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The White House Responds To We the People Petition 920

Posted by samzenpus
from the thank-you-for-contacting-citizen-support dept.
First time accepted submitter Nysul writes "The White House, aiming to gather the opinion (or marketing data) of the internet nation, asked for our thoughts by creating the We the People site and now it has responded to some of the more popular petitions, such as marijuana reform and separation of church and state. You probably won't be surprised at the answers."
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The White House Responds To We the People Petition

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  • by orphiuchus (1146483) on Sunday October 30, 2011 @11:27PM (#37890604)

    ...I read their claim that marijuana is addictive. You can lie to my face all you want, but don't expect me to vote for you.

    • by joaommp (685612)

      Not being ironic or sarcastic here, not even defending your president's answer, just an honest question: is marijuana really proved to be totally non-addictive? Or is it something still up for debate and research?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Rockoon (1252108)
        Anyone who has used it knows that there is no debate.
        • by artor3 (1344997) on Sunday October 30, 2011 @11:42PM (#37890722)

          Right. Those who smoke marijuana all know that they can stop any time they want!

          • by Kenja (541830) on Sunday October 30, 2011 @11:48PM (#37890780)
            "Those who smoke marijuana all know that they can stop any time they want!"

            Of course. Its just that they dont want to.
            • by orphiuchus (1146483) on Sunday October 30, 2011 @11:50PM (#37890800)

              Unless they do, then the really can. The problem is the overlap between pot smokers and slackers.

              Its easier to quit smoking pot than it is to stop drinking soda.

              • by snowgirl (978879) on Monday October 31, 2011 @12:22AM (#37891046) Journal

                Unless they do, then the really can. The problem is the overlap between pot smokers and slackers.

                Its easier to quit smoking pot than it is to stop drinking soda.

                So... you're saying that caffeine is not addictive as well?

                I'm sorry, but "slightly addictive" is still addictive. That doesn't make it a valid reason to make it illegal though, nicotine is easily more addictive, and it's still legal, so "marijuana is addictive" shouldn't be a valid argument that you even allow. You actually give them credence by arguing against it.

                Lie or truth, the statement "marijuana is addictive" is not a sufficient reason to make it illegal.

                It's like, red cars are illegal, and the government puts out a claim that "red cars are less visible". You don't argue against this claim with "but red cars are more visible!" Because then you just get into a shouting match of "nu-huh!" "ya-huh!" "nu-huh!" "ya-huh!" ... No, rather you argue with "black cars are easily known to be less visible than red cars, yet black cars are not illegal, therefore regardless of if your statement is true or false, this is not a valid premise for the illegality of red cars." That way they have nothing to come back against your argument with. By using this disarming tactic, they can argue that "red cars are less visible" until they're blue in the face, but it doesn't matter, because you've correctly pointed out: THAT DOESN'T MATTER.

                • by jrumney (197329) on Monday October 31, 2011 @01:14AM (#37891444) Homepage

                  Caffeine is physically addictive. Heavy users stopping cold turkey can expect severe headaches, fatigue, altered mood, fever and other symptoms. Pot is not physically addictive, largely due to the fact that it stays in your system so long, so any sudden halt of consumption leads to a gradual drop in the level of THC in your body over a period of days or even weeks.

                  Psychological addiction to pot is of course possible, as it is with any other substance, object or activity.

                  • During the week at work with our very good coffee machine, i have between 4-10 espressos per day. I often work weekends so this is often fairly constant. However i often need to travel or go on holidays where its common to have no coffee at all for weeks. This year i was in Japan, they just don't do coffee. I get no headaches or withdraw.

                    However my Mum does. If we check medical journals we note that this in fact match's the data. Some people get addicted but not all. This also applies to alcohol hence th
                  • by xanadu113 (657977)
                    Delta-9 THC is metabolized into Delta-11 THC, which is then metabolized into THC-COOH, which is an inactive metabolite... So that theory of it not causing withdrawals because it stays in so long is incorrect...

                    After a max of 8 hours, the effects have worn off.. (usually more like 1-4 hours..)..
                    The claim that cannabis keeps you high for 30 days is completely incorrect...
                • wow... anything is addictive. You can be addicted to video games, eating, getting sick, exercising, sex, alcohol, sleeping, etc. Anything that involves mental thought can becoming addictive. You can be chemically, psycologically, mentally, etc addicted to just about anything. I think the main difference is that chemically dependent drugs cause you to go through withdrawal, which in some cases like heroine and the like, can kill you.

                  I've never heard of anyone dying from pot withdrawal. Cans of coke with

          • by pasv (755179) on Monday October 31, 2011 @12:05AM (#37890920) Homepage
            Anything that can be psychologically addictive.. ANY substance. The problem is that the white house was vague about whether they were referring to psychological or _physical_ addiction. The latter meaning that when you quit your body shows sign of extreme withdraw. I guess you could also question the ambiguity of 'extreme' too tho
          • by mcgrew (92797) * on Monday October 31, 2011 @07:37AM (#37893078) Homepage Journal

            There are no physical withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal is the key to whether a substance is addictive or not.Alcohol, caffeine, opiates, tobacco, and many other drugs are addictive, because there are physical symptoms when the addict stops. Alcohol withdrawal can be deadly.

            Unfortunately, the politicians and politically driven have attempted (maybe successfully) to redefine habituation as addiction, adding such nonsense as "sex addiction" or "food addiction" or "gambling addiction". The trouble is, anything can be habituating. Drink a glass of orange juice every morning at 7:00 for five years and I guarantee you'll miss it when you can't have it.

            If by your definition of "addiction" marijuana is addictive, then orange juice is even more addictive.

            Pot smokers don't steal, prostitute, or beg for it when they can't have it, unlike alcoholics, crackheads, and junkies. They don't spend the rent money on pot, they simply do without.

            The "marijuana is addictive" is in fact a bald-faced lie propagated by the folks you voted for..

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by demachina (71715)

          You can tell how condescending this site is because their response is written by a former "police chief" the demographic probably most likely to condemn all drugs. I think back to the convention scenes in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas".

          Is alcohol addictive and does it cause severe cognitive impairment when abusedâ¦. yesâ¦totally. OK so that means you are also in favor of reinstituting prohibition just so you are consistent on the issueâ¦. didn't think so.

          • by MysteriousPreacher (702266) on Monday October 31, 2011 @04:48AM (#37892434) Journal

            You can tell how condescending this site is because their response is written by a former "police chief" the demographic probably most likely to condemn all drugs.

            Yeah, and Josh fucking DuBois responding to the requests to remove god junk from the pledge and currency. Of course his response was a firm no, pointing out religion's important role in America. What other kind of response were we to expect from the Pentacostalist head of faith based iinitiatives? DuBois' office is a glaring example of the intrusion of religion in to government, yet he's the one chosen to respond. So much hand waving and bullshit.

      • by orphiuchus (1146483) on Sunday October 30, 2011 @11:42PM (#37890714)

        As a former smoker, a coffee drinker, and a former marijuana user, I can promise you that both caffeine and nicotine are far more addictive than marijuana.

        In fact, I've never in my life had a "marijuana craving", but I've had many pounding headaches from not giving in to nicotine cravings.

      • In a zero to 100 scale, with nicotine being at the very top, cannabis is rated 21 - well below caffeine, alcohol, or valium. sauce [druglibrary.org]

        • by orphiuchus (1146483) on Sunday October 30, 2011 @11:46PM (#37890762)

          I don't know if I buy that list... Considering they have heroin rated lower than nicotine. Quitting smoking was a bitch, but I didn't fucking die from it!

          • by demonlapin (527802) on Sunday October 30, 2011 @11:54PM (#37890828) Homepage Journal
            You won't die from quitting heroin, either. The drugs that are actually physically dangerous to quit cold-turkey are alcohol, benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax, Librium, etc.), and barbiturates (Quaalude/methaqualone, pentobarbital, phenobarbital, etc.).
            • by ahfoo (223186) on Monday October 31, 2011 @03:56AM (#37892262) Journal

              You can indeed die from heroin withdrawl. For a heavy user going cold turkey it's normal to experience extremely elevated blood pressure that can directly result in death especially when there are aggravating factors which is common in people living off a substance that can only be obtained in a black market economy of questionable purity injecting the drug with recycled syringes. You bet they can have complicating conditions before they go cold turkey under those circumstances. Circulatory problems are not a rare thing for junkies by any means. Totally collapsed veins are not unusual at all. When you couple those circumstances with an intense extended period of extremely elevated blood pressure it can result in death.

              Having said that, the far more common cause of death for a heroin user going cold turkey is not a direct result of the withdrawl symptoms but an overdose in an effort to control the symptoms of withdrawl. That's pretty much the classic OD scenario. Saying that you can't die from quitting heroin seems to be a bit overly simplistic given that fact.

          • by GSloop (165220) <networkguru AT sloop DOT net> on Monday October 31, 2011 @01:17AM (#37891458) Homepage

            Here's the explaination I heard recently, and I think it's the best I've ever heard.

            You want to train a dog to come when you call.

            So, you take a 1 kilo steak and call him - and you feed him the whole kilo at once.

            OR

            You cut the 1kg into 200 pieces. Then you call him to you and give him once of the pieces. Repeat 200 times.

            The first got a BIG reward, but only once. The dog's going to be sated for quite a while.
            The second gave a small but substantial reward very often. And better yet, the dog will want another almost instantly.

            The second method will "train" your brain to respond in the "desired" way lots faster than the first.

            Smoking is a small hit, many times a day, perhaps many times an hour.
            Heroin is a BIG hit a few times a day.

            Smoking will condition the neurons in your brain a lot faster and more reliably than heroin will.

            HTH

      • by sjames (1099) on Sunday October 30, 2011 @11:56PM (#37890848) Homepage

        Actually, the correct question would be "has marijuana been shown to be addictive?". That which has not been shown is assumed not to be.

      • by kawabago (551139) on Monday October 31, 2011 @12:04AM (#37890914)
        I use it medically and I have to choose to take it every day. There is no compulsion to take it, it isn't addictive at all. My town is rather isolated physically so we have several rehab centers here and I meet patients regularly. I have never heard of anyone needing treatment to stop smoking pot. I have met people that stopped and none of them needed treatment or had any trouble stopping. The withdrawal from pot is the 'munchies' that you get when it's wearing off. That is easily treated with cookie therapy.
      • There's no debate, really: it can be addictive. Think about it this way: How can computers (e.g., WOW) become addictive if there are no chemicals involved?

        When someone develop an addiction over a substance or activity, in addition to the physical dependence involved, there are rituals and habits constructed around it. E.g., my best friend needs to smoke before grading tests (she doesn't smoke at other times). Or a few potheads I know: they smoke every time we hang out.

        I talked with a Psychologist that worke

      • Well as far as the theoretical chemical addiction properties of THC, I believe there is still some debate, although most scientists believe it to be non addictive. The reason there is doubt is because THC does not metabolise very fast and clings to fat cells in the body. What this means is that if you smoke marijuana, you get high, and have high blood THC levels. A few minutes after smoking, these levels start to drop off, but they drop off slower and slower, kind of like a half life. While the half life is
    • by AuMatar (183847) on Sunday October 30, 2011 @11:42PM (#37890712)

      Of course it is. There isn't even a question about it. The correct question to ask is "is it more addictive, or is addiction to it more harmful to the victim or others, than other legal substances?" For example, alcohol. Or for that matter, video games or gambling, both of which can be addictive.

      That's where the answer is no, it's no more dangerous than alcohol, and may well be less. At the very least I see fewer violent responses to it. Definitely not worth the cost we spend to police it, when treating it as a health problem would be cheaper. But if you really think it's not addictive you need to get your head out of your ass, look at the medical literature. Or just look at how many people continue to smoke pot as they throw their lives away.

      • by chrb (1083577) on Monday October 31, 2011 @12:13AM (#37890978)

        Of course it is. There isn't even a question about it.

        Actually, there has been a debate over the last couple of decades. It has been traditionally agreed that substance dependence requires signs of withdrawal. However, with cannabis, signs of withdrawal only occur in some users. Compare that to 100% of heroin addicts who would show signs of withdrawal. What percentage of cannabis users would show signs of withdrawal? I don't know the figure, but the fact that the majority would show no signs at all means that, under the traditional classification, it would not be considered as a physiologically addictive substance. Quote:

        "When human subjects were administered daily oral doses of 180-210 mg of THC - the equivalent of 15-20 joints per day - abrupt cessation produced adverse symptoms, including disturbed sleep, restlessness, nausea, decreased appetite, and sweating. The authors interpreted these symptoms as evidence of physical dependence. However, they noted the syndrome's relatively mild nature and remained skeptical of its occurrence when marijuana is consumed in usual doses and situations. Indeed, when humans are allowed to control consumption, even high doses are not followed by adverse withdrawal symptoms. "

        - Lynn Zimmer, Associate Professor of Sociology Queens College and John P. Morgan, Professor of Pharmacology, City University Medical School [ukcia.org]

    • by IICV (652597) on Monday October 31, 2011 @12:30AM (#37891106)

      Strictly speaking, it's not a lie.

      There's two different kinds of addiction: physiological addiction, and psychological addiction. Physical addiction is the bad shit; it means that if you take this substance, your body will eventually come to depend on it - and if you stop taking the substance, your body will be exceptionally unhappy with you.

      One extremely common example of a physically addictive drug is Citalopram, one of those drugs they prescribe for anxiety and depression; if you want to stop taking it and quit cold turkey, you're going to have massive headaches for a couple of weeks. There's also, of course, the common trifecta of alcohol, tobacco and caffeine, all of which are truly physically addictive.

      The thing is, though, when people say "it's addictive", they're almost never clear on whether they mean physically addicting or psychologically addicting. The problem with that is, well, anything can be psychologically addicting - all it really means is that you really like doing something, and so change your behavior in order to do it more, potentially to the detriment of other aspects of your life. Sure, you can get addicted to, say, World of Warcraft - but if you quit, you're not going to get blazing headaches or anything like that (except maybe from being out in the sun more).

      So, it is true that marijuana can be addicting, in the same way that a good book or an exciting game or an interesting TV show is addicting. It's not true that marijuana is addicting in the same way as tobacco or alcohol or caffeine.

      What I found hilarious, though, is that you could use his argument against legalizing marijuana as an argument for the prohibition of basically any currently-legal drug. Maybe we should start up a new proposal to get those banned, since after all the White House is now on record as saying that they don't fit the criteria for legalization?

      • you could use his argument against legalizing marijuana as an argument for the prohibition of basically any currently-legal drug

        You could use his argument as an argument for the prohibition of basically any currently-legal thing.

      • Don't worry. Tobacco is well on its way to being banned. Also, we tried the alcohol and I hope you know how well that turned out. In the last 5-10 years, tobacco use has been so restricted, it is getting to the point where it can only be a "closet" drug. You have to be sitting at your home or in your car if you want to enjoy it. At the same time we are restricting tobacco, we are loosening the restrictions on marijuana. It was rare to hear about "medical marijuana" just 10 years ago. Now we have a thriving
    • by Foofoobar (318279)
      Yeah their response on marijuana was just a blanket statement on ALL drugs stating about an addictive nature and drug rehabilitation; ok then, when are we going to rehabilitate our president for the time he smoked in college or all the senators when they hit the bong at the frat house? When are they all going to be rehabilitated? How about the voting public that never commits crimes to support their marijuana habit... when are they getting rehabilitated? Because, excuse the pun but this seems like a smoke s
    • "If you are going to create a public petition system, then take the petitions seriously.

      Dismissing the top petitions with canned responses invalidates the whole exercise."

      https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#!/petition/take-petitions-seriously/bHPkPddj [whitehouse.gov]

      3 000/25 000 signatures
    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      I love how everyone after you is arguing over whether pot is addictive and kinda missing the big point which it is We, The People not We, Your too stupid children which is how the government is treating us. Here you have We, The People, saying "We don't think we should be blowing billions and sending kids to jail for pot" and instead of doing WHAT THE ELECTORS TELL THEM TO they say "Fuck you, our buddies in the private prison biz are making out like bandits! Now pay them taxes bitches!"

      I remember hearing so

  • really? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by larry bagina (561269) on Sunday October 30, 2011 @11:29PM (#37890618) Journal
    If marijuana is half as bad as they claim, shouldn't Barack Obama, former marijuana and cocaine user, resign immediately and be placed in a maximum security prison?
    • by hedwards (940851)

      No, because there's the statute of limitations and unless it was fairly significant use, he'd probably still be eligible to become a police officer.

      Just because you neglect the middle, doesn't mean that it exists.

  • by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taiki@co[ ]et ['x.n' in gap]> on Sunday October 30, 2011 @11:30PM (#37890624)

    Pretty good read. [whitehouse.gov]

    tl;dr version: Fair tax isn't fair.

    • The fair tax contains provision for allowing the basics to go untaxed. This is why it is NOT unfair to the middle and lower classes. Not mentioning this is paramount to bald faced deception.

      Current tax mechanism in a nutshell [flickr.com]

      Why the current tax system is hopelessly regressive [flickr.com]

      Why a/the fair tax is FAIR [flickr.com]

      • by sorak (246725)

        You were inconsistent there. You added indirect taxes paid by other people in the first two illustrations, but did not count them on the third. If you had actually been consistent, the third frame would have the poor person paying a 35% tax rate, and everybody else paying 57% on any money beyond the first $1000.

        Or you could have taken the indirect taxation thing a few steps further and had this:

        A: I got paid $100
        G: I'll take 35%
        A: I still have $65. I'll buy $65 worth of services.
        G: I'll take 35%
        A: That's ok. That will still buy me $42.25.
        Plumber: And I can buy $42.25 worth of food.
        G: I'll take 35%
        Plumber: That's ok. I still have $27.46 to buy groceries.
        Grocer: And that $27.46 will feed my family.
        G: I'll take 35%
        Grocer: Holy crap! That leaves $17.85. How am I going to feed a family of four on $17.85...
        Farmer: I get my food from the ground!

        And that's why income taxes suck. You are actually paying a tax rate of 82.15%, unless you move to a flat tax, in

  • Translation: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Sunday October 30, 2011 @11:35PM (#37890656) Homepage
    The translation for most of these is really simple: The obvious political calculations don't support the petitions. The vast majority of people who support the decriminalization of pot are people who would vote for Obama anyways. (There might be some libertarians in the Tea Party but even bringing up legalization at their rallies had lead to booing. See e.g. http://ricochet.com/main-feed/Pot-Legalization-Brings-Boos-at-Tea-Party-Rally [ricochet.com].). The only one that's even more blatant than that is the petition answer about removing "under God" from the pledge of allegiance. The people who care about that definitely aren't going to vote for anyone other than Obama (well, if Huntsman won the Republican primary then maybe, but right now he's polling at 2% among registered Republicans...). That petition response is even more noteworthy for having a nice mix of trying to claim that non-believers make up an important part of the US even as Obama endorses the claim that God is important to nation. The worst part of all this is that his political calculation is correct: Next election I'm probably going to be voting for him. Because the other option will be a lot worse.
    • That's largely what Obama is counting on, that whoever gets the Republican nod will be so damaged and/or tied up with the Tea Party that the only sensible alternative is Obama. It's cynical and brilliant, "vote for me, at least you know what kind fucking bastard I am."

      • Re:Translation: (Score:4, Interesting)

        by BitZtream (692029) on Monday October 31, 2011 @12:48AM (#37891250)

        I was going to vote for McCain in the last election because I figured I knew how he was going to fuck me and I liked that better than the idea of Obama who I wasn't sure how he'd fuck me, but I didn't.

        Fortunately, Obama got elected and turns out he's done FAR less damage than I was afraid of. So far, he's done more of what I expected out of McCain than anything else. No real point to this point, just felt I should share.

      • Actually recent polls show the GOP is close to Obama http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/president_obama_vs_republican_candidates.html [realclearpolitics.com]. Not to say a few more months of bickering won't sink the GOP ship entirely. Also other polls show that over 50% of Americans support legalizing pot, and a recent GOP debate had Ron Paul bring up legalizing heroin which got cheers from the South Carolina crowd taking the moderator by surprise. I doubt the issue has the legs to go anywhere right now but I w
    • The vast majority of people who support the decriminalization of pot are people who would vote for Obama anyways. (There might be some libertarians in the Tea Party but even bringing up legalization at their rallies had lead to booing. See e.g. http://ricochet.com/main-feed/Pot-Legalization-Brings-Boos-at-Tea-Party-Rally [ricochet.com].).

      At least some pot--not necessarily the stronger strains--should be legalized because nearly all of the anti-nausea medication out there is completely ineffective and is massively expensive. Even if pot of traditional potency were as bad in terms of addiction as the naysayers suggest (personally, the stench of it is what bothers me), it should still absolutely 100% be available for people undergoing intense chemo. Even if you limit the people able to give prescriptions to oncologists with particular CME tr

      • Re:Translation: (Score:5, Insightful)

        by snowgirl (978879) on Monday October 31, 2011 @12:09AM (#37890948) Journal

        Throw out all other reasons for legalizing marijuana or keeping it illegal. It is quite plainly and simply at the same level or lower of harm and danger to the user as alcohol and tobacco. Is marijuana addictive? You know what? The answer doesn't even matter, because nicotine is one of the most addictive drugs available, and it's legal. At the very least, nicotine is easily and readily provable to be more addictive than marijuana.

        The GP is right, while he may have asked people to draft policy based on science and not on politics and ideology, the problem is that as President you don't live in that power vacuum. What you decide to do is still influenced by politics, and the GP is right when he says that all of these disappointing answers won't be properly or well addressed, because the opposition to Obama (in the de facto dichotomy of US politics, even if it is a false dichotomy) is not going to get the votes of these people who are upset by these answers.

        Oh noes! Obama supports having "under God" in the Pledge, and "In God We Trust" on our money, damn. I should vote him out of office.. and vote for whom? Who of the Republican candidates would not take religion more to heart and go out of their way to support a Christian religion? There is not a secular Republican candidate (except as noted maybe Huntsman, and I think Gary Johnson might be as well, but he has even less support than Huntsman).

  • Health issues (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dyinobal (1427207) on Sunday October 30, 2011 @11:37PM (#37890674)
    I don't know how they can talk about legalizing marijuana and act like it's illegal because of health issues. if that was the case then shouldn't smoking and drinking alcohol also be illegal? It seems like they aren't open to serious discussion on any of these topics and just copy and pasted some default answers.
    • They can't afford to be. The War on Drugs employs too many cops and gives too many excuses for projection of force into foreign lands (who also are the beneficaries of War on Drugs' largess). Having the Gong Sh... er the Republican candidates, making rude noises at you is acceptable, but have very cop in the land shouting for your head, well, no candidate can bear the thought of that.

      • every 10 years its tested. in maybe 10 more of those decades, enough rednecks will die out that maybe sense will return to the land once again.

        we are not ready to admit we were wrong. admitting it is too hard! we're americans. we don't admit we are wrong (not ever).

        only solution is to wait it out; but that does not help us in our current lifetimes.

        slavery took 400+ yrs to be corrected. WoD will be corrected but it might take such a long time.

        just won't happy today because too many people make good coin

    • by fyngyrz (762201)

      Bingo: You are a subject, not a citizen. You will do what the royals tell you. If you don't like the current royal, we'll let you replace them with one with exactly the same attitude. Move along now, before we tase you.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      Yes. Notice how the number one question on the topic was "Legalize and Regulate Marijuana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol."

      And in the response, alcohol was not mentioned once. Dodging the question a little Barack?

  • Alcohol (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RobbieCrash (834439) on Sunday October 30, 2011 @11:43PM (#37890730)

    Everything on the Marijuana is bad list is probably doubly applicable to alcohol. Cigarettes, aside from the cognitive impairment, are infinitely worse than smoking pot is for you.

    Regulate and tax it like cigarettes and booze. It's really not that complicated.

  • by Cyno01 (573917)

    "Preventing drug use is the most cost-effective way to reduce drug use and its consequences in America."

    Huh? So preventing drug use reduces drug use?

  • they ignore us. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Sunday October 30, 2011 @11:45PM (#37890750)

    so, when is the revolution, guys?

    how much proof do we need that they do not care about our needs or wants or even justice??

    it would be one thing is there was a fair reply that held water; but this was a sham in every sense of the word.

    since the system does not serve us, I say its time to start the revolution. we gave things a fair chance but they just don't want to listen to us.

    time for REAL CHANGE. voting booths don't bring change, btw. they lull us into thinking we have a voice.

    look at these lying replies to our issues. they don't care! in our faces, blatantly, they do not care!

    I hope things get messy real soon. because that is the hope and change we can believe in.

    • by tsotha (720379)

      how much proof do we need that they do not care about our needs or wants or even justice??

      If there aren't enough people to vote for change, why do you think a revolution could succeed, or even start? This revolution talk I keep hearing from the left is laughably silly - there won't be a revolution because not many people agree with you. If they did, you'd get the change you want.

    • Re:they ignore us. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Black Parrot (19622) on Monday October 31, 2011 @12:18AM (#37891030)

      so, when is the revolution, guys?

      how much proof do we need that they do not care about our needs or wants or even justice??

      Uh... heard of that Occupy Wall Street thingy that all the politicians and talking heads are so busy dismissing, and the police are so busy beating up?

  • by Rinisari (521266) on Sunday October 30, 2011 @11:46PM (#37890766) Homepage Journal

    No one should have thought that this We the People thing would bring about any measurable change. It's an exercise in false hope of efficacy in the legislative/executive process. 150k signatures supporting marijuana legalization/reform and the best answer they could come up with is a bunch of scare tactics and anti-drug rhetoric based around studies that were ineffective and the lack of studies because of the nature of the substance being tested.

    You want real change for marijuana policy? Run for local office, get people to support you, and defeat the incumbents who stand in your way. Get the local laws to support your goals and work your way up the chain.

    As for the education funding reform response, it's just pushing the Obama administration's education agenda. The petition signed by 32k visitors called for a bailout of recent graduates as the best economic stimulus possible for that generation. The response is nothing more than what you'd expect to receive from a Congressperson when you write vehemently in favor of or opposing a piece of legislation: the Congressperson will summarize the bill, summarize their position, and essentially say "thank you for your feedback".

    Again, if you want real reform, get elected and don't let yourself get corrupted. Good luck; you'll need it.

  • by CanEHdian (1098955) on Sunday October 30, 2011 @11:49PM (#37890790)

    I found a petition to stop software patents, but was unsuccessful in finding one that demanded a drastic reduction in copyright term in order to create a strong public domain for e.g. sound recordings.

    Since I'm not a US citizen it wouldn't be right for me to create one, but it makes one wonder: did no one think about this, or have they been removed?

    • I found a petition to stop software patents, but was unsuccessful in finding one that demanded a drastic reduction in copyright term in order to create a strong public domain for e.g. sound recordings.

      I'm sure there's a search algorithm to help with this, but it's probably patented. Using it would most likely cause a paradox of some sort and that never ends well for anyone. Welcome to the future.

  • Why bother (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Moof123 (1292134) on Sunday October 30, 2011 @11:49PM (#37890794)

    POTUS has failed on so many bold promises already, why should I care how he responds to petitions? Sort of worry about whether the fertilizer a serial killer is using in his garden is organic or not.

    Gitmo is still open.

    The Patriot Act is just about as strong as ever.

    Wars are multiplying, though he does get credit for winding down Iraq (way too slowly) and Libya (bonus credit for keeping boots off the ground, but loses them for getting us involved in the first place).

    The economy is still a wreck, and his limp wristed efforts have done nothing but embolden his detractors and sully the chances of trying a truly bold stimulus plan.

    So yeah, I got about what I expected from a bozo who has long ago lost my vote. Not that I voted for him the first time, as I saw through his grandiose speeches by looking up his voting record on things I cared about.

    • Re:Why bother (Score:5, Informative)

      by artor3 (1344997) on Monday October 31, 2011 @12:32AM (#37891122)

      Gitmo is open because the Republicans made it impossible to transfer the detainees out. Obama isn't a dictator. He can't just make things happen by declaration.

      Obama did weaken the Patriot Act, though not as much as many would like.

      Wars are multiplying? The one in Iraq is ending, the one in Libya didn't require any American troops in harm's way. How exactly is that multiplication? At worst it's staying flat, and if you're honest, you'll admit that our military commitments have been reduced since he took office.

      The economy is way better than it was when he took office, you just suffer from a very short memory (along with most Americans). Here's a reminder: when Obama took office, we were hemorrhaging around half a million jobs a month. Now the number of jobs is rising each month, albeit slowly.

      And that's it? That's all you got for him failing "on so many bold promises already"?

      What about the promised and delivered credit card reform that prevents "universal defaults", short notice due date changes, and several other abuses?
      The promised and delivered closing of the Medicare doughnut hole?
      The end to "pre-existing conditions"?
      The new START treaty?
      Ending Don't Ask Don't Tell?
      The expansion of AmeriCorps?
      The surge in Afghanistan?
      Finally completing the CAT-5 levies in NOLA?
      Passing the promised Ledbetter Act?
      Allowing stem cell research to continue?
      Letting Cuban Americans visit their family in Cuba?
      Killing Osama freakin' bin Laden?

      Look, if you don't like him, fine. If you don't agree with his policies, fine. But don't lie about what he's accomplished. For those of us who actually listened to him campaign instead of simply imagining what he might do, he's been an outstanding success, even in the face of opposition that goes well beyond what any president should have to deal with.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by DNS-and-BIND (461968)

        Maybe you weren't there during the 2008 election, but Obama was promised as the Second Coming. He was the savior who was going to deliver us and ring in a new era. When he was elected, serious, hardcore journalists wept openly on camera. He got the Nobel Freakin' Peace Prize, for God's sake. He's right up there with Yasser Arafat and Jimmy Carter in the pantheon of heroes!

        Have you even been reading leftist thought recently? The war in Libya was just another imperialist oil grab. The recipient of the

        • by ianare (1132971)

          Nevermind that the Lybians *asked* for NATO involvement, that it was supported by the Arab League, and that no soldiers were sent. Besides, it was mostly the Europeans that flew the missions.

          As far as considering Hugo Chavez a "prominent intellectual" ... just wow.

      • Re:Why bother (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Monday October 31, 2011 @10:22AM (#37894358) Homepage Journal

        Gitmo is open because the Republicans made it impossible to transfer the detainees out. Obama isn't a dictator. He can't just make things happen by declaration.

        If only he were Constitutionally granted ultimate control over the running of the military [wikipedia.org], I'm sure things would be different.

      • by dkleinsc (563838)

        Gitmo is open because the Republicans made it impossible to transfer the detainees out.

        First off, they're prisoners, not "detainees". I know that's what the US government has been calling them, but when you lock somebody up for years on end, subjecting them to ruthless interrogations and torture (according to everybody's definition of torture except the US government's post-2001), you aren't just detaining them, you're imprisoning them. The meaning of the word "detained" in criminal law is that an officer has required a citizen to stay where they are temporarily (e.g. you can't legally drive

    • Re:Why bother (Score:5, Informative)

      by blank axolotl (917736) on Monday October 31, 2011 @01:07AM (#37891382)

      He gets no credit for winding down Iraq. He and his administration in fact lobbied hard to keep the troops there longer, but the Iraqi govt forced the US to honor the Bush deal/promise for an end of 2011 deadline.

      http://www.nationaljournal.com/u-s-troop-withdrawal-motivated-by-iraqi-insistence-not-u-s-choice-20111021?print=true [nationaljournal.com]

      • Re:Why bother (Score:4, Insightful)

        by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Monday October 31, 2011 @01:48AM (#37891600)

        He gets no credit for winding down Iraq. He and his administration in fact lobbied hard to keep the troops there longer, but the Iraqi govt forced the US to honor the Bush deal/promise for an end of 2011 deadline.

        So true. Remember to remind all the Republicans who are giving Obama crap about leaving Iraq about this...

  • With millions of people testifying to the medical benefits of cannabis, it's pretty clear it's not a Schedule I drug.

    However, the government in the US points to a lack of "proper studies", as do the Canadian medical associations. Yet both the US and Canadian governments put up every possible roadblock to proper, verifiable research, imposing restrictions like 30-day trials and then claiming there are no studies into "long term effects."

    On the recreational side, over 50% of the population in both Canad

    • by SuperCharlie (1068072) on Monday October 31, 2011 @12:11AM (#37890960)
      Theyre not on a mission from God.. theyre on a mission from Pfizer.
    • by X86Daddy (446356)

      They're on a mission from God to protect us from "demon weed",

      It's even simpler than some kind of religious psychosis: There are hundreds of thousands of jobs, maybe millions involved in the Drug War. There are very powerful and wealthy people deeply invested in the Drug War. The Drug War is not merely about one extra task for police officers. It's about millions of US dollars spent on turning our police forces into para-military organizations. It's about spending tax dollars on tech companies that pro

  • Poor answer (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Edis Krad (1003934) on Sunday October 30, 2011 @11:59PM (#37890872)
    From the article:
    "According to scientists at the National Institutes of Health- the world's largest source of drug abuse research - marijuana use is associated with addiction, respiratory disease, and cognitive impairment "

    Well, if that's your standard for keeping marijuana illegal, may I suggest adding:

    Tobacco: Also associated with nicotine addiction, respiratory disease and cancer
    Alcohol: Also associated with addiction, liver disease and cognitive impairment

    Oh wait, those have huge lobbists behind them. Nevermind.
  • by jmerlin (1010641) on Monday October 31, 2011 @02:51AM (#37891960)
    So let's see here..

    TOPIC:
    Religion in the Public Square
    RESPONSE:
    That's why President Obama supports the use of the words "under God' in our Pledge of Allegiance and "In God we Trust' on our currency.
    DE-STUPIDIFIED:
    Nope, we're keeping this govt. sanctioned religion!

    TOPIC:
    Taking Action to Reduce the Burden of Student Loan Debt
    RESPONSE:
    We know that these steps don’t solve all our problems in higher education. There is still more work to be done to make it possible for every American to earn a quality education. But enormous progress has been made.
    DE-STUPIDIFIED:
    We lowered the interest rates on these loans saving them a few hundred dollars and gave some people $5500, what more do you want from us?

    TOPIC:
    The Fair Tax – A National Sales Tax That Increases Tax Burdens for Middle-Class Families
    RESPONSE:
    In short, because it raises burdens on middle-class families and asks less from the most fortunate, this national sales tax is inconsistent with President Obama's principles for tax reform.
    DE-STUPIDIFIED:
    We can't really give you a good reason why we don't support the Fair Tax, so we've decided to present clear propaganda against it. Even the title of this section on our website indicates that it places an unfair burden on middle class families despite it doing no such thing. And throughout our response we've constantly hinted at this despite it being entirely false (but please don't actually research the Fair Tax, else you might discover that to be the case). The answer is no, that's all. We want tax reform, just tax reform that's inherently complex and has loopholes for our corporate owners (thanks guys, those millions and free tax evasion tips are really nice)!

    TOPIC:
    What We Have to Say About Legalizing Marijuana
    RESPONSE:
    Preventing drug use is the most cost-effective way to reduce drug use and its consequences in America.
    DE-STUPIDIFIED:
    We didn't actually answer your question in this response. We dodged it over and over by talking about drug-related things. We made sure to drill that point home "drug." We want you to walk away from our "response to legalizing marijuana" remembering that we said the word "drug" in our response 17 times, more than any other word. In short: fuck you hippies. Marijuana would compete with alcohol and tobacco. You really think I'm going to give up $50,000,000 in campaign contributions so you can get high with your buddies with no consequences? LOL!

    TOPIC:
    Why We Can’t Comment [at allegations of Judicial misconduct]
    RESPONSE:
    For the reasons given above, the White House declines to comment on matters raised by this petition.
    DE-STUPIDIFIED:
    Fuck off.

    Stay classy, Washington. Keep up the good work. Not answering questions and constantly refusing your citizens the right to have the country run the way they want is a fucking brilliant way to go about running a democratic country. Oh wait, I made the mistake of assuming we still live in a democracy, didn't I? Lol. It's so funny watching them tell us why they won't do what we want. Nobama, 2012.
  • by boorack (1345877) on Monday October 31, 2011 @03:54AM (#37892248)

    With all this marijuana / church crap (add guns ownership, gay mariage and other distractions) your lovely government is trying to keep your attention as far as possible from important things. See, they're making so much noise about this crappy site, yet thousands and thousands of people occupying centers of so many cities, trying to bring attention to THE real issue are completely ignored (and sometimes tear-gased and flash-banged) by the same government, and shamelessly ridiculed / silenced by your corporate media.

    Since 2008 crash not a single fraudster who caused this fiasco was sentenced (and don't bring in Madoff - he was jailed because he tried also stealing from other fraudsters, not only from ordinary people). Instead of resolving this issue, government is actively covering up all these crimes and handsomely paying for all bad bets of said fraudsters from your taxes, your future and your children future. There is a lot of budget deficit noise lately but if you look at it closer, you'll see that it will only harm ordinary people and science budgets. Lucrative corporate contracts, army contracts will remain intact (and grow over time). Banksters will surely go back for another round of bailouts (it's easy money after all) and they'll get what they want. Government officials will cover up all corporate wrongdoings in hope to end up on in some well paid corporate job. This vicious circle is called regulatory capture and there is propably nothing left to deal with it - except for (non-violent !!!) civil disobedience.

    I'm a foreigner from post-communist country who was growing up in crappy communist system, it strikes me that communism was very similiar to contemporary corporate state (no wonder China succeeds). There are actually two sides of the same coin - both on state level (de-facto central planning in US and EU, lobbied by corporate sponsors) and inside corporations themselves (levels of sillyness and ineffeciencies are comparable, if not greater to those in state-owned enterprises in post-communist countries). There are differences of course - technology went forward a lot, corporate state has way better PR and allows for private enterprises (more and more limited by thousands of corporate-sponsored regulations). Actually, communist China mastered this by keeping their core communist system intact (chinese exporter still needs to give away all his earned dollars in exchange for freshly printed CNYs) and allowing for limited private enterprises (oh, irony - less limited than in the West!). Let me stress this again: communism and corporate state are the two sides of the same coin !

    While I'm watching what OWS folks do, I see so many similiarities with what my father in Solidarity movement was doing 30 years ago in Poland. Once again that's striking to me - you're basically at the same point of this process we've been in early 80's. Just don't get distracted by "Hope & Change" crapola, "Republicans vs Democrats" fraud. Don't get distracted by "We The People Petition" - government-sponsored PR scams aren't worth wasting your time. Don't get co-opted by some political party and don't get divided between (fraudulent) political lines (your lovely corporate media will try their best to do this). And don't let violence to outbreak - white shirts from police will be more than happy seeing this. They know how to deal with violence but have no idea how to deal with peaceful protests. That's why see things like Antony Bologna fiasco and I admire how OWS folks dealt with this - it was briliant. And finally, don't let your government to incite next great war (every f*ng estabullshitment tries this when it runs out of options). I wish you good lock goig forward with this.

  • by fearofcarpet (654438) on Monday October 31, 2011 @09:31AM (#37893782)
    I find it remarkable how little people seem to understand about addiction. Perhaps that is why people who want to keep MJ a Schedule 1 narcotic use it as an excuse.

    Your brain produces chemicals that cause pleasure, deep down in the reptile brain. These are called reward pathways, and the most prevalent is the dopamine reward pathway. They work exactly like a rat hitting the button for a food pellet, but their triggers are rooted in evolution. For example, when you eat fatty foods, even though you know it is bad for you, you enjoy it and you crave more of it because foods that is dense in fat and simple sugars are rare in Nature, so evolution favored those whose brains rewarded them for seeking out and consuming these foods.

    When the levels of a particular reward-pathway-chemical (let's call them endorphins) remain high your brain does what it always does when presented with a constant stimulus; it learns to ignore it, typically by becoming less sensitive to that endorphin (e.g., decreasing the number of receptors for it.) If you take that endorphin away suddenly, you experience withdraw as your brain re-adapts to the lower levels of that endorphin (many of which are required at some level for normal brain functions.)

    People can become "addicted" to running or weight lifting or any other type of physical exercise because the endorphins that the body released cause a good feeling. Conversely, when one doesn't work out for a while, the body craves those endorphins and causes that nagging "I need to go to the gym" feeling.

    Nicotine bypasses the normal route of the brain releasing an endorphin to reinforce "productive" behavior and just ramps up the dopamine reward pathway for no good reason. When I was trying to quit smoking, I would get a mad craving---even months after having abstained---when I got in the car, because I had conditioned myself to smoke when I got in the car. You can use cigarettes to create such a positive reinforcement for almost any behavior. Opiates (heroine, morphine, etc.) mimic chemicals that your brain produces in small quantities for various reasons (including reward) rather than just pushing the reward button directly, like nicotine.

    Even strong chemical addictions like opiates and nicotine are somewhat contextual. For instance, the rate of addiction to morphine from medical treatment is near zero, because you do not form a positive connection between morphine and reward. Soldiers coming back from Vietnam were addicted to heroin in huge numbers, but had a much, much easier time quitting than the average addict because they never did heroin in the context of their normal lives back home.

    Like exercising or eating fatty foods, consuming marijuana also triggers reward pathways, but exponentially less than nicotine or opiates (or alcohol). Thus, it does not create chemical dependance--but it can lead to mild addiction. Playing video games also triggers reward pathways and, if you smoke pot every time you play a video game, the act of playing a video game can induce a craving for pot. Likewise, if you smoke strains that cause the munchies, and stuff your face with Little Debbie snack cakes every time you smoke pot, then you are inadvertently conditioning your body to connect the positive-reinforcement of eating fatty foods with smoking pot. So which is addictive? The snack cakes, the video games, or the pot?

    Non-chemical addiction works exactly the same way, but rather than being associated with a particular reward pathway, it is just "habit" (conditioning). If my evening routine is to come home and take a bong hit, then when I don't get that bong hit, I feel as if something is off (and may become irritable as a result.) The same is true of drinking a beer when you come home, or eating at McDonalds on Friday.

    Smoking pot long-term does cause structural changes in the brain. But so does learning the piano or a second language. If you smoke pot every day to relax, then you will be a bit irritable when you stop. If you smoke c

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