Thoughts from Exec, Week of 10/9

Michael Baharaeen, Vice President
A few weeks ago, the White House launched a petition campaign (found here: https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions) which allowed for citizens to start an issue drive for anything they care about. The goal was for petitions to garner about 5,000 signatures within one month; the policy area of “decriminalizing marijuana” had over 30,000 signatures within the first two days (also in those first two days, within the top 10 most supported petitions on the website, there were 4 different ones promoting the decriminalization of marijuana). This is a very significant step forward for reforming drug policy.
During each of the last two years, YouTube held a town hall with President Obama, and viewers were asked to submit questions. Each year the number one question/concern was the public’s wish for Obama to address marijuana decriminalization policies. The first year the president quickly laughed off the notion. When it hit the number one slot again the next year, he approached it with a more serious tone, but yet again held firm on a continuing policy of prohibition. This petition drive, couple with the recent report stating the failure of the U.S.-backed “War on Drugs,” the White House will have no choice but to reevaluate our country’s policy toward marijuana.
Connor Stangler, Campaign Coordinator
This New York Times staff editorial succinctly and clearly delineates the message of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Responding to critics who say the movement lacks coherence and clear objectives, the author points out that the movement is actually the populist expression of very real inequality. The accumulation of wealth by a sliver of the population can lead to poorer national health and the formation of an idle, low-skilled underclass. Such a status quo will not help this economy rebound.
Matt Seyer, Secretary
One of the most pressing problems facing America today, income inequality, has also been one of the least frequently-discussed.  With Wall Street currently occupied, now is our best chance to spread awareness.
Alex Witt, Webmaster
Technological tactics used by members of Occupy Wall Street mimic those used by Arab Spring participants.
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