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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.

Diana DeGette at a recent early voting event, joined by Denver mayor Michael Hancock.
Diana DeGette at a recent early voting event, joined by Denver mayor Michael Hancock.
Photo by Sam Levin

"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."

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.

 

Original post, 4:20 p.m. November 12: Earlier today, Sam Levin wrote about a WhiteHouse.gov petition calling for Colorado to secede from the union in the wake of President Barack Obama's reelection. But this effort is hardly the only one of its type about a hot Colorado issue. Earlier today, syndicated columnist and KHOW talk-show host David Sirota created a petition of his own -- this one to beseech Obama to play a supportive role toward Amendment 64, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act . Details below. The petition calls on the Obama administration to "Support a law protecting states' rights to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol." It reads:

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."

The reference to legislation pertains to a proposal reportedly being drafted by Democratic representatives Diana DeGette, Ed Perlmutter and Jared Polis; it would exempt Colorado from federal marijuana policy. Details are available in our post about Governor John Hickenlooper's conference call with Attorney General Eric Holder about Amendment 64.

Sirota explains his decision to advance the petition in the following statement:

As many of you know, I've written and reported on the Drug War for years, and have spoken out here in Colorado about the need to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana in the same way the more hazardous substance, alcohol, is already legalized, regulated and taxed. That's why I was proud to publicly advocate for Amendment 64 in 2012, and why I am thrilled it passed here in Colorado. However, in order to make it a reality, we need congressional legislation to explicitly force the federal government to respect states' rights to end this destructive part of the Drug War.

The WhiteHouse.gov petition system promises a response to any petition that secures 25,000 signatures within thirty days of posting. Hence, Sirota encourages folks to sign on whether they live in Colorado or not.

He concludes his statement with this:

The Drug War is an unjust and financially wasteful expenditure of taxpayer dollars. It is a clear assault our most basic liberties. It needs to end. But it will only end if the federal government respects the will of voters. Please sign the petition.

To access the petition, click here .

More from our Media archive: "Michael Brown and David Sirota team up to fill KHOW Caplis & Silverman slot."


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