The second round of 'Open for Questions' at change.gov has closed, and the administration has already posted a video response to some of the top questions. Note the operative word here. As is written on the page:
To be entirely honest, I excepted this result. Obama cannot backtrack on the statement that he made in the first round of responses, so they chose to answer the question phrased as 'will you' rather than one worded as 'why' (as some were).
The point of voting was not to extract a response, but rather to demonstrate the widespread support for reform. As my last count, there were either three or four questions related to drug policy reform in the top ten 'Additional Questions' (one of which kept flip-flopping between first and second place), and three related to drug policy reform under 'National Security'.
I'd consider that a success, if nothing else.
The first real test of this administration and its treatment of marijuana policy reform will be the appointment of the next drug czar. There have been rumors that Jim Ramstad is the pick, and I hope that they are unsubstantiated, because Ramstad would be a terrible choice. Ramstad opposes medicinal marijuana, which, as I have noted before, will probably be the first step in reform.
All is not lost yet, though. There are several ways to let Obama know that we expect better:
- Write to Obama (even a simple, short note will do)
- Support Ethan Nadelmann for Drug Czar
- Sign the Facebook petition
In our efforts to change local laws - efforts that have been almost universally successful in recent years - we should not forget the importance of reforming drug policy at the national level, which sets the tone for the country as a whole.