President-Elect Obama, The People Have Spoken; Will You "Answer" Their Question?

Marijuana is #1.
To follow up on yesterday’s post, (the website of President-Elect Obama’s transition team) has now closed the webpage “Open for Questions.”
NORML wishes to thank all of you who took the time to visit the website and demanded the incoming administration to reform America’s marijuana laws.
Your message got through loud and clear.
After receiving nearly 100,000 total votes on more than 10,000 separate public policy issues, the most widely voted on question for Obama is:
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.?
(Equally impressive, 16 of the top 50 overall questions posed to the new administration pertained to drug law reform. Now do we have your attention?)
According to the latest update on the site, “Over the next few days, some of the most popular questions selected by the community will be answered by the Transition team, and their responses will be posted here on the site.”
So does this mean that the Obama will post a response to the public’s outcry for tangible marijuana law reform? Or will the incoming administration choose to remain silent on the one progressive issue that the American public, but not their elected official, is ‘buzzing’ about?
Meanwhile, over at the website (which is not affiliated with the Obama administration), your votes (Nearly 2,500 of them as of this morning) have made the question, Should we legalize the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana? the top rated idea on the website!
According to the site, there will be a second round of voting (this first round ends on December 31, 2008) in January to determine which top 10 ideas are presented to the Obama administration on Inauguration Day.
Finally, over at the highly popular website, over 2,500 visitors have added their support for making marijuana law reform a key platform of the incoming administration. You can join the discussion here.
It was just over a month ago when statewide marijuana law reform initiatives in Massachusetts and Michigan prevailed with more votes than America’s soon-to-be 44th President — once again reaffirming the widespread popular support for changing our nation’s antiquated and punitive pot laws. It wasn’t clear that either the national media or the incoming administration was listening then. Are they listening now?

0 thoughts

  1. I am glad to see the marijuana community come together to make our voices heard. I agree the new administration should not overlook the lasting question of changing the laws of marijuana in the U.S. Hopefully the squeaky wheel gets the oil.

  2. Let us all Hope that for once, with OVERWHELIMG support not only in ALL polls in All voter initiatives and even the change website, DEMANDING that the laws be changed will finally get the attention of the pres and our elected officials, who if they were doing thier job, this would not be an issue, since the majority has spoken for years that MJ be decrimed.

  3. If a person of reasonable intelligence and not a religious fanatic were to look at the facts and history. They could see this War on US (drugs) was illegal from day one. It is against many of the rights granted in our great country. Many did not mind in the beginning because the laws were passed to enslave blacks and Hispanic look it up! The war is now perpetuated by corporate greed, by the private jail people, the legal drug folks, the booze lobby, the drug testing industry, the cops, FBI, CIA, DEA, drug task forces across our great country. They say sacrifice our rights and continue to jail non-violent people that bother no one. You are sitting in your home having a toke and a beer and they break down your door and put you in jail and if you have an ounce they take your house and car and money and put you in jail for mandatory maximum of five years for trafficking. This is all crazy in our free country we will never respect a law born of racism, perpetuated by lies, and fueled by corporate greed. We as a people could save 150 billion a year and stop this crazy illegal war hug a hippie not put them in jail..

    You can go to a doctor he can prescribe an opium derivative or a synthetic heroin they even have a THC pills. So why are some drugs illegal and some are legal. Even the most unsophisticated individual should be able to see the War on Drugs is a scam. It is a way to take 100 billion of your money plus the 50 billion lost in tax revenue and blow it. If you are on the receiving end (our representatives Senate/House) you get rich. The most important thing to me is the estimated 2,000,000 (that’s Two Million and growing every day) of our fellow American citizens in jail. They are non-violent marijuana users responsible free Americans with rights! They are your sons, daughters, parents and even grand parents. They are having homes taken away from third generation owners. They are the old man down the street that everyone likes jailed. They are college students having their futures ruined. They are mothers having their children taken away. They are sick people being deprived of a medicine that works for them. They are disabled people having their Medicare benefits taken away. They are mothers kicked out of public housing and made homeless. They are good young people with no record being raped and even killed in jail. They come out changed scarred for life with distrust for our system and fear for there so-called protectors. They are one in every three blacks. They are mainly the poor and powerless that can be discarded by our so-called leaders (Senate/House)! For what? Growing a weed that helps people, makes them feel better or just to get a buzz and relax in our hectic world (much like drinking a few legal beers without the health hazards of liquor). It is there God given right as Free Americans and they will not conform to a law that is wrong and based on lies started for pure racism in the 30s !!!
    While the fat cats go to the doctor and get OxyContin (opium derived), which is much stronger and more addictive than opium ever dreamed of being ask Rush (Yet legal). Millions take the so-called legal drugs every year (legal = owned by major drug company and producing 1000% profits to them). Between liquor and so-called legal drugs 600,000 die every year. So why, when people VOTE and make marijuana legal, doctors in 12 states prescribe it. The FEDS STILL (emphasis on STILL) under the direction of our so called leaders (Senate/House) go in and arrest the doctor, his patients, the guy selling the weed, the guy renting the building to the guy selling the weed, even the one in the car with a person selling the weed even if they do not know about it and sending them all to jail? Without a fair trial they are not allowed by the federal judges to present the truth to defend them that is why they have a 99% conviction rate! With mandatory federal minimum sentences they do hard time with long sentences at 45K a year per person. (Ask why here) WHY YOU ASK?
    It is all for pure simple greed period end of story!!
    Corporations and others that do not want weed legal because it would cost them $$$$$:
    Major pharmaceutical companies = estimates are as high as 80% loss. Billions in profits if marijuana were make legal. (It cures many common ailments maybe yours depression, insomnia, cramps, chronic pain, migraines, and many others!) With no side effects you cannot even overdose with weed it is impossible.
    Drug Czar DEA = They would lose there jobs we save 20 billion of our $$$$$ so do not expect them to tell the truth about this war they will say anything you suckers will believe to keep the war, there job, going! And the money and power that goes with it.
    Liquor industry = estimates are as high as a 40% market loss billions.
    Private Jail industry = Total loss they would have to close we would save billions and quit putting our neighbors in jail and ruining there lives (even if they are poor or of color they are still fellow Americans with rights like the right of free choice!! How about life liberty and the pursuit of happiness? (To me the war is illegal and strips us of our rights as free Americans)
    Drug Testing industry = Loss 44,000,000 a year
    Our Representatives (Senate/House) = They would lose millions contributed to them through PACs every year from the corporations above. So don’t expect much in the way of truth, compassion or facts from these guys they have been lying to us for decades and taking the money to the bank in big sacks. Or they sell a house for $700,000.00 more than it’s worth to a needy constituent (not the poor kind one needing a favorable vote).
    They would all lose money and will lie, steal and enslave millions to stop Free Americans from having access to a weed that hurts no one, any one can grow, helps millions ever day and they cannot find a way to profit from. Simple isn’t it?
    One other point the right wing folks keep throwing up, “Making drugs legal would send the wrong message to the youth of our country.” I have heard that one a million times standard scare tactics they use. Today the youth of American are being drug tested in schools, arrested for a joint and having there lives ruined due to an arrest record, put in jail and being raped, killed and warped. Not to mention the distrust for any authority figure, they know its lies they smoke the stuff (like we use to get an old guy to buy us beer). I say they would be better off if we legalized and regulated drugs (Against the law to sell or give to minors like beer!) Illegal drugs will be sold to anyone with the money its already illegal so who cares, idiot!
    By the way we need your help open the window shout, “STOP THE WAR ON US.”
    Save billions return respect for our rights show our representatives who runs this country! It is us the 75% that say you have had your fun with your war enslaving us it’s our turn!

  5. Great to hear that the pressure is being put on the administration. That is what grassroots is all about – take advantage of every opportunity to get your view out. Force Obama’s administration to deal with this problem. Obama should start by ridding us of the drug czar, a pathetic position that just pours false propaganda all over the country.

  6. If Obama ignores the top voted question then we can all conclude he will do nothing to reform the drug laws.
    My guess is he will ignore the question.

  7. I don’t believe that President Elect Obama can ignore the question. He really has no choice but to answer it. If he would choose to ignore it, the back lash from the American people would be devastating to him and his presidency. After all, his whole campaign and anticipated presidency is based on listening to the people and to ignore them the first time they speak would be a horrendous mistake. I guess we are just getting too used to George W. Bush’s tactics that we can’t imagine a President who will take the moral highroad and do the right things. To believe otherwise, is more than I could take.

  8. Change is coming ! or is it?
    My concern is that we will win the battle and retreat, thinking we won the war. Are we ready to push this movement forward to where we actually are within reach of a major victory that cannot be ignored? Do we have what it is going to take to move forward? There are so many great organizations making small but steady strides in the legalization of marijuana, but is any of them independently, large and powerful enough to take the reins of this battle to a forceful end? Norml, Leap, MPP and on and on are all well known activism organizations but the memberships of each one is not going to pull this off. Combined, I feel that we could potentially make a large imprint on this issue, but what we need right now is a Martin Luther King Jr. for our cause. We need to unite very quickly or this will be over before it starts. We need to be prepared to take our cause to the streets if necessary. Are we truly ready for that? I fear that if we do not grab on to this tremendous boost to the cause and hold on for dear life, we will go home with our tails between our legs and back to the closets it took us 30 years to crawl out of. If that happens, shame on us.

  9. Florida said:
    “If Obama ignores the top voted question then we can all conclude he will do nothing to reform the drug laws.
    My guess is he will ignore the question.”
    The first part of what you say is unfortunately true, but as to the second part, I am an optimist. The message was loud and clear. Plus, when enough news outlets reference the story — and I believe they will, the question simply cannot be ignored.
    Plus “we” know which question was voted the most significant, and “we” will no longer not be silent.

  10. Norml, do whatever you can to make sure these guys don’t shrug off the topic of marijuana legalization. You know that what’s they’re going to do.

  11. I’m afraid I’ll have to echo the pessimistic sentiments of the previous poster @ 5:45pm.
    Just take a look at Obama’s picks for his cabinet/staff:
    From James Ramstad to Rahm Emmanuel…. to Janet Napolitano…. to the Hildebeast herself- most (if not all) of them are fascist douchebags who have devoted their entire adult lives to defecating upon the rights of the people.
    Change we can believe in?
    I’ll believe that when invisible pink unicorns start crapping on my front lawn.

  12. A key part of our reversal of fortune in the 1930’s was the repeal of prohibition. Obama studies the past, there’s no way he’d overlook such a thing.

  13. How can he ignore the question? It was voted #1! In addition, 13 of the to 50 questions are about reforming marijuana. He can not ignore that!

  14. I think deep down inside Obama knows the laws need to change. It’s the pricks he surrounds himself with that worries me.

  15. As impressive as this is, our elected officials will not act–even cognizant of the popular support a position has–if the media to not report on the issue. CNN’s Situation Room has twice in the last few months had Mr. Ben Stein on a prime time slot: once to talk about his nonsense Intelligent Design film, and another to reassure us that the fundamentals of the economy are sound (!). How many times were anti prohibition views aired (and I mean by main stream advocates; US Congressmen, Judges and Law enforcement officials, not rag tags like myself)? zero. Until this dynamic changes, expect nothing.
    I should mention, in fairness to CNN, that Mr. Don Lemon did briefly allow Hon. Rep. Frank to push for his bill, and as much as I dislike Mr. Dobbs, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn he had some good things to say on the topic.

  16. As a medical marijuana patient myself, but a Republican one, let me be the first to say, I have to say you guys are delusional.
    The sick and dying are not an important voting block, and I can guarantee that President elect Obama’s response to (medical) marijuana will be or already has been, “Pfffffffft,” as he shoves the folder off his desk onto the floor, which will be followed by the Presidential directive, “don’t let this come across my desk again, ever.”
    The scientific evidence is clear that marijuana has multiple medical applications, some of which the Federal government has patents upon, although President-elect Obama must not have seen or has refused to review any of it, as he is on record as doubting the efficacy of marijuana as medicine.
    President-elect Obama’s non-change on the (medical) marijuana front will show conclusively that prohibition and its drug war implementation is an uniquely bipartisan policy, which is loved, cherished and protected by both parties equally. Under Clinton millions were arrested on marijuana charges, and medical marijuana users, meaning the sick and dying, were made the central target and fodder for the Clinton-McCaffery reign. Under GW Bush, millions were arrested on marijuana charges, including, still, the sick and dying, just as under Clinton, during the Bush-Walters-rule.
    Why on Earth should we expect anything different?
    The Vice-President-elect is one of the guys who got us where we are, having pushed through many of the most draconian laws under which we all now suffer. Is he just going to sit by and do nothing when this question comes up?
    This is, incidentally, one more in the now countless examples of the baby boom generation’s new credo under which it governs: “It was OK for me when I did it, but not for you, now that I am in charge.”
    The Democrats are now in full charge of this last statement, and marijuana is the first and foremost thing which was OK for little Barry Obama at the exclusive, elitist, Punahou school in Hawaii (can you afford a private school in Hawaii for your kid?) but not for Barak Obama’s subjects.
    Within 3 months we will know that you people who think the drug war is a Republican thing have been betrayed.
    You believed Obama, just like I believed GW Bush, when he said Medical Marijuana shoul;d be left up to the states.
    Look what he did afterward…something Bill Clinton (Democrat who did not have the courage to inhale, nor to tell the truth about it) also did… he made the sick and dying fodder in the war on drugs.
    Why, O Why do you people think Obama is going to breach 3 UN single conventions on Narcotics Control, conventions the USA made conditions for entry and continued membership of the UN?
    The Obama team/campaign has said nothing about it. Period. Obama is on record as not believing in the efficacy of marijuana as medicine.
    His campaign website did not even address drug issues.
    Finally, what makes anyone think that they are even going to LOOK AT the website comments about the change we need and want?
    He knows what we ne3ed and want, and he does not need to be told by us what we want. In fact, he wants to inform us what we want.
    I bet anyone 1000 dollars right now that when Obama leaves office, marijuana laws will not have changed. IN FACT I EXPECT THEM TO HAVE been severely and significantly tightened.
    Any takers? Or do you all secretly know I am right, and you just don’t want to admit it, right Paul?

  17. Im really praying everyday this comes through this year. Im from wisconsin, and i’ve been hassling my congressmen and governor to help get some kind of legislation passed. I think now days our “marijuana community” is having our voices heard alot stronger now that we have the internet in full boom. In the past things like this and legislation was almost un heard of in press or tv and you wouldnt hear much about it untill you picked up your high times or cannabis culture a month or longer later. Ralleys and marches were the way it was, but it was always something small and just locally managed. Now that we have the internet its easier for people to come together and make a big rally for the cause. I really do feel obama is going to ignore this issue, and frankly dip us all in the dark, and keep us all in the sand. He gave alot of speaches about change but i really dont think he’s going to change much considering most people he’s apointing are clinton’s people and if you remember during the clinton era more people were thrown in jail for pot then ever b4.

  18. I don’t like to say this a lot but of course the only reason this still goes on is become someone is still making money off of it. For most people and politicians (not all of them of course) money will always make them turn away and continue to keep things the same. They need to convince them that there will be an eventual profit from these reforms.

  19. Heh, I hope the best for this movement, but honestly I lost faith in this country years ago. I’m just waiting for the day me and my wife save up enough money to move to Europe and be on good feet over there.

  20. If you aren’t aware there are multiple Marijuana post.
    In Criminal Justice it is in 1st place
    In other it is 4th place
    In Government Reform it is in 6th place
    In Economy it is 3rd and 4th
    In Agricultural Policy it is 3rd and 4th
    In health care it is in 5th position
    It is second in Environmental conversation it is in 2nd place

  21. Eric Johnson
    You are the delusional one…you don’t think Republicans have had a major hand in this criminal war on Americans??
    Try researching your party’s actions in the last 40 years.Start with Nixon completely ignoring the Shafer Commission report and starting the “war on drugs”,then look at Carters attitude that the laws should not do more damage than drugs.Next,try to remember Reagan …again,completely ignoring the NAS report he requested at our expense,then restarting the “war on drugs”.Jump to John McCain,who really thinks that medical marijuana patients like you are frauds.
    Now Obama has asked the question and we have loudly responded.Unlike republicans,we reformers will not let any politician get away with disregarding our wishes and Obama will face just as much resistance as any other politician who chooses to continue this criminal War on Americans.

  22. They are ignoring the top voted question!!! how the hell can they ask for the peoples opinion and then blatantly ignore it!?!? Ugggghhh! soooo…. disappointed…

  23. OK, OK, OK,
    This I don’t think this is a Democratic or Republican(political) website.
    I thought NORML and MPP and ther other reform websites are about making our little weed/medicine legal.. Not a place to debate who was incharge when people were arrested for simple possesion,
    I, as well as others dont CARE about Democrats or Republicans.. all I care about is getting the information out there so I can take my medicine legally.
    We have a President elect that just might listen to our situation if we make enough LOUD noise..
    Not argue about Democrats or Replicans..
    I have always though of Norml, MPP and other sites as being Bipartisan. with only one thing as its purpose.. Making our GOD made weed/medicine legal. Not arguing/debating politics..
    In otherwords little ones I thing I speak for A LOT of people .. take your political ramblings to a political blog if you have to debate about it.. I log in here daily to read about the MMJ successess, not two little kids arguing about politics

  24. While I would love to beleive that Obama will pay attention to this issue and respond to something that is clearly becomming a popular mandate(decriminalization or legalization of Majajuana) looking art this cabinent makeup I have the sense that Obama is clearly not interested in reforming narcotic laws.
    Biden is pro Drug War.
    His pick for AG is Pro Drug War.
    So unless Obama takes the initiative to legalize MJ don’t expect it to come from his people.
    I am beginning to feel we will not see any “change” at all from the White House; just alot more empty rhetoric.

  25. I think the only reforms we’ll get are those WE vote for like Massachusetts did.
    Politicians want/need to wash their hands on this issue or they foolishly believe pot is that bad. Either way, I think it’s gonna be left in our hands by vote or as Nancy Pelosi suggested earlier, by us petitioning our “leaders”.
    I hope I’m wrong. Been waiting since the 1980’s for sensible, humane reforms on this issue, but like the Ethanol issue covered in this months Discover magazine, the infrastructure ( DOLLARS ) is already relying on pot being illegal. It’s not just about facts and science. It will be HARD to get reforms with the status quo being as it is.
    Here’s hoping though… for myself and the MANY normal productive citizens out there who are criminals ONLY because of outdated unjust laws.

  26. Oh… this probably won’t go over well, but lets forget the simplistic “it’s a God-given plant” thing. Jimson weed, Nightshade, Belladonna, and poisonous mushrooms are plants (yeah, I know mushrooms are really fungi) too.
    Just because something is a plant isn’t a justifiable reason that it’s okay/safe.
    The facts are there in abundance regarding other reasons to not criminalize pot users. The plant thing just makes us sound silly (in my laymans OPINION).

  27. I am highly disappointed at the transitions teams’ response of “President-elect Obama is not in favor of the legalization of marijuana.” It looks like we will be getting more of the same out of the new administration.

  28. What a phony! Community organizer huh? Obama should have seen the terrible effects of the drug war himself yet to blatantly ignore the will of the people proves he’s just another nazi acting like a person that cares about change

  29. People forget that it doesn’t matter if Obama is in favor in legalization or not. What matters is “WE THE PEOPLE” are in favor of legalization. The government needs to remember its place and serve the people.

  30. They have demonstrated their discord, so now we should demonstrate our harmony. Everyone needs to donate something, whatever you can, so that we can rise up and show OUR might, that we have spoken. We the people are no longer interested in the false propaganda. Science and research has proven the facts, the debate is over. They that represent us have no wisdom or special insight. They attained their positions through wealth and lies. Their agenda is not for the good of the people otherwise is would be evident! Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!

  31. All this does is show us how much work we have ahead of us. This is just the begining of our movement, if we want this to happen, we must all work together to make it happen.
    Keep up the work!

  32. Guys I’m in favor of legalization as much as anybody, but don’t you think Obama has bigger fish to fry? The economy (domestic and global) is in serious crisis, we are fighting an unpopular war on two seperate fronts, and unemployment is sky-rocketing. Let’s put any of those issues (seperately or combined, you pick) on an “Importance Scale” and see which one wins.

  33. It is very disappointing that he totally brushed off that question. It is even more disappointing that in the beginning of the campaign he was making promises about ending the raids on MM Dispensaries and now he just seems like any other politician dodging the question as if it were a shoe and not even giving an intelligent answer.
    Our voice has to be heard.Everybody that wants Marijuana legalized should just go to Washington in herds and protest while sparking it up. And if we have to be taken in handcuffs and in herds they wont be able to arrest all of us! In herds I tell you! And blow smoke in all of those cops and contact high the shit out of Washington.(takes bong hit) We should all do this just like in the 60’s . It doesn’t matter to me anymore what Obama wants or what the fat chief of police wants or what the czar wants it is about what we want people it is our right to smoke and that right was taken from us. This is not the end of this. This is just the beginning. There is a Real Million Marijuana March on DC – July 4th 2009 Everyone that truly feels passionate about ending the marijuana prohibiton laws should go to this event.

  34. The drug war addiction is on both sides of the party line. Actually, anyone thinking there is more than one party is nuts. There is no significant difference between them, they are both owned by by the large corporations and banks. The drug policies will get worse in this administration, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t fight them on this issue. It is because we’ve believed the system works that we have always failed. We’ve believed the thieves would not steal our inherent rights, and we act surprised when they do. Having said that, I’ve put 26 questions up myself. Because I believe we can win if we all stand together. But it will take far more activism than just sitting in front of a computer screen to do it. Peace, Jim

  35. I want to see some real ORGANIZATION. Obama won because he had it, the NRA wields more power than it should because it has it.
    The motivation behind organizations that achieve their goals requires dead-set belief in their purpose. If we do not believe that marijuana should be legalized to the point that we go off on rants on the same scale that members of the NRA go on rants about their 2nd Amendment rights, marijuana will never be legal. You have to want it so much that it keeps you working and fighting.
    NORML and other marijuana activists must come together with a level of purpose, dedication and tenacity not yet seen if prohibition will finally end.

  36. We are delusional. It will never become legal. No one has the political guts. We are now and forever screwed.
    Welcome to the land of the free.

  37. Well, the big answer has been posted. “Obama doesn’t support the legalization of marijuana”… that’s it. Practically not even a sentence. Of course, all the other questions have a whole paragraph dedicated to answering them.
    Seriously, though, did anybody here actually expect anything different? He said he wasn’t in favor of it to begin with. This is the reason why I didn’t vote for Obama – he’s a typical politician. There will be no “Change”. Just like how he voted for FISA last year, it will be more of the same crap. If people want change, they should vote 3rd party.
    Oh well, at least it shows that the public is interested in drug law reform.

  38. Which congress man or woman can we write to that will create the biggest splash for us? How can I contact Obama’s representatives or cabinet members to express my 20 years of use and discontent with being ‘black balled’ by our society, and made a criminal by our government? I’ve been complacent fort 20 years and I believe it is time for me to wake up and write some letters to a greqat number of individuals.
    Thanks in advance!

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