Target: US Department of Justice, President Obama
Goal: Demand the Department of Justice to respect the will of the voters in Colorado and Washington and stop enforcing federal raids on legal medicinal marijuana businesses.
On election day 2012, two states, Colorado and Washington, voted to legalize the personal use of recreational marijuana. These ballot triumphs represent an unprecedented step in the liberalization of America’s drug laws and the upward trend of Americans coming to favor the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana is the most commonly abused illicit drug in the United States, and according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation more than 757,000 people were arrested in the U.S. in 2011 for marijuana-related offenses. An overwhelming majority of these arrests were for simple possession, costing the tax payers approximately $8 billion. The victories in Colorado and Washington reflect a growing frustration with federal drug prohibition, which still classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance, the most severe classification for a narcotic.
Despite high hopes of drug reform advocates, Barack Obama did not exercise respect for individual state marijuana laws throughout his first term. Over the past three years, the DOJ has undertaken more than 200 SWAT-style federal raids on legitimate medical marijuana businesses in at least 6 states where the drug is legal for medicinal use.
Recently during a Barbara Walters interview, the President said his administration had “bigger fish to fry” than carrying out federal drug laws in states that have voted to legalize marijuana. This is however, what the President said about medical marijuana at the beginning of his first term, and he has not kept that promise. Sign the petition below to urge the President to respect state drug laws where marijuana is now legal.
Dear President Obama & The Department of Justice,
According to Gallup, in 2011 a record high 50% of Americans said that use of marijuana should be fully legal. In 2002, that number was only at 34%, in 1994 it was about 24%. The voters in Colorado and Washington have spoken this past election cycle, and they have decided to end the failed prohibition policies of the federal government. Many Americans are coming to work for the same goal in their own states.
Although marijuana is still a controlled substance under federal law, you still need to respect the will of the voters in Colorado and Washington. They have shown us what true democracy looks like, and their wishes should not be infringed upon by the federal government. Please honor your statements saying that prohibition in these states would not be a “priority.”
We hope that the initiative of Washington and Colorado will come to be an inspiration for the rest of the country, showing that ending marijuana prohibition is possible. Your administration acknowledges how our drug policy has failed. Do not curtail the progress that activists have worked so hard for.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: geograph via Evelyn Simak