK and HARION and ANYTHING THAT HAS TO BE MIXED CHEMICALLY CHOULD BE ILLEGAL.........WE CAN ALL AGREE ON THAT! But the laws themselves have made the lives of those who chose to use marijuana hell on Earth!
IF YOU SMOKE CIGARETTES AND HAVE A PROBLEM WITH MARIJUANA THEN YOU ARE AN IDIOT!!!! POINT BLANK!!!!
CIGARETTES CAUSE CANCER..... BUT THEY ARE LEGAL.... AMERICA DOES NOT SEE THE LOGIC.....
NO ONE HAS DIED FROM MARIJUANA.... I DONT CARE WHAT ANYONE ELSE SAYS....

MY ASTHMA IS GONE.... thats right.. all those years i spent trying to get a cure... taking Albuterol and spending nights on a machine are now all over AFTER I started smoking (WEED). (I CANNOT STAND CIGARETTES THOUGH)

EMPLOYMENT: JUST ABOUT EVERY JOB DRUG TESTS, RIGHT.... LOOKING FOR THC IN THEIR SYSTEM.
THINK ABOUT THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE..... CAN AMERICA REALLY AFFORD TO BE PICKY ABOUT WHAT YOU DO ON YOUR TIME???????? I THINK NOT!!

LIQUOR LAST FAR LONGER THAN THE AFFECTS OF MARIJUANA.......... FACT
LIQUOR CAN SHUT DOWN YOUR KIDNEY................................................FACT
LIQUOR IS A DEPRESSANT......................................................................FACT
CIGARETTES CAUSE CANCER.................................................................FACT
CIGARETTES HAVE CHEMICALS FOUND IN CLEANING PRODUCTS..........FACT
CIGS HAVE: Benzene,Formaldehyde, Ammonia, Nicotine, Arsenic (rat poison).........FACT...FACT... FACT

THE TIME HAS COME FOR THE AMERICA PEOPLE TO DEMAND THE LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA!!
WE PUT CONGRESSMEN AND SENATORS IN OFFICE.... THEY WORK FOR US.... HOW THE HELL ARE THEY TELLING US WHAT WE CAN AND CANT DO....... ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY ALLOW THE SELL OF DANGEROUS, MAN MADE POISONS AND PILLS! IF THEY DONT WANT MARIJUANA LEGAL.... THEN THEY DONT WANT THEIR JOBS... POINT BLANK.
CONGRESS IS SUPPOSED TO REPRESENT THE PEOPLE.... AND THE PEOPLE WANT MARIJUANA LEGAL!

Legalize, remove THC test for UA

I just failed a drug test, and am waiting on a call from my employer to discuss my employment options. They have a no tolerance policy, meaning I am 99% sure I'll be terminated. Worst part is I have been looking for a job for so long, and my unemployment checks run out this Tuesday. I stopped smoking for the job but my THC levels were still too high.

A mans character shouldn't be defined by the contents of his piss!!!!!!!

I show up to work a half hour early, work hard, do as I am told, and get nothing but positive feedback on my performance.

SO THC tests are complete BULLSHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am lumped in with people who do crack, coke, meth, extacy, mdma/meth alternatives, shrooms, etc. THOSE ARE WAY WORSE FOR YOU AND ACTUALLY AFFECT YOUR PERFORMANCE AT WORK REGARDLESS!!!!

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK

make it legal

i was recently discharged from the army for failing a drug test. which i think is complete bullshit. marijuana is a completely harmless drug. if marijuana was legalized it would create so many jobs boost the every so lovely plummeting economy. every pot head out there would buy weed if the govt controlled it. for those who dont b/c there scared to go to the bad part of town and get it or scared of getting caught and going to jail. if it was just so easy to go to the store and get an ounce.. the fact is people is still going to smoke weed no mater if it legal or not. so just save every on the heart ache of having to find a new dealer if your old one gets arrested b/c they got caught or some bitch ass snitch went and told.. make it legal make it legal

Two Choices

To begin this, the health side of everything definitely needs to be looked at, but it is conclusive that marijuana is actually a benefit to society. These health issues that you seek for about marijuana do not exist. If you want to bring up the health issue...look to cigarettes and alcohol first, marijuana is NO comparison. Now here's my two cents.
It seems to me that their are 2 main choices here for the government:
1. Legalizing marijuana will bring, like said previously, a cash crop to our nation to actually decrease this deficit we are in. Legalizing with taxation will bring more income into our nation, create more jobs etc. People will then buy their marijuana Legally and from a legit source, without any hassle of violence or whatever else may come with trying to purchase it. (People are scared when they buy it illegally and they should be, but what could arise if the seller didn't just sell pot and sold other things and stuff gets nasty?)

2. Do not legalize it, continue with the lock down enforcement on the drug, jail, prosecute whomever holds it like it has been. If this continues, our jails which are already jam packed will explode within a couple years. Our economy will not only be a recession, but far deeper into a depression. It All takes a toll on us, jailing people, worst to least worse, still takes its toll on the tax payers. People will continue to purchase marijuana, illegally. By enforcing the laws you are reducing the amount of marijuana that circulates...very slightly..but you are also increasing our debt on a much different scale.

Marijuana is not like the other "drugs" out there. You will have your people that (If they chose to) sit in their room all day, smoking marijuana, and retard their skills in other areas of their life. You will have people that choose to smoke it because it helps them deal with illness, chronic pain etc. And you have smart users, ones that come home from work and look forward to smoking because its what they like to do. Look I'm 21, don't get me wrong, I'll drink sure, but do I want to? I know for a fact if marijuana was legalized, I'd never drink...ever. If the question of whether to Legalize marijuana or not leans on the shoulder of "People wont then buy cigarettes or alcohol" then this country needs to take a better look at itself. If the brink of a depression lays on our shoulders...and the only thing we think about is "Well the tobacco and alcohol industries will plummet" than this is not the country (I'm pretty sure) 95% of Americans will NOT want to live in.

Alcohol Kills people
Cigarettes Kill People
Marijuana Has not killed ANYONE, and its been available for just as long..if not longer.
Alcohol and Cigarettes combined......vs Marijuana? That shouldn't even be a question.

Legalize it, save our country.

IT IS OUR RIGHT

The logical responses that I have read from the posts above should be taken into deep consideration by the leaders of our nation. Time after time speculations and false claims against marijuana have been proved wrong by scientific evidence. The controversy of the plant has gone on for too long.

the government is alerady in

the government is alerady in this market, where do you think the pizzaman got his ? they dont need to legalize
there making a killing off you. if they legalize then they have to claim that money and pay back china.. duh, this is going nowhere, trust me there in it, twinkees and pizza icecream chips are all in it, and making mad loot.if everyone would stop buying from there sorces for a while then the government would probably leagalize to make profit before many of there crops go bad.

marijuana

Mr.Obama

I know that u probably do not read this but all i have to say is that marijuana should be legalized and im not trying to say that i do it, but do you know how much people get locked up for smoking marijana that is just a plant, now what did god put it there for.Also i do not know why it is labled as a halucint because all it does is make you feel......like you feel good and only makes u sometimes sleepy, hungry, funny and happy and if you have friends around then its even better.But i know threw out your whole entire life that you have not tried it.I think that it will also help the country by stores sellin it and taxing it so that we can make money and start to pay other countries back because i know that we are in debt.Also me again saying that it will not have as many people going to jail for it and do you know how much people in the united states gets locked up for it every day? A whole bunch,and if you do legalize it and start have stores sell it atleast put the age to 18 years old and you do what u need for the age limit and the consequences if caught smoking the product under 18 just try to help out the USA AND LEGALIZE MARIJUANA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From yours truely: dielan\

legalize weed. everyone

legalize weed. everyone smokes it anyway and no matter how long you keep it illegal people will still smoke it. why are we spending so much money on "the war on drugs" when if weed was legalized it would save us a lot of money. other countries have legalized it for personal use to a certain point and everything in those countries is fine. just legalize it already.

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