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Know the West

Weird and wacky White House petitions


Last month, when the Bureau of Land Management announced the proposed lease of over 20,000 acres for gas development in Colorado's North Fork Valley, locals took their displeasure straight to the top: They petitioned President Obama to make the BLM take the leases off the table until it's done updating its 23-year-old land management plan. An online forum created by the White House last year made the petition process -- a First Amendment right -- easier than ever. Anyone over age 13 can make or sign one, and petitioners have a month to gather 25,000 signatures for an official response. In the first year, over 2.8 million users filed 50,348 petitions. Among the most popular requests is to secede from the country; one has been filed for each state. These are some of the other things people are worked up about, from the thoughtful to the ridiculous.

Petitioners want the White House toSignatures collected as of Nov. 29
Deport everyone that signed a petition to withdraw their state from the union.
Allow certain counties to withdraw from Northern California and Oregon and form the 51st state of Jefferson. 1,474
Establish a new legal system of motorcycle-riding "judges" who serve as police, judge, jury, and executioner all bundled into one.
Support a law protecting states' rights to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol.
Grant a full pardon to Chris Williams, a Montana man facing 80 years in prison for a federal-court conviction for growing medical marijuana,even though the state legalized it in 2004.
Adopt the gray wolf as a national symbol of independence and freedom, a companion for the venerable bald eagle.  1,927

Require President Obama to debate Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio on live television about immigration reform.

End the "war on coal" and the "job-killing" policies of the EPA.
Allow motorized recreationists access to the wild lands surrounding Canyonlands National Park in southern Utah.

Shut down White House petitions, since they don't get sincere responses, few read them, and they are ultimately worthless.