Fighting for Marijuana With Petitions

Fighting for Marijuana With Petitions

The phenomenon of online petitions becomes more and more intriguing. A number of petitions that appeared on different platforms forced local authorities to change their minds over the questions of politics, healthcare, education, etc. Marijuana has all the rights to be included on that list. So, how can you change the cannabis policy in your state using online petitions?

Sign it!

Sign it!

There is a number of petitions with the main goal of fighting marijuana prohibition in the U.S., the UK, Australia and other countries. AllWeedNews had already told you the story of Daniel Haslam and his mother, Lucy. For Daniel, medical cannabis was the only way to make it through the chemotherapy. Weed helped him get rid of the side effects of the chemotherapy, including poor appetite, vomiting, and pain. Considering the fact that both recreational and medical weed was illegal in Australia at that time, Daniel’s mother was forced to buy the plant on the black market. Wanting her son to get his cure in a legal way, Lucy started a petition that demanded to decriminalize the use of medicinal marijuana.

Her son passed away this February, but Lucy Haslam continued to fight for medical marijuana legalization, so the other patients who need it will get a chance to use weed without breaking the law. Now, Australia is on the way to changing its medical weed policy, and Daniel’s story was one of the main reasons why Australian officials decided to give medical cannabis a chance.

Another proof that public opinion does count is one of the petitions started on the UK government’s official e-petitions website. The petition gathered more than 125,000 signatures in just five days, and the subject was debated in Parliament on Oct. 12. The Parliament stated that since there is “substantial scientific evidence” showing that weed is a harmful drug, the UK government will not legalize it. In response to that, the activists continued gathering signatures under the petition that now has more than 230,000 signatures.

In the U.S., there was a petition that demanded to legalize cannabis at the federal level. The petition had gathered over 44,000 signatures and received an official response from the President’s Administration. Let us remind you, that in 2012 when the mentioned petition was created, it was enough to get 25,000 signatures to get an answer from the White House. Today, the online petition needs to get 100,000 signatures within 30 days.

In the U.S., we have 23 states and the District of Columbia with legalized cannabis. Only three of them, however, have legalized both recreational and medical weed―Alaska, Colorado, and Washington. In the remaining 20 states and D.C., you can legally use only medical cannabis.

What do all these petitions have in common? You can become a part of their stories by making your own choice and signing one of them. Remember, your voice does count!

Talk about it!

Talk about it!

Although there are some limits for the petitions created on the governmental projects like American We the People or British Petitions, other popular e-petition platforms have no limits at all. The main goal of these platforms is to get the attention of the officials, politicians or big companies by getting the attention of the public.

With a strong public support, you can reach your goal without getting hundreds of thousands of signatures. For example, Canada is one of the countries that are moving towards legalizing cannabis at the federal level. Three years ago, there was a petition started on Change.org that demanded from the Canadian government to legalize weed. In three years, the petition has gathered 2,695 signatures, and still, it has reached the main goal. Although almost 3,000 signatures may seem to be not an extremely high number, two-thirds of Canadians support decriminalization of marijuana possession, according to Yahoo.

There is one more side to the relationship between marijuana policy and e-petitions. Most petitions focus on shifting cannabis’ status from a prohibited drug to an alternative treatment, or on giving the adults the right to choose whether they want to use recreational weed or not without putting themselves at risk of being arrested. But there are a bit different petitions, focused on the way the officials treat marijuana. This was the case with a petition that demanded to fire DEA administrator Michele Leonhart for rejecting the fact that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol. The petition that gathered over 46,000 signatures became one of the reasons why Ms. Leonhart resigned in May. Her successor, however, became a “target” of a petition on Change.org himself for his thoughtless statement that medical marijuana “is a joke.”

Despite the fact that this petition has gathered three times more signatures that the demand to fire Ms. Leonhart, the acting head of the DEA Chuck Rosenberg remains on his post. So, as you may see, high numbers are not a guarantee for your victory.

Create it!

Create it!

The best part of the online petitions phenomenon is that you can become a part of it by simply starting your own petition describing your problems that need to be solved. Who knows, maybe your next petition will be the one that can change everything?

Have you already tried to change something in your life with a help of online petitions? Are you an e-petitions supporter or opposer? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with us!

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