White House Refused to Accept the Petitions to Legalize Marijuana

The White House rejected several petitions to legalize marijuana in the United States.

Suppoters for marijuana legalization got a answer from the White House — but not one they wanted. Photo: TMartin_33/ Flickr

The first petition submitted by narcotics officer Neill Franklin, was part of the White House’s “We The People” project, an effort to allow ordinary people in America to attract the attention of policymakers through an online portal at the White House website.

It was previously announced that any petition garnering 5,000 signatures within 30 days of submission will get a policy official response from the White House. In fact, Franklin’s petition received more than 17,000.

“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,” commented Franklin on Saturday.

Seven different petitions which suggested marijuana legalization were also submitted, and together garnered more than 150,000 signatures.

One of them, calling for legalization and regulation of marijuana “in a matter similar to alcohol” quickly got into the top position, receiving nearly 75,000 signatures. However, American government rejected all the eight petitions.

The White House in its official response explained its decision, “We also recognize that legalizing marijuana would not provide the answer to any of the health, social, youth education, criminal justice, and community quality of life challenges associated with drug use.”

The refusal to legalize marijuana in the United Sates indicates that the White House does not support removing the phrase “In God We Trust” from the currency” or “Under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance. It also declined to respond to a petition calling for an investigation into the prosecution of Sholom Rubashkin, a former executive who was sentenced to 27 years in prison on 86 financial fraud charges.

Gil Kerlikowske, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, announced that the White House drug control strategy is “balanced and comprehensive, emphasizing prevention and treatment” and “innovative law enforcement.”

“As a former police chief, I recognize we are not going to arrest our way out of the problem,” said Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. “We also recognize that legalizing marijuana would not provide the answer to any of the health, social, youth education, criminal justice, and community quality of life challenges associated with drug use.”

Allen St. Pierre, executive director of NORML, the organizer of at least one of these petitions, said he was not surprised by the response but said it’s “hard not to be disappointed that the White House solicits—consistently—the views of the general public about specific policy changes via the Internet, and with the same consistency completely rejects the public’s ever-growing wont to see Cannabis Prohibition end in our lifetimes.”

“If the president and his advisers think they’re being politically savvy by shying away from much-needed change…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,” claimed Franklin. [Via The Fix and The Wall Street Journal]

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