Remember that “We the People” project? If not, the short of it is that people could put up petitions on the whitehouse.gov website, and anything with over 5000 signatures within 30 days would get an official response.
An illustration of what has happened since then:
The requirement for an official response was 5000. Some variant of “legalize marijuana” beat that threshold nearly 20 times over. The official response by Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, was the usual predictable pack of falsehoods, misdirections (example: the “weed is stronger these days!” stuff is actually a point in favor if you think about it, because then people use less) and nanny-statism, of course.
Take another look at the petitions page since then:
The one acknowledging the real purpose of this entire exercise as I explained has already shot past 5k. In 3 days. Click on it and you see the following:
Although the ability to submit petitions directly to the White House is a noble and welcome new feature of the current administration, the first round of responses makes blatantly clear the White House intends to just support its current stances and explain them with responses everyone who has done any research already knows.
An online petition is not meant as a replacement for using a search box in a web browser. We the People, those who grant you the power to govern in the first place, are requesting changes in policy directly, circumventing legislators who already do not listen to us. We the People request you govern FOR us, which means actually listening to us and actually acting in our interests instead of special interests.
You are not above us. You ARE us. Govern accordingly.
This being Halloween and all, I will reply to this while wearing a Zombie Herman Cain mask: “No, you’re wrong. The general public is an apple, those who hold political power are oranges. The ‘Government is Us’ rhetoric places apples in an orange basket. Are your interests their interests? Nein, nein, nein!”
Note: obviously they can’t just unilaterally legalize it. That isn’t the issue. The issue is that it is super obvious that even if they could, they wouldn’t, and if legislation reached the oval office desk that would do so, it would be vetoed, because the administration does not care what you think.