Marijuana Legalization Dominates New White House Online Petition Program

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A proposal to legalize marijuana is the first idea on the White House's online petition site to gather enough signatures to break the threshold required to receive an official response.

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The idea behind “We the People” – as the program is called – is that anyone with an idea or cause can go to the White House website and make a public pitch for support. If the idea gets 5,000 backers within 30 days, a “working group of policy officials” will respond.

The first proposal to reach that limit 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?"

Here's the text from the petition:

Legalize and Regulate Marijuana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol.

We the people want to know when we can have our "perfectly legitimate" discussion on marijuana legalization. Marijuana prohibition has resulted in the arrest of over 20 million Americans since 1965, countless lives ruined and hundreds of billions of tax dollars squandered and yet this policy has still failed to achieve its stated goals of lowering use rates, limiting the drug's access, and creating safer communities.

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?

Currently, the fourth and sixth most popular petitions on the site also advocate legalizing marijuana.

The White House has not yet issued a formal response to the marijuana legalization petition.

Drug legalization questions have dominated Obama's YouTube question-and-answer sessions as well.

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