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Amendment 64-inspired petition says Florida pot law would benefit "stoners and children"

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Since November 6, all sorts of venting has taken place on the White House's petition website, including a call for Colorado to break away from the United States. But that's not the only post-election attention Colorado is getting in citizen appeals to the Obama administration: A petition praising Amendment 64 calls for a similar measure to be passed in Florida -- because it's the right thing to do for children and stoners.

Here's the text of the WhiteHouse.gov petition, which, as of this writing, has nearly 3,000 signatures.

To enact a policy exactly like or resembling Amendment 64 for the recreational use of marijuana in the state of Florida.

For any Florida resident conscious of the current marijuana laws knows that they are among the steepest in the country. Cannabis annually takes zero lives, yet it imprisons a person every 42 seconds. It's just senseless to put harmless people behind bars for smoking a harmless flower. Amendment 64 needs to be brought to Florida, and soon. Legalize it. Legalize it, and tax it. It's no secret that Florida is not only an awful state for a smoker, but an awful state for a student. Reinvest the taxes collected from the the selling of a harmless plant into education and give stoners and children alike a better tomorrow.

It's worth noting that this kind of petition doesn't actually make a whole lot of sense, given that marijuana legalization at this point is an issue at the state level. It's not as if the federal government could do anything to change policy in a single state.

In Colorado, the passage of Amendment 64, the Regulate Alcohol Like Marijuana act has gotten national attention. Officials are grappling with the next steps, as well as the contradictions. For instance, small amounts of recreational marijuana will be legal in Colorado for adults 21 and over within weeks, but it remains illegal at the federal level.

Continue to read more about the Florida petition. Supporters of 64, like Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, have argued that the end of marijuana prohibition is inevitable. Such backers believe that with the passage of this kind of amendment, Colorado is taking the lead in what will eventually be a national movement to legalize pot.

So on a symbolic level, at least, it's noteworthy that Colorado's amendment is making waves in some other states, even if a White House petition out of Florida is very unlikely to accomplish anything.

The Florida petition, created on November 8 by Jordan B., of Edgewater, vaguely references a much-debated part of Amendment 64 that authorizes the state to collect a voter-approved excise tax of up to 15 percent on marijuana, with the first $40 million earmarked for public-school construction across the state, as noted in our recent cover story on 64 and the history of pot. Opponents in Colorado have argued that there is no guarantee this kind of revenue would actually materialize. They say a tax would require another act of the state legislature to be authorized.

Regardless, Jordan seems to like the argument that legalization comes with serious economic benefits for the state.

And, of course, for stoners.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Photo: John Hickenlooper poses with Cheetos, Goldfish and marijuana center owner"

Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin. E-mail the author at Sam.Levin@Westword.com.

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