Marijuana: David Sirota's Amendment 64 petition to pass signature threshold today
Update: On Monday, KHOW talk-show host and syndicated columnist David Sirota created a WhiteHouse.gov petition calling on the Obama administration to back a law protecting the right of states to establish their own marijuana policies, as the voters of Colorado did by passing Amendment 64. Such petitions must garner 25,000 signatures within thirty days to prompt an official response -- but 48 hours or so appears to be enough. At this writing, the petition is on the cusp of passing the threshold.
As I type, the number of signatures stands at 24,364, a total that appears to be growing by hundreds each hour.
"I didn't expect it to get 25,000 signatures so fast," notes Sirota, corresponding via e-mail.
Here's the text of the petition:
Citizens in Colorado and Washington overwhelmingly voted to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana in similar fashion as the more hazardous substance, alcohol, is already legalized, regulated and taxed. We request the president support a federal law requiring the federal government to protect -- rather than undermine or overturn -- these state laws and similar laws that other states pass in the future. Specifically, we request the president to support a pending congressional proposal that would amend the federal preemption section of the Controlled Substances Act (section 903) to exempt from the act any state provisions "relating to marijuana."Sirota has been a vocal supporter of Amendment 64 for months. And while plenty of petitions on the WhiteHouse.gov site veer toward the wacky side -- like the one calling for Colorado to secede from the union as a result of Obama's reelection -- he sees the process as a way to pin down the administration on a subject that officials might prefer to avoid for as long as possible.
"The President has never been forced to clarify his position specifically on the states' rights question when it comes to the drug war," Sirota notes. "This will force him to do so."
Photo by Sam Levin Diana DeGette at a recent early voting event, joined by Denver mayor Michael Hancock.
In the meantime, Sirota is keeping the subject front and center. This afternoon on The Rundown, the 3 p.m.-7 p.m. KHOW program he co-hosts with Michael Brown, guests will include Representative Diana DeGette, who has joined fellow Colorado Democratic legislators Ed Perlmutter and Jared Polis in proposing a bill that would exempt Colorado from federal marijuana policy.
To access the petition, click here.
Continue to read our previous coverage on the David Sirota-Amendment 64 petition.