White House rejects pleas to legalise marijuana

A US petition calling on the federal government to stop interfering with state marijuana legalisation efforts has been rejected. File photo / NZ Herald
A US petition calling on the federal government to stop interfering with state marijuana legalisation efforts has been rejected. File photo / NZ Herald

The White House has rejected several petitions to legalise marijuana in the United States.

One petition called on federal government to stop interfering with state marijuana legalisation effort.

Submitted by retired narcotics officer Neill Franklin, the petition was part of the White House's "We The People" project, an effort to allow ordinary Americans to gain the attention of policymakers through an online portal at the White House website.

Any petition garnering 5,000 signatures within 30 days of submission is guaranteed a response from the White House - Franklin's petition received more than 17,000.

"It's maddening that the administration wants to continue failed prohibition polices that do nothing to reduce drug use and succeed only in funneling billions of dollars into the pockets of the cartels and gangs that control the illegal market," said Franklin.

Seven other marijuana-related petitions were submitted, which together garnered more than 150,000 signatures. One such petition, which called for marijuana to be regulated in a manner similar to alcohol, received almost 75,000 signatures.

However, the White House has rejected all eight petitions.

"As a former police chief, I recognize we are not going to arrest our way out of the problem," said Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy in the US.

"We also recognize that legalizing marijuana would not provide the answer to any of the health, social, youth education, criminal justice, and community quality of life challenges associated with drug use."

- HERALD ONLINE

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