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Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 6:32 pm UTC
by The Reaper
Some of you may have already heard of the initiative the whitehouse has taken in hosting petitions for people to sign. The idea is get 5k sigs in 30 days, and you get yourself a response.

Whelp, the internet has responded, to a minute degree.

http://gawker.com/5843507/white-house-s ... mands-weed

The biggest note is that Legalize and Regulate Marijuana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol, at the time of my writing this, has 32k+ votes currently, and its only been up like 2-3 days.

One wonders if they'll actually do something about the situation, or just grandstand for the status quo?

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 6:36 pm UTC
by SlyReaper
We had a similar thing in the UK a few months ago. One of the most popular petitions was to bring back the death penalty.

I despair of my fellow humans sometimes.

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 6:48 pm UTC
by Tirian
Hooray for slacktivism. 5000 people just have to push a button and government will change to suit them!

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 6:55 pm UTC
by gametaku
The Reaper wrote:Some of you may have already heard of the initiative the whitehouse has taken in hosting petitions for people to sign. The idea is get 5k sigs in 30 days, and you get yourself a response.

Whelp, the internet has responded, to a minute degree.

http://gawker.com/5843507/white-house-s ... mands-weed

The biggest note is that Legalize and Regulate Marijuana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol, at the time of my writing this, has 32k+ votes currently, and its only been up like 2-3 days.

One wonders if they'll actually do something about the situation, or just grandstand for the status quo?


Magic 8 ball will this administration even think about legalizing pot:
Response: LOL

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:12 pm UTC
by Tirian
The only question was whether the site would have had to confront pot legalization or Colbert first.

Seriously, what did they call this when they did it at the beginning of Obama's administration and what ever became of it?

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:22 pm UTC
by ojno
SlyReaper wrote:We had a similar thing in the UK a few months ago. One of the most popular petitions was to bring back the death penalty.

I despair of my fellow humans sometimes.


I regained some of my faith in humanity when the counter-petition to keep it abolished overtook the one to reintroduce it, then lost a little more when that one was in turn overtaken by... just random bad ideas. Remove benefits from the rioters! Reduce taxes on fuel! Leave the EU!

We had one in the UK for ages, the 'new' one was just kind of a relaunch. The old one was equally inane, and a complete joke because even the sensible ideas were never even considered. The new one will most likely be the same, and be wiped clean again in a few years.

If you really want to petition the government on an issue which concerns a sufficient number of people, at least in the UK, you get the signatures on paper, deliver them to an MP in person, and it then at least gets entered into the official record.

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:45 pm UTC
by SlyReaper
ojno wrote:Reduce taxes on fuel!

Hey, what's wrong with that one? Fuel is ridiculously overtaxed.

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:28 pm UTC
by MikeBabaguh
All of the serious problems in the country and one of the most popular petitions is to legalize a luxury item?

Seriously?

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:32 pm UTC
by The Reaper
MikeBabaguh wrote:All of the serious problems in the country and one of the most popular petitions is to legalize a luxury item?

Seriously?

Luxury item for you, maybe. Industrial strength illicit narcotic with no medical benefits whatsoever for the rest of us.

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:33 pm UTC
by scarecrovv
Interesting idea. I signed some of the petitions. I was amused by others. Particularly this one.

Though I'd be really surprised if anything more than lip service were paid to any of this.

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:36 pm UTC
by Save Point
I am really loving the ones about disclosing information regarding extraterrestrials.

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:51 pm UTC
by buddy431
The Reaper wrote:
MikeBabaguh wrote:All of the serious problems in the country and one of the most popular petitions is to legalize a luxury item?

Seriously?

Luxury item for you, maybe. Industrial strength illicit narcotic with no medical benefits whatsoever for the rest of us.

Isn't the point of the petition to make it not illicit?

Narcotic is sort of a loose term, and while some people classify marijuana as a narcotic, I think that the term is more properly reserved for opiates. [/pedant]

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:54 pm UTC
by sourmìlk
MikeBabaguh wrote:All of the serious problems in the country and one of the most popular petitions is to legalize a luxury item?

Seriously?


The point of legalizing marijuana isn't just so that people have access to marijuana. It's so that people aren't arrested for victimless crimes, so that we can raise revenue from taxing it, and so that we aren't spending money trying to ban a harmless thing. It's less about legalizing it and more about not banning it.

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:21 am UTC
by The Reaper
buddy431 wrote:
The Reaper wrote:Luxury item for you, maybe. Industrial strength illicit narcotic with no medical benefits whatsoever for the rest of us.
Isn't the point of the petition to make it not illicit?
<sound>Woosh!</sound>

Yes. Yes, that is indeed the point. Currently it is illegal. We would like to make it not illegal. California has some form of legality, and thus weed could be seen as a luxury item there, rather than a completely illegal substance. Texas isn't in that boat yet, for some strange reason, even though we have PLENTY of area to make a great weed farm state, thus increasing state revenue, and we all know how much Texas loves to love money. -sigh- The way it's illegal here is silly as well. Gotta have weed to get a stamp, gotta have a stamp to legally have weed. That and that whole "federal mandate" thing.

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:23 am UTC
by CorruptUser
To say nothing about depriving organized criminals of a huge income stream. Which means less organized crime, which means less 'support' for criminals, which means the other criminals are easier to catch...

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:25 am UTC
by Jahoclave
Tirian wrote:Hooray for slacktivism. 5000 people just have to push a button and government will change to suit them!


Well, 5,000 people just have to push a button so the government can ignore them more effectively.

Also, I do believe Equestria needs a ponyteriat revolution.

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:33 am UTC
by farnsworth
sourmìlk wrote:The point of legalizing marijuana isn't just so that people have access to marijuana. It's so that people aren't arrested for victimless crimes, so that we can raise revenue from taxing it, and so that we aren't spending money trying to ban a harmless thing. It's less about legalizing it and more about not banning it.

Harmless? How does it affect driving? (I imagine DUI laws would cover this; in which case, it's the same situation as alcohol.)

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:34 am UTC
by sourmìlk
farnsworth wrote:Harmless? Does it affect driving? (I imagine DUI laws would cover this; in which case, it's the same situation as alcohol.)


It affects driving a little. But as far as actual damage to a person caused by the drug itself, and as far as crime rates related to marijuana go, it's harmless.

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:39 am UTC
by Magnanimous
I would like this better if it were an upvote/downvote system... You can get any 5000 idiots (overstatement, but still) to sign something, but it would be more honest to hear negative opinions too.
sourmìlk wrote:
farnsworth wrote:Harmless? Does it affect driving? (I imagine DUI laws would cover this; in which case, it's the same situation as alcohol.)


It affects driving a little. But as far as actual damage to a person caused by the drug itself, and as far as crime rates related to marijuana go, it's harmless.

It affects reaction times, which could be a big deal... But then again so does sleep deprivation, and that's not illegal.

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:29 am UTC
by elasto
Magnanimous wrote:It affects reaction times, which could be a big deal... But then again so does sleep deprivation, and that's not illegal.

Yeah. Societies should, as much as possible, not ban things simply because they might be used irresponsibly. You should instead punish for irresponsible use.

Stuff like alcohol, nicotine, cannabis, refined sugar, transfats, recreation sex etc. - all serve little purpose other than enjoyment, so long as they are used sparingly and/or responsibly - and none should be banned simply because some people use them irresponsibly or with such frequency that their long-term health suffers as a consequence.

And, honestly, cannabis is one of the least addictive on that list - both psychologically and physically.

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:14 am UTC
by MikeBabaguh
RE: several people.

I wouldn't call it a narcotic. And I recognize the health benefits and the potential to turn it into really great cloth.

But I'm not hearing the arguments for legalization including the non-stoner benefits. As near as I can tell, every one wants to get high legally, and that's not a good enough reason to legalize what is essentially only a luxury item. And if you're worried about the ridiculous home raids to catch people on possession (which I agree is ridiculous), all the government has to do is tell the police and FBI not to enforce it. That part is a simple fix.

Fix the important things first. It's only during times of prosperity we get to worry about the little things.

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:19 am UTC
by sourmìlk
MikeBabaguh wrote:But I'm not hearing the arguments for legalization including the non-stoner benefits. As near as I can tell, every one wants to get high legally, and that's not a good enough reason to legalize what is essentially only a luxury item.

Sure it is. Who is the government to tell me what I can and can't do to my body, assuming that there isn't a direct causal connection between that and hurting others?

And if you're worried about the ridiculous home raids to catch people on possession (which I agree is ridiculous), all the government has to do is tell the police and FBI not to enforce it. That part is a simple fix.

Fix the important things first. It's only during times of prosperity we get to worry about the little things.


The billions of dollars in revenue that could be gained from legal marijuana are important. The thousands of people jailed for victimless crimes are important. The money we waste enforcing these laws is important.

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:24 am UTC
by The Reaper
MikeBabaguh wrote:RE: several people.

I wouldn't call it a narcotic. And I recognize the health benefits and the potential to turn it into really great cloth.

But I'm not hearing the arguments for legalization including the non-stoner benefits. As near as I can tell, every one wants to get high legally, and that's not a good enough reason to legalize what is essentially only a luxury item. And if you're worried about the ridiculous home raids to catch people on possession (which I agree is ridiculous), all the government has to do is tell the police and FBI not to enforce it. That part is a simple fix.

Fix the important things first. It's only during times of prosperity we get to worry about the little things.

Marijuana isn't just for stoners, sir. Some actually use it to keep things in check, such as certain variants of ADHD, glaucoma, pains, eating disorders, etc.

There's quite a few benefits that aren't stoner related. Just because you're not the subject of them, doesn't mean we should ignore the issue.

If its so easy and such a little thing to fix, why not just fix it and move on to the next thing?

note: sometimes I feel as though my arguments can sometimes be taken in parallel, rather than sequentially as they're written. Hmm.

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:43 am UTC
by Steax
I'm kind of hoping we can avoid a marijuana debate here. =/

For those who signed, how do they confirm your email address? I can only see crazy stuff working out at this rate. I'm actually astonished 4chan hasn't started pushing "make cats the national mammal" and "switch 'in god we trust' with 'lolz'" and stuff like that.

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:57 am UTC
by The Reaper
Steax wrote:I'm kind of hoping we can avoid a marijuana debate here. =/

For those who signed, how do they confirm your email address? I can only see crazy stuff working out at this rate. I'm actually astonished 4chan hasn't started pushing "make cats the national mammal" and "switch 'in god we trust' with 'lolz'" and stuff like that.

They send you an email for verification. You click a link, it verifies, and then you still have to change your password, because it doesn't automatically offer to do so.
The lost password thing doesn't reset your password automatically, but rather gives you a link to go change it.

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:19 am UTC
by Qaanol
Thanks for the link, I hope this initiative serves to at least bring certain topics into the national discourse, and perhaps even make progress on some fronts.

In any case, I started 3 petitions. New petitions do not show up on the listings page nor the search results until they have 150 signatures, so here are the direct links to my petitions:

Approval voting
Government transparency
Voting rights

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:35 am UTC
by Cathy
Qaanol wrote:New petitions do not show up on the listings page nor the search results until they have 150 signatures,


Wait, how does that make any sense? How are 150 people supposed to find it if it's not on the search pages? :?

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:36 am UTC
by The Reaper
Cathy wrote:
Qaanol wrote:New petitions do not show up on the listings page nor the search results until they have 150 signatures,


Wait, how does that make any sense? How are 150 people supposed to find it if it's not on the search pages? :?

Everyone knows only popular people have good ideas.

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:03 am UTC
by Qaanol
I just made two more petitions, which some of you might be interested in:
Renewable energy
Smoking ban


Cathy wrote:
Qaanol wrote:New petitions do not show up on the listings page nor the search results until they have 150 signatures,


Wait, how does that make any sense? How are 150 people supposed to find it if it's not on the search pages? :?

Indeed you have a good point. Even if they don’t put new petitions on the main listings page until they reach a threshold, all petitions ought to be found by searches. In fact, one search criterion ought to be "minimum number of signatures" so users can set their own thresholds. Why don’t you start a petition requesting they change that policy?

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:34 am UTC
by Steax
I guess that's just an anti-spam reason or something. It would be better if 150 votes automatically passes it through the spam filter, or they could wait until a staff member manually approves of it.

But... well it's the government we're talking about here.

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:24 am UTC
by big boss
How long until Colbert starts a petition for something and it becomes the most popular one...

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:39 am UTC
by elasto
Qaanol wrote:I just made two more petitions, which some of you might be interested in:
Renewable energy

Signed it even though I'm not a US citizen.

Interesting implications for your democracy, that!

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:30 am UTC
by Steax
elasto wrote:
Qaanol wrote:I just made two more petitions, which some of you might be interested in:
Renewable energy

Signed it even though I'm not a US citizen.

Interesting implications for your democracy, that!


Cue theories that petitions against the TSA, Patriot Act and wars are actually perpetrated by trrrrrrrrrists, in 3... 2...

They have breached our national internets!

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:18 pm UTC
by Belial
Tirian wrote:Hooray for slacktivism. 5000 people just have to push a button and government will change to suit them!

Isn't that the theory behind, like...voting?
MikeBabaguh wrote:As near as I can tell, every one wants to get high legally, and that's not a good enough reason to legalize what is essentially only a luxury item.

Are you saying that all luxury items should be illegal unless someone can make a really compelling argument for legalizing them?

Because it really sounds like that's what you're saying.

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:46 pm UTC
by Dream
MikeBabaguh wrote:All of the serious problems in the country and one of the most popular petitions is to legalize a luxury item?

Seriously?

Or to stop cruel politically motivate imprisonments for harmless behaviour. Whichever you like.

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:03 pm UTC
by Belial
Yeah, as it turns out, prison overcrowding is an issue. As is the joblessness and crime created by slapping criminal records on people doing something harmless.

It is...not a minor thing.

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:44 pm UTC
by Heisenberg
MikeBabaguh wrote:As near as I can tell, every one wants to get lollipops legally, and that's not a good enough reason to legalize what is essentially only a luxury item.

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:57 pm UTC
by sourmìlk
I don't like the idea of making it so that all adults can vote. My uncle has down's syndrome: should he be allowed to vote?

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:01 pm UTC
by Kulantan
You're an autistic dick, should you be allowed to vote?

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:05 pm UTC
by sourmìlk
Kulantan wrote:You're an autistic dick, should you be allowed to vote?


Are you seriously comparing high-functioning autism to down's syndrome?