The White House recently launched a new section on its website called “We the People” that gives average, everyday Americans the chance to “petition the Obama administration to take action on a range of important issues.”
The most popular topic so far? Marijuana, by a wide margin.
The government launched the service as part of Obama’s pledge to create a more open government. You know, one that actually listens and the people. Anyone 13 or older can create an online petition for any topic. If the petition gets more than 5,000 signatures on the site within 30 days, the White House promises to issue an official response and notify lawmakers about the proposal.
One petition currently leads all others: “Legalize and Regulate Marijuana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol” has more than 36,000 signatures. That’s well ahead of the second most popular petition – to abolish the Transportation Security Administration – which has just over 21,350 signatures.
But it doesn’t end there. Marijuana-related topics dominate the list. Four of the 10 most popular petitions involve weed. In addition to the petition we already mentioned, the three others are:
– “Legalize, Regulate and Tax Marijuana” has 11,000 signatures
– “Stop Interfering with State Marijuana Legalization Efforts” has more than 10,000 supporters
– “Give States the Freedom to Establish Their Own Marijuana Laws” has more than 7,000 signatures.
Additionally, the fifth most popular petition (12,145) is to allow industrial hemp to be grown in U.S. once again, and another one in the top 10 asks the government to end the drug war.
We doubt this is what the White House had in mind when it created the site. It’ll be interesting to see how, and if, the Obama administration responds. The site is brand new, so marijuana might very well be the first topic the White House comments on.
We’re not holding our breath. While We the People is an interesting initiative, we doubt it is going to lead to any real change. If anything, though, it shows that marijuana legalization – for medical purposes or otherwise – is one of the hottest topics of the day.