Legalizing Marijuana Is America's Top Political Issue — Again

To the surprise of virtually no one who has been following public opinion polls for the past 18 months, the call to “legalize the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana” placed #1 in the 2010 Change.org online vote for the “Top 10 Ideas for Change in America.”
Open voting at the Change.org website took place for six weeks — during which time citizens voted nearly 210,000 times on over 2,500 different ideas. This morning the website released the top 10 results here.
Legalization’s first place victory was expected. After all, the issue topped a similar Change.org poll last year. Legalizing marijuana also finished #1 in the White House’s first ever Change.gov poll; it finished #1 in Barack Obama’s first-ever online Town Hall vote; and it finished #1 in the White House’s 2009 ‘Citizens Briefing Book.’
Yet despite these consistent first-place finishes, the administration and the mainstream media remain dismissive. President Obama has twice publicly retreated from the issue — the second time chuckling that such a question would even be asked of him. His press secretary discounted the issue’s true public support, claiming that groups like NORML had somehow stuffed the online ballot box. As if! Meanwhile, mainstream media outlets brushed off the results as the work of “Internet trolls.”
Trolls, huh? How do ‘trolls’ explain the consistent victories racked up by marijuana law reformers at the polls year after year? And how do trolls explain the rising public opinion poll numbers that now show that over 80 percent of the public supports legalizing medical marijuana, and a solid majority also backs legalization for all adults.
Will today’s latest poll results finally be the time that President Obama, his press secretary, stuttering Robert Gibbs, Drug Czar Gil ‘legalization isn’t in my vocabulary‘ Kerlikowske, and the members of the mainstream press start to heed the public’s message that marijuana legalization is not a political liability, but rather it is a political opportunity?
Probably not. But that doesn’t mean that we’re not going to stop telling them that it is.

0 thoughts

  1. SO THE WHITE HOUSES IZ FINALLY COME 2 D CONCLUSION THAT IF IT DONT MAKE DOLLARS IT DONT MAKE SENSE..I GOT AN E-MAIL FROM MY GOVERMENT D OTHER DAY..TELL EM ME 2 SUPPORT HEALTHCARE REFORM..I TOLD THEM I DONT SUPPORT ANYTHING THAT DOESNT REFER 2 D LEG. OF MARIJUANA! NOW THATS REAL HEALTHCARE LOL

  2. ITS AN OUTRAGE!!!
    Let us not forget that our deaf government has already ignored the public’s words and will continue to do so until we clean house. Left .. Right .. It does not matter. Corruption began many many years ago and is now blatantly obvious, they just do not care. After all, what can we, the powerless, voiceless, public do to get the changes we desire?
    Walk softly.. carry a big stick.

  3. Nothing new. Id expect the president to address the issue. Esp. for medical purposes, + the decriminalization of it.
    Im sure California, oregon+ Washington are the only 3 states to fully legalize the drug for recreational use.

  4. Just more proof that the government really doesn’t care about what it’s people want. Its obvious that people are calling for reform in our drug policies, yet the only reform the media and the government brings up is the reform that benefits the Obama administration. And apparently they fail to see that legalization will help the economy after a couple years.

  5. I sit here reading about a subject that I have great conviction and passion toward. I support the use of marijuana for both medical and recreational use. I see jails over crowded by “marijuana offenders”, all the money, lost of jobs and hardships on the families that help financially and emotionally with the devastation of a loved one being hauled away as a “common criminal”. I beg anyone/everyone that reads this to do whatever YOU can do within your means to make a difference. To stand up for what YOU believe in and what You feel is right. See what most of us don’t really know is that WE (me, you, them) are the only ones that can make the Change! Of course, I know there is great opposition…but think back…what great, life changing events in our history did not! In closing I would like to say to those that are fighting this once thought un-winnable battle, I for one will continue to express at every available opportunity the facts, my opinion and my knowledge. We can win this fight…if I don’t get to see it I pray for my son (21) and his sons to…Thanks for your attention on my outlook of the situation. Good Luck and God Bless!

  6. So when he laughs at us again can we stop pretending he is going to magically change his position in his second term? … If he offers some real change here, I’ll eat my words.

  7. Way to talk about the problem of having elephants in the room and use it as as a ploy to not actualy talk about the elephant in the room. “Hey, look shiny object over there”. Yeah we’re that stupid.

  8. And most thought Obama was the smart one that would end Prohibition.
    To have to think that we should wait another five years until his second term lame-duck position kicks in is not an option that sets well with me. It may well be the way it goes however, it’s plain wrong. And Obama knows it.
    This latest victory at change dot org will be interesting to watch. Hope it fuels all pro legalization activists with renewed conviction.
    Remember the good folks in prison, the ones who loose their lives (drug cartel violence comes to mind), the sick and elderly, the VA veterans (there’s another question up at change dot org for their right to use cannabis), and please fill in the rest because the list goes on and on.

  9. It’s good to see that the fact that the American people ARE supportive of change is getting more and more recognized.
    Hopefully Obama won’t scoff at this one.
    Isn’t it the job of the politicians to fight for what the public desires? Even if they believe it to be wrong?
    If you are the president of a nation that is largely in support of murder, is it not your duty to support murder and allow it to all your citizens even if it goes against your personal beliefs?
    I’m not saying murder is in any way comparable to cannabis use, I’m just saying that it’s time for politicians to START DOING THEIR JOB AND STOP F***IN AROUND! If you can’t represent your people FIND A DIFFERENT JOB!

  10. – If only ALL Americans knew firsthand,
    BELIEVED wholeheartedly…
    (NOT discounting any prior-knowledge as mere youthful experimentation / indiscretion / failing…),
    THE superior-efficacy of cannabis as a safer, more effective pain-reliever, relaxant, anti-depressant and
    sleep-aid than alcohol, present OTC and prescription medications, it would be completely
    re-legalized again!!! It ought to be so already, (and yet, it still isn’t so EVERYWHERE),
    just “somewhat so” in a scant percentage of the more politically-progressive and coastal states…
    – Counter-intuitive to pot-stereotypes, America would be FAR more productive if cannabis
    were readily available to ANY working-age adult, ESPECIALLY THOSE needlessly “sidelined”
    by constant, debilitating pain and poor-quality, non-restorative sleep…!!!
    (Such as the author of THIS comment…who has Gone2PotLESSness).

  11. after the president laughed at us pot smokers who elected him earlier last year doesn’t seem so funny any more!! drug cartels killing people at the borders and letting these morons reep all the money with no taxes… it should be the number one issue!! legalize now..

  12. Normal ya guys r the shit,an not to mention ….ya see We all as bloggers or poll voters told this Gov. Now their listeing bout time shit i really wanna plant my shit…. might start out hydro from wht the net say its easier,ne way..just my thoughts$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ It would be what they say, UnAmerican to Not

  13. Top three reasons to legalize:
    1. Mexican Violence. This is not an abstract war, it is a literal war. There are casualties to this war. With over 7500 casualties to Mexican drug violence since January of 2009, ending the bloodshed should be our first priority. The saying in mexico is: Lead or Silver. Either the politicians accept bribes or die. Government is failing in Mexico, and the media is slowly being banned by cartels.
    2. American Incarceration.
    3. Preservation and re-institution of American Constitutional Rights. We are entitled to cannabis use by the ideals and documents of this country. Is it a conincidence that the drafter of the constitution, the 3rd president, a vice presendent, and a leader of the American enlightenment was a cannabis smoker? (Thomas Jefferson)
    Then of course you have all the money we throw into Prohibition. And of course all the money we could get from cannabis (the worlds leading cash-crop… and it is ILLEGAL! Imagine how wonderfully profitable it would be if it were legally and societally acceptable) And of course the Medical benefits of cannabis:
    It is one of the most promising substances in modern cancer research. Cannabanoids seem to be anti-tumoral. Also anti-spasmotic. Also anti-nausea. Cannabis helps a myriad of alements and deseases.
    Then of course hemp, and it’s new market.
    We could just go on and on, couldn’t we? But when it comes down to it, our priorities are the losses of life in Mexico, the Life imprisonments in America, and OUR CONSTITUTION!
    WE ARE DOING IT, FOR AMERICA!

  14. lost faith in this guy a while back, was hoping for better but looks like the same to me

  15. The online polls are more accurate than polls and surveys given in other ways because folks don’t have to lie, and can take them anonymously. I could lose my license to practice because I choose to relax with cannabis rather than alcohol. I lie all the time on polls and surveys, and my profession requires me to kowtow my employers line, which is that of the law–even though the law is wrong. I can’t have a hangover to do my profession. For example, no one wants to be operated on by a doctor with a hangover or is under the influence of alcohol or cannabis or whatever performance-reducing substance you name. I can tell you I’d rather my doctor had like 7 hits of weed the night before rather than 7 beers or some kind of stronger alcohol, because the effects of alcohol hangovers linger on longer.
    People like me are not going to get out in front of people and advocate and give personal experiences because the prohibitionists have us where they want us to keep us quiet and in the closet.
    Sad!

  16. The continued dismissal and denial of the importance of this issue just underlines the need to change this obscene policy one state at a time.
    I am so waiting on the initiative vote in Nov.in CA.
    Only 8 months to go.
    With the ONDCP now positioning itself on driving under the influence and their attempt too convince America and the congress that it is a problem worthy of spending millions of dollars on new technology,as reported on by NORML in August,2009.
    The recent story on the drug exhibit that won’t die has given a clear picture of their path.
    A former DEA Administrator,now working for Motorola was at the ribbon cutting,rubbing shoulders with the present DEA administration,and Phillips,a subsidiary of Motorola,has developed the technology that detects recent marijuana usage explains the drug czars last 2 speaking engagements and his editing of a NHTSA study
    on the problem. The problem is the money,or lack of it.
    The new technology is expensive and they need it to be proliferated throughout law enforcement for his probable plan to work.Another shovel to dig more money out of the prohibition garden.
    Present drug testing would not provide them with evidence of actual driving under the influence,so,here comes our drug czar,ready to make a former DEA’s administrator and her employer millions of dollars
    for their new technology. Another good ol boys bit of
    money making scam.
    http://www.mapinc.org/norml/v10/n173/a10.htm
    http://www.opposingviews.com/i/new-hi-tech-police-tool-to-detect-marijuana-use
    http://www.drugwarrant.com/2010/03/the-exhibit-that-just-wont-die/
    You can use the above links to check the sources of this opinion. I hate conspiracy theories but I am pointing this one out,as it is happening. The next step will be for Kerli to go too congress and ask for the money too implement his plan,and I have already alerted CNN of this possible action. I am sure that until Kerli actually asks for the money,they may not act upon it,but when he does,we may get some positive press on this ploy.

  17. I cant believe someone said they think internet trolls flooded the polls.
    I have lost any hope of the obama administration legalizing even medical marijuana

  18. Obama needs to support it or he will be elected outta office. Not by a republican or a tea party canadate lol no I pray america either pressures the democrats to support cannabis or a true 3rd party will form. It also needs to be a big issue in 2010. We need people to pay attention!

  19. Seriously, what the hell do we have to do to get through to politicians!?!?!? Im moving to Amsterdam. Peace out!

  20. #1 for a very good reason. The plant has never caused a death as far as anyone knows. Historically used for over 2000 years and no known deaths. Prohibition on the other hand has caused thousands upon thousands of deaths not to mention millions of ruined lives. We want our government to quit killing people on our behalf in this war on our own citizens. The people responsible for this law are despicable demons and cowardly racist bastards ( Hearst, DuPont, Anslingler and Nixon). By the way I have heard through the grapevine that they are all burning in hell now. I hope our current elected officials don’t join them.

  21. Over 17,000 Mexican PEOPLE killed in a 3 year period.To me that sounds like our government care’s very little about our neighbors.We continue to spend millions of dollars we don’t have fighting a stupid war against the peaceful people of the world.A fresh approach to this global issue is in demand.How many more innocent people all over the Americas will have to die to satisfy this country’s never ending lust for blood.

  22. How many think this is about a plant It is so much more Washington wrote he had to watch honest citizens being arrested for harvesting hemp Drug laws and especially hemp laws are the foundation of control of the economy Cannibis is proven safe and beneficial even if abused They don’t allow research because they’ll lose their control of the truth The first drug law made our bodies their property I’ve found it nearly madness watching the news and reading Norml and researching hemp and knowing the cure Cannibis

  23. Not a damn surpised our government has been corrupted from the start. The only people who believe and follow pot laws are stupid gullible fucks or it effects their money. My theory on why pot is still illegal is that the who damn government has been lying from the start. This proves the government will absolutly lie to us to keep us in check. If you haven’t noticed our government don’t like abnormalites like how we treated indians and africans and mexicans, and there is pure evidence of aliens but the government claims none exist. Same with 9/11 and big brother.

  24. I wish we could have a national referendum on legalization of cannabis so that we didn’t have to go through the ineffective channels known as the mass media and the federal government.

  25. No doubt in my mind #23, they will join the others. It’s their arrogance and vanity that prevents them from seeing this.
    The next “innocent” American citizens to die will be the ones that are sent to Mexico to fight the cartels. Either the cartels want drugs legal OR the cartels want to go to war with America. You decide.

  26. A-fucking-Men. I sware if he ‘chuckles’ at us this time he is just an ignorant puppet. C’mon Illinois join the rest of the civilized world!

  27. What is the real reason the government is ignoring their people? What is feeding their agenda to keep pot illegal? Is it
    -they like having control over us (imprisoning persons)
    -encouraged by big pharma or others such as cotton
    -actually ignorant and think old policy is good
    -the largely ignorant and quiet public who are content with status quo
    -combination of all

  28. Why in the hell do we Americans allow the corrupt “officials”, to determine what is moral? After all, we in Arkansas, have elected the largest bunch of whores, outside of Neveda. Our esteemed officials have taken $millions from healthcare industry, not to mention, big oil and pharma. And these outlaws should set moral values? I think not, pot needs to be legal so as to eliminate supporting an ongoing criminal enterprise. Al Capone would have loved the present policy. As we keep arresting small time dealers, Mexico has a 35% increase in planted acres of cannabis. Sounds like the “war on drugs” has been so successful.

  29. Why do you think Obama sort of called of the FEDS on raiding marijuana dispensaries? Let the states handle their affairs with marijuana. The FEDS figured out that they are in the clusterfuck of disorder, the states are in the same shape. The FEDERAL OVERLORDS OF MARIJUANA PROHIBITION weild the big stick while the states weild a twig. WAKE UP AMERICA, THERE ARE FIFTY STATES BUT ONLY ONE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. The farmers in this country should really start raising HELL about growing industrial hemp for America and create JOBS Where in the hell did all the stimulus money go. Money for prisons, money for war and money for BIG BROTHER TECHNOLOGY to keep the masses in control. THE EASTERN AND WESTERN FRONTS ARE COVERED, but WE THE PEOPLE ARE STUCK IN THE MIDDLE, just shows you how much your vote really counts on certain issues. HEIL OBAMA!!!!!

  30. The more we write letters, the more we scream, the more we scream, the more screamers get involved, more people involved, new president!

  31. Lets keep signing the petitions. They will continue to look like corporate puppets that pretend to be deaf to democracy.
    Frankly it looks pretty bad and the public teeters between 45% to 55% in favor according to the polls. Common sense takes a little time to sink in for some, public support will only continue to increase. We should all keep track of which pols are Marijuana friendly and which are not. The tide are turned and coming out against legalization is political suicide.
    Know the arguments, know the audience, know the politicians and keep your friends in the loop.
    End Crime, End Drug Games, Provide a legal industry that would employ millions in these desperate times.
    Legalize 2010

  32. Marijuana has literally saved my life on multiple occasions. I have anxiety & depression which I’m being treated for by the VA. I’ve been on almost every antidepressant and anxiety medicine available in the past few years and they’ve only made my problem worse. I’ve been to rehab for pain pills and anxiety pills (Loratab and Klonopin) because they decided I was addicted to them since I’d been on them for over a year. Back to the point the only thing that has ever worked for me is marijuana. Practically no one goes to rehab for marijuana. I was a casual smoker in high school but quit when I had to get a job. No problem. Withdrawals from Klonopin KILL PEOPLE. People die over pain pills everyday. Marijuana keeps me from comitting suicide. The least dangerous “drug” in the world is illegal because our government is a piece of shit. That’s my opinion. Just because some greedy politicians made a shady deal around 1930???? Why don’t people riot over this? (Because stoners don’t cause trouble for the most part probably) Politicians make me sick. I’ve lost all faith in our government and plan to move out just as soon as I can afford it. I’ll end it there even though I could rant ALL DAY LONG about this stupid law. Thank you for reading.

  33. All I can say is that if Obama laughs this off again, I’ll go nuts and we know for a fact he is a puppet and working for the bankers and corporations and industries that don’t want to have cannabis legal.
    If he doesn’t laugh it off and says we will have a public discussion about legalization that will be a start.
    But I find it doubtful that he will be honest, he might lie and say he will have a discussion, and then not do anything, because he good at talking but not so good at getting things done that citizens need!
    I hoped that the government wasn’t corrupt, but it seems that all the conspiracy theories around Obama and the government are true.
    I feel our freedoms being taken away more and more each day, and soon we will have nothing left, it’s like they have all the power and don’t listen to us and we are helpless and can’t do anything because our voices are not heard and our votes don’t count.
    What will it take to get our freedoms and country back???

  34. The UNODC reported last fall,most major banks would have failed if not for the illegal drug money,and marijuana is 70% of that money. It is not only a US priority too keep marijuana illegal,the world economy would actually be devastated if we legalize.
    The UNODC was leaning toward decriminalization of marijuana,until they figured out just how much marijuana plays into the world economy,as was our own drug czar and president,until the present economic upheaval pointed out just how big a role marijuana plays in our society’s economy.
    That is why Americans will have too take the right to use marijuana back one state at a time. By slowing down the legalization as much as possible,they are allowing time for the economy to taper off on it’s dependence on marijuana’s revenue.

  35. When you look at the way marijuana is distributed,how many people in the United states depend on marijuana for their income or supplementing it? It is not just one dealer in every small town across America,but several,
    not just one “big dealer” in every region,but several and not just one cartel or country that is in this system
    of financial,but many. And it is not just one farmer in each country that depends on marijuana,but thousands.
    At every turn,marijuana is putting food on a lot of peoples tables and the sudden legalization and removal of the “green market” would devastate a lot more than the cartels in Mexico.

  36. yet another reason for
    FULL LEGALIZATION, NOW !!
    check this;
    marijuana deficiency proven !!
    http://mapinc.org/url/9k4kNDJq
    finally proof pot does NOT rot your brain.
    marijuana keeps your brain healthy.
    NOT smoking pot, rots your brain.
    this is why the people who never smoke weed,
    are the way they are.
    they are BRAIN DAMMAGED by
    severe MARIJUANA DEFICIENCY !!
    this also PROVES that;
    -ALL MARIJUANA USE is MEDICAL USE !!

  37. The only way,besides one state at a time,would be too
    over grow the government and this financial system that has come to depend on this plant for it’s money. That means that every person would have too take the risk of being “busted”. They can’t put us all in prison and if they did,who would buy the marijuana and keep the money flow going? They need us more than we need them.
    Or,everyone quit buying marijuana. If you can’t take the risk of being busted,just quit using for a few months.
    It would not take long of a moratorium of Americans not contributing to the world market for the “big money” people to get out of the green market.
    That is why growing your own is the most harmful thing that we could do to this problem.

  38. I’ve been reading comments at Norml and other related web-sites for 20 years and come to the conclusion that until all 20 million adult pot smokers unite in Novmember, we will never have freedom restored. 20 million votes given to a 3rd party candidate for Congress (or President in 2012) will end prohibition.

  39. The Republicans would have a field day, along with the media, attacking Obama, were he do make moves toward marijuana legalization. Despite internet polls, conservatives would beat this like a drum in the right leaning mainstream media.
    The culture war is running strong for Republicans and small minded conservatives right now. They have little else going for themselves.
    I predict that Obama would only pursue this toward the end of a term, and unfortunately, maybe only the end of a second term, were a second term to happen.
    If there is not a second term and Republicans go back in power, the drug war will ramp up way beyond Nixon/Reagan. It will be like the Iraq war but in the US and Mexico, largely against US citizens.

  40. This proves that Obama wouldn’t.He chunckles once, and he chuckles again. The people who are involve with this movement needs to also contrate on big businessness and get them to understand the benefits about legalizing and that would be awsome.

  41. I’m all for the legalization of marijuana, but this story is a joke. The author needs to read up on the difference between scientific and non-scientific polls.

  42. They must keep the status quo.
    Think about this, with over 20 million federal, state, and local government workers on the payrolls
    and 250,000 of them whose only sole purpose and job is to create new income streams to keep their existence, a terrible inversion has taken place.
    Now Google Domestic Marijuana Eradication and see How the government is expanding it’s income streams on both ends of the spectrum. From the patent that The Dept. of Health & Human services holds to keeping Cannabis on Schedule 1, the endless practice of deception,newsspeak, and evil has profited the system and the hosts of the new law code of Hammurabi
    (Codex Hammurabi) being practiced today as the War on Drugs.
    It is because it’s prohibited. See, if you look at the drug war from a purely economic point of view, the role of the government is to protect the drug cartel.
    That’s literally true.
    Milton Friedman

  43. Well, we know there was no underground conspiracy of which a group of marijuana supporters got together and menacingly conspired to sway the votes.
    But, I have to say. What if millions of people did make a conscious effort to unite to vote for something as important as the legalization of marijuana. Is that not just the thing that’s needed? Are we not supposed to unite as a people? Is the peaceable organization of people to bring attention to and change the laws on an important issue not the very thing that does get it changed? Is it not the type of conspiracy described here the very thing that gets politicians elected for Office. Their treatment of the issue speaks volumes for the true intent of politicians: They’re not interested in “United, we stand” kind of America; they’re interested in “Rule, the government does through the scattering and dividing of the people” kind of America. It’s how you conquer: Divide first. That’s what political parties exist for.

  44. We are trolling?!?!??!?!?!
    Having innocent people’s lives ruined by an unjust war on a harmless weed grown from the ground is the biggest “troll” upon humanity since the holocaust.
    Give me a break….

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