Admit it: You got all excited when President Obama opened up an online petition process — promising to respond to top signature-getters — and one advocating the full-legalization of marijuana went to the top of list.

The president would have to respond. So he did. Quietly. Over the weekend — when no one was paying attention.

And he blew it off. In fact, he had Richard Gil Kerlikowske, the White House Drug Czar, respond. Here's what he said about the petition to “Legalize and Regulate Marijuana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol:”

Simply put, it is not a benign drug.

Like many, we are interested in the potential marijuana may have in providing relief to individuals diagnosed with certain serious illnesses. That is why we ardently support ongoing research into determining what components of the marijuana plant can be used as medicine. To date, however, neither the FDA nor the Institute of Medicine have found smoked marijuana to meet the modern standard for safe or effective medicine for any condition.

… That is why the President's National Drug Control Strategy is balanced and comprehensive, emphasizing prevention and treatment while at the same time supporting innovative law enforcement efforts that protect public safety and disrupt the supply of drugs entering our communities. Preventing drug use is the most cost-effective way to reduce drug use and its consequences in America.

That's the sound of exhaled hopes deflated like the end of a balloon toke.

Oh well, there's always the next liberal, black president …


LA Weekly