We told you recently about how President Obama will have to face the question of legalizing marijuana nationwide after his own initiative to let Americans petition him online with their most-pressing issues brought weed to his desk.

The top vote-getter in this effort at digital democracy is bud, or your alleged right to have it.

Now another group of pro-pot advocates has launched a similar petition, but with a HUGE twist:

They want Obama to consider the idea of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would end marijuana's status as a federal outlaw drug and stop prosecution of users.

In an email to the Weekly organizers said:

This petition to end prohibition of marijuana is new & different from the [aforementioned] NORML petition!

It sure is. It's different in that the “Legalize and Regulate Marijuana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol” petition has nearly 50,000 backers. The constitutional amendment petition? Less than 50.

The petition says, in part:

Demand an Amendment to the United States Constitution to End Prohibition of Marijuana, Marihuana, Hemp and Cannabis because we have a Right to Equal Protection Under the Law to NOT be prosecuted and punished for for growing, harvesting, farming, using, smoking, selling, manufacturing, brewing and bottling substances and products which are equally as dangerous or LESS dangerous than other legal products and substances such as alcoholic beverages and tobacco products, as used and sold to adults age 21 and over.

One major problem with it, however, is that Obama appears to be seeking input on issues over which he can have an impact via administration policy. On this he might be limited. After all it would take an act of Congress and then some to get passed. And Obama has no official role in making Congress and the states pass an amendment, though he could certainly use his bully pulpit to urge them to.

While he's certain to address the “Legalize and Regulate” petition (and tell backers kindly, no), this one feels like a FAIL right out of the gate. But we'll be watching.


LA Weekly