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SHRED's Journal
Posted by SHRED in General Discussion: Presidency
Sat Nov 05th 2011, 09:08 AM

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Since creating the We the People website in September, the White House has posted more than 130 petitions from Americans urging changes in government policy. Initially, officials promised to respond to petitions that received more than 5,000 signatures in a month; later, the threshold was upped to 25,000 signatures after the White House realized it had underestimated the response.

The White House took action to speed up implementation on reducing student loan debt following petitions it received in that area.

But response to a petition won’t be enough in all cases to get the White House to act.

Last week, it publicly refused to embrace changes in marijuana laws, despite receiving eight petitions on the subject, including one, “Legalize and Regulate Marijuana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol,” that attracted 74,169 signatures. Gil Kerlikowske, director of the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, said marijuana is “not a benign drug” and is “associated with addiction, respiratory disease and cognitive impairment.”

As of Saturday, the 10 most popular open petitions (based on signatures) were:

1. Crackdown on puppy mills (30,920)
2. Abolish the TSA (29,717)
3. Allow growth of industrial hemp (21,978)
4. End “war on drugs” (20,685)
5. Dissolve the Electoral College (18,600)
6. Re-establish separation between investment and commercial banks (17,451)
7. Restore democracy by ending corporate personhood (16,837)
8. Repeal the Patriot Act (15,694)
9. Protect children from air pollution (13,886)
10. Legalize same-sex marriages across the U.S. (13,656)

This is not the first time the Obama administration has found itself in an awkward situation when it asked for feedback from the public. Shortly after Barack Obama’s inauguration, it asked citizen’s to send in their ideas and then asked people to vote for their favorites, which 1,400,000 Americans did. Two of the top three choices dealt with legalizing marijuana. Number 7 at that time was revoking George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the top 1%.


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