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Open Gov Tracker Reveals Best US Open Government Ideas

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the this-time-with-feeling dept.

Government 147

jonverve writes "In May of 2009, the White House launched an Ideascale site to gather ideas from citizens to identify ways to 'strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness by making government more transparent, participatory, and collaborative.' The digital letdown was when many of the top ideas generated by the process were to legalize marijuana, solve tax issues and to reinvestigate Obama's birth origins. Fast forward to February 6 and the same process has been repeated with individual federal agencies as the subject. This time the idea generation has been much more productive, with ideas such as establishing clear benchmarks on humanitarian progress in Sudan to the State Department, funding for open source text books and materials to the Department of Education, making it easier to access previously FOIAed documents to the Department of Justice, and creating a Wiki for NASA to share its data and to engage the public. Hackers from NASA's Nebula cloud computing platform have created a site that aggregates 23 of these idea sites to give a quick peek into the best rated contributions in each category. Programmed in Python and using the MongoDB and Tornado web server, the Open Gov Tracker was highlighted by the open government blog Govfresh this past week as well. Jessy Cowan-Sharp, one of the creators, explained their motivation: 'We thought that a single access point would give a sense of the participation on all the different sites, a window into the discussions happening, build some excitement, and inspire people to participate.' The process closes on March 19th, so go and visit the site to contribute your ideas and vote!"

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first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31307090)

first first!!

drugs are bad, mmkay? (5, Insightful)

Paktu (1103861) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307118)

The digital letdown was when many of the top ideas generated by the process were to legalize marijuana

Or maybe that's because it's a worthwhile and viable policy objective.

Obligatory response (2, Funny)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307236)

The digital letdown was when many of the top ideas generated by the process were to legalize marijuana

Or maybe that's because it's a worthwhile and viable policy objective

Get off my grass!

Re:Obligatory response (2, Funny)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307662)

Don't you mean "Get away from my grass!"?

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (5, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307258)

Exactly, the position is "we're open to hearing anything -- except of course repealing prohibition, or actually representing the people in general". That's the whole problem with democracy in the US today, it doesn't truly exist on any meaningful scale. This whole "open government" thing is just feel-good theater to help the people maintain their denial about the fact that they live in a corporate oligarchy which is rapidly becoming feudalism. The difference between political parties comes down to which "special interests" own them, while the people have no representation. We are so screwed...

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307376)

the people have no representation.

So put it to a vote. You think the majority of people in the US favor the legalization of marijuana? Gallup polls suggest otherwise [gallup.com] , and politicians know it.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (3, Insightful)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307462)

So if 36% of Americans favor legalization, why aren't there 30% of congress or the senate voting for it? We need to reform the electoral process to provide more choices. Maybe proportional representation plus instant runoff voting [instantrunoff.com]

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307682)

Quantization. 30% of any given district or state may favor legalization of marijuana, and this is true in 100% of districts. Thus it's a loser for any politician to get behind. You vote for a representative, not for an agenda.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (2, Insightful)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307734)

Probably because it takes more then 30% of the people to elect a representative and of those 30% very few probably consider it the deciding issue in who they vote for whereas a large percentage of the group that does not favor it would immediately decide not to vote for a candidate regardless of other issues if they favored legalizing it.

When there's enough people that want it badly enough and will actually go to the polls I'm sure politicians will have absolutely no problem pandering to that voting block.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (3, Insightful)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 3 years ago | (#31308076)

I know why it turns out that way, that's the way our system works. But I'm saying it's a flaw in our system that something that 30% of us would like to see enacted is blocked from having any discussion or action taken on it at all by the winner-take all two party system we have in place.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (1)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 3 years ago | (#31309876)

Exactly what type of fair, democratic system do you propose where 36% of the people supporting an issue is enough to get it passed? I don't see how any sort of system, no matter how many parties there are, could possibly be more democratic by allowing 36% of the nation to pass a measure that 64% don't want. It seems to me the system is not the problem, and if you all feel so passionately about the issue you should be debating it, educating people on your viewpoint and rallying more support for it.

But what do I know, maybe trying to convince people to rewrite our entire system of democracy and governance that countless people have died fighting for would be waaaaay easier then convincing them that legalizing some mary jay would be beneficial for the nation.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (1)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 3 years ago | (#31309960)

LOL, I would invite you to reread my post and respond to what it says instead of what you think it says.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (1)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 4 years ago | (#31310314)

You said you're upset because the current two party winner takes all system is able to block action from being taken on an issue that 36% of the people support. So I put it to you again what type of democratic system would enable action to be taken that only 36% of people support?

I'm confused as to what I'm misinterpreting or are you just not ready to discuss you view beyond vague complaints about the two party system keeping you down?

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (1)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 4 years ago | (#31310910)

Well, you're getting closer. I said what I said, not what you say I said. It's tough to discuss if you cannot read my words for simply what they are. I think this is a good exercise for you. My words were clear. I honestly don't know what to say to make them clearer for you, sorry. It's not that I want 36% of the country to rule 64%, though. That would pretty a pretty odd opinion, wouldn't it?

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (1)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 4 years ago | (#31311148)

Your words are not clear. Here's a pro tip for how you tell: Your audience is asking you to explain them and the reasoning behind them.

You state something is a flaw but you don't explain how it should work ideally. If you know something is flawed you should be able to describe the non-flawed state you envision. You identify what you believe to cause the flaw but you either refuse or are unable to expound on how it is causing it.

If you want me to simply read your words for what they are on the page then I read them as unfounded claims with no supporting evidence or even explanation of causal relations. The type spouted off by idiots whose entire political discourse is based off blaming whatever they don't like on the two party system and then being unable to delve any deeper into either the issue at hand or how changing the two party system would fix it

However, I'm asking you to instead explain the ideas and evidence behind your claims rather then assuming there's nothing behind them.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31311822)

Oh Jesus Christ.

I'm saying it's a flaw in our system that something that 30% of us would like to see enacted is blocked from having any discussion or action taken on it at all by the winner-take all two party system we have in place.

There, I've highlighted the relevant part of what he wrote. Is that still not enough for you? He is NOT saying that it should be passed with only 30% support, he is saying only that 30% ought to be enough to bring it up for a serious discussion instead of pretending the issue is settled forever. Are you really so thick as to misread that entirely? He DID describe the non-flawed state, you're just too goddamned stupid to pick up on it.

Be glad I responded instead of giving you the Redundant moderation you deserve. Fucking twit.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (3, Insightful)

SavTM (1594855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31310384)

Exactly what type of fair, democratic system do you propose where 36% of the people supporting an issue is enough to get it passed? I don't see how any sort of system, no matter how many parties there are, could possibly be more democratic by allowing 36% of the nation to pass a measure that 64% don't want. It seems to me the system is not the problem, and if you all feel so passionately about the issue you should be debating it, educating people on your viewpoint and rallying more support for it.

But what do I know, maybe trying to convince people to rewrite our entire system of democracy and governance that countless people have died fighting for would be waaaaay easier then convincing them that legalizing some mary jay would be beneficial for the nation.

If you are saying 'the system is not the problem' while rationalizing no-knock raids, un-Constitutional property seizures, an almost endemic policy of hypocrisy, corruption and profiteering within police forces, a federal money train of military-grade equipment, privatized prison systems and propaganda, the subjugation of due process to the size of a defendant's bank account - well if you can rationalize all those things then it's clear to me that the plan to 'rewrite our entire system of democracy and governance that countless people have died fighting for' has already succeeded to a degree. When fully 1/3 of people do not support a federal policy and it involves all of the political weapons listed above, I think you should check your premises at the door and really nail down why Rush Limbaugh and others get a free pass for being prescription addicts. We are talking about locking up/ruining the lives of, in general, poor people and minorities without affordable health care. They are prosecuted to the full extent of the law for non-violent crimes and locked up at a profit to courts and prison operators.

But what do I know, maybe the IV Amendment was written to protect police and criminally negligent politicians from oversight. Maybe the V Amendment was written to protect our 'civilian' president from war crimes tribunals. Maybe the XIV Amendment was written expressly to define people who were non-slaves and non-Confederates, so that those special persons could be indefinitely imprisoned without due process of law.

My question to you is, how has making mary jay illegal proven to benefit the nation?

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (1)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 4 years ago | (#31310892)

Wow, so that had nothing to do whatsoever with how a two party system is somehow at fault for keeping action from being taken on an issue 36% of the people support, or what type of system would fairly enable that. At no point during that rambling incoherent response did you state anything that resembles a coherent thought on that issue, and I'm not sure what issue you think you're addressing is even real. At one one point you're worried about former confederates and their slaves being treated differently (you're right btw, they don't even get to vote. Sucks being dead don't it?) and at another you put civilian in quotes when referring to the president which I assume insinuates the president is actually a military operative? Surely you don't think that George W. Bush, Mr. National-Guard-but-we're-not-sure-I-actually-ever-showed-up-for-service is considered military personnel, let alone Obama?

Anyways, that's great. My point is, make a pamphlet about all that Mary J stuff, go door to door, and educate people, and convince them about the issue. Garner popular support and politicians will listen. Get more then 50% of the country to agree, and you can get the laws changed. That seems far more productive to me then making vague complaints about the two party system keeping you down with absolutely no suggestion on how your issues would be resolved by some other system.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (1)

SavTM (1594855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31311234)

At one one point you're worried about former confederates and their slaves being treated differently (you're right btw, they don't even get to vote. Sucks being dead don't it?) and at another you put civilian in quotes when referring to the president which I assume insinuates the president is actually a military operative? Surely you don't think that George W. Bush, Mr. National-Guard-but-we're-not-sure-I-actually-ever-showed-up-for-service is considered military personnel, let alone Obama?

My comments were in regards to your disingenuous assertion that the form of government representing the US now is the one which was fought for. Not only did you avoid addressing the un-Constitutional operation of these policy decisions, you continued to focus on the specific policy (drug bans) to further claim:

Get more then 50% of the country to agree, and you can get the laws changed. That seems far more productive to me then making vague complaints about the two party system keeping you down with absolutely no suggestion on how your issues would be resolved by some other system.

To which I will point out, again, that this is a rationalization. Un-licensed, un-regulated markets invite crime and violence - to believe a drug ban would be excepted from this based on the moral or ethical grounding of a policy is assuming a lot. To assume in the face of abject failure for over seventy years appears, to me, stepping over the line of objective cognition. Your opinion doesn't even resemble a sane one, much less rational, much less Constitutional.

http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1566116&cid=31307464 [slashdot.org] http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1566116&cid=31308696 [slashdot.org]

You have rationalized letting the beast feed itself (using tax dollars) without answering my original question.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31307986)

Because 100% of congress is not made up of 20-something slackers.

It's heading in that direction anyway. Most states are already in the process of decriminalizing it, which is where the real power to legalize it lies.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (1)

wayland (165119) | more than 3 years ago | (#31308906)

Not instant runoff, Condorcet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condorcet_method

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31307464)

52% support legalization [salem-news.com] . A poll that was taken in 2009, not 2005 as your link shows.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31311342)

52% support legalization [salem-news.com]

No they don't. If 52% of Americans supported legalization, then it would be legal, because Americans have democracy. kevinNCSU already explained this twice. Christ, you're as stupid as wealthychef.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31307670)

You think the majority of people in the US favor the legalization of marijuana? Gallup polls suggest otherwise [gallup.com]

The problem is that's a bit too much of a black-and-white view. I suspect you've got a lot of middle of the road voters who don't necessarily like marijuana and think it shouldn't be legal, but who aren't so strident in their view that they'd continue supporting it if the costs of enforcement (including incarceration) were included in the question. I think a poll along the lines of "Would you support legalizing marijuana if it meant lowering your taxes by $50 per year?" would get a much different result.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307696)

Well, on one hand what is it any business of other people to vote on what I chose to smoke or not smoke in my house? On the other hand, pretty pathetic failure of imagination to have this as the top idea to improve our government.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (1)

Garble Snarky (715674) | more than 3 years ago | (#31308010)

Do you think we should avoid the low-hanging fruit? I understand that changing any kind of established policy like this is by no means "easy", but honestly what are the disadvantages of legalizing marijuana? It would be a significant net positive change (just in terms of enforcement expenses if nothing else), that we more or less know how to execute. You can't say the same for a lot of other big problems we have.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31308198)

It doesn't just help people who want to smoke weed. The current drug laws corrupt law enforcement (including civil forfeiture as well as pay offs from organized crime), corrupt whole governments (but why would US citizens care about Mexicans or Columbians) and justify invasive searches at the whim of customs agents.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (1)

krou (1027572) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307798)

And polls mean what, exactly, when the vast majority of news sources that educate the public on the subject are inherently conservative corporations that have a vested interest in ensuring that marijuana remains illegal? The Drug War is a useful tool of social control, and also happens to be good for big business, along with prisons and prison labour. I would wager that poll statistic would change rather quickly if the basic facts on marijuana [drugwarfacts.org] and crime/incarceration [drugwarfacts.org] became better known.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31308026)

So put it to a vote.

Way to miss more than 90% of the points raised.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (4, Informative)

SonCorn (301537) | more than 3 years ago | (#31308696)

Ingenious of you to link to a 4+ year old poll that seems to back up your assertion more. The latest poll from 2009 shows 44% in favor, 54% against. While still not a majority it shows a quickly changing trend. Here is the latest poll: http://www.gallup.com/poll/123728/U.S.-Support-Legalizing-Marijuana-Reaches-New-High.aspx [gallup.com] You might as well have linked to a poll from 1970 when 84% were against.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 4 years ago | (#31310842)

the people have no representation.

So put it to a vote. You think the majority of people in the US favor the legalization of marijuana? Gallup polls suggest otherwise [gallup.com] , and politicians know it.

Ah, perhaps we shouldn't be talking about polls too much, since the last few trillion fucking dollars have had little to do with any sort of popular vote.

And remember that legalization of marijuana would be peanuts to the revenue and power shift that flat tax would bring. Yeah, bring THAT to a vote, and you'll quickly see that We (as in The People) really don't matter anymore. Hell they would rather legalize pot than let go of the IRS.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (3, Insightful)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307316)

Getting stoned off your balls is always a worthwhile and viable policy objective.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#31308180)

The last president who was known to toke the good ol' Mary Jane left us with a budget surplus and other countries still generally liking America.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#31309518)

Obama smoked. Did cocaine too.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31311140)

The last president who was known to toke the good ol' Mary Jane left us with a budget surplus and other countries still generally liking America.

I assume you don't mean Obama or Bush Jr here. So likely you're talking about Clinton.

Note that in spite of Clinton's "budget surplus", the National Debt increased every year of his Presidency.

I've never been to clear on why we needed to borrow more money to pay the bills if we ran a surplus on revenues....

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (1)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307338)

Legalizing marijuana is not at all viable from the point of view of an elected official.

Politicians don't win elections by doing what's best for society... they win by doing what the majority of the people who vote want. Like it or not, the majority of the people who actually go out and vote do not approve of and will not support candidates who publicly embrace the view idea drugs aren't evil (which is why so very few ever get elected). Until that changes, there is absolutely no chance of legalization or decriminalization of drugs.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (1)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307478)

And of course, given a choice, they choose winning elections over doing what's best for society, which is a strong indication that they are corrupt and the perks of office are too lucrative.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (1)

mR.bRiGhTsId3 (1196765) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307698)

I've always wondered why we have term limits for the president and no one else in the government. Granted, I can see the point of having Judicial appointments for life since you effectively have to make a career out of being a Judge. On the other hand, the founding fathers didn't believe in a career politician and it was several decades before they first appeared (John Quincey Adams being the first one I believe). Enacting term limits for all elected officials in the Federal government removes the incentive to continually win elections at the expense of good policy. Unfortunately, the cynic in me doesn't believe it will ever happen. Congressmen and Senators have to a swanky job that they will never vote to limit their own terms and the hopes of a state caucus amendment is unlikely to happen either since so many at the state level want to move up to the big house in DC.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31311166)

I've always wondered why we have term limits for the president and no one else in the government.

George Washington refused to run for a third term as President, thus setting a precedent followed for nearly 150 years that a President would only serve two terms.

Then along came FDR. FDR decided that he was so important to the country that he couldn't step down after two terms, so he basically become President for Life (he died in his fourth term).

Afterwards, the Congress decided to fix things so that noone else would do that. So they amended the Constitution so that Washington's precedent became mandatory.

As to why Congress has no term limits, that's mostly a case of Congress being necessary to amend the Constitution to limit their own personal power - ain't gonna happen!

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (0, Troll)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307954)

And your attitude ensures that the general public will not. Some of us, including myself, are willing to discuss the legalization of marijuana from the standpoint that it may reduce our tax burden. Time spent chasing down every degenerate who smokes or sells pot is time and money wasted. From a cost-benefit analysis, I personally see legalizing marijuana as a potential winner.

However, if you argue principle and ideals, recreational drug use is bad. I don't even think it's an arguable point, although I know many do. Alcoholism is the only example required, here is a non-addictive substance which in reasonable quantities has no significant negative long term effects. It has created a significant problem in society. You can't argue any other drug wouldn't also be bad. People want to relieve themselves from reality, and pot is just another way of doing so. The greatest fear I have with legalizing drugs are that it will increase their use, that I'll be sitting on the couch watching TV and ads for pot will be on making it seem perfectly acceptable, and I will have to explain long and hard about drug use and what is and is not allowed under my roof. That in spite of that I will be competing against a culture that increasingly thinks "doing what feels right" is an intelligent and responsible decision making process, and my kids will be sucked in to that, at least for a while. It's a sad but true fact that you have the most power to totally ruin your life when you are about 15, all it takes is for one bad decision, and some terrible luck. The net impact to society may end up costing more in the long run, and once you let this particular cat out of the bag, you will never be able to put it back in.

If you really want to be taken seriously on this, confront the economics and be willing to make concessions on principle. Drugs will continue to be villified, and drug use will continue to be viewed as a contemptible habit. No commercials/ads, restricted and heavily taxed sale, continued anti-drug propaganda, and the general feeling that by using it you are being punished. Certainly the business model will be regulated to the point where it's just profitable enough to keep the black market supressed...but it would be legal and the police won't chase you down. If you broadcast a message of this nature, you'll have a much higher chance of getting some converts, particularly on the right side of the aisle where "reduced tax burden" sounds like a patriotic obligation.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31308238)

However, if you argue principle and ideals, recreational drug use is bad. I don't even think it's an arguable point...Drugs will continue to be villified, and drug use will continue to be viewed as a contemptible habit.

Big Pharma has already proven you dead wrong. They're raking in a fortune marketing their feel-good drugs. Which of course is one of the reasons a simple, cheap, plant that grows like a weed almost anywhere and makes some people feel better is illegal.

Nice brainwash you got goin' there....

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (1)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | more than 3 years ago | (#31308316)

Put away your straw man arguments and re-read what I actually wrote.

I said nothing negative about drugs and I certainly did not say the issue shouldn't be discussed. If anything, my comment suggests that the best way to change things is to change the mindset of the voting public which can only be done through discussion and education.

You have some interesting things to say, but you should try using them in a reply to someone who actually has an opposing viewpoint. Preaching to the choir certainly isn't going to accomplish anything.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (2, Insightful)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 3 years ago | (#31308520)

However, if you argue principle and ideals, recreational drug use is bad.

By what measure ? Driving a car, owning a gun, a poor diet and not enough exercise (to pick some fairly common habits in the US) are far, far more likely to ruin your life than "recreational drug use".

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (3, Informative)

feuerfalke (1034288) | more than 3 years ago | (#31309186)

Continued anti-drug propaganda? Have you never looked up any kind of statistic relating to programs like DARE or anti-drug PSAs? They have absolutely no effect on whether or not kids use drugs. Period. Teenagers such as myself don't take these programs and PSAs seriously because we know we're being lied to. Even the dumbest pot-smoking teenager knows it.

Your assertion that pot smoking can "totally ruin your life when you are about 15" is false; "amotivational syndrome" is a load of shit [druglibrary.org] . Most people who smoke pot in their adolescence try it just a few times; even regular smokers only smoke for perhaps a few years before they lose interest and get on with their lives. Even lifelong smokers are capable of leading successful lives; Carl Sagan was a well-known cannabis user and advocate of its use, and has even said that cannabis has helped inspire his ideas, writings and experiences. As for the link between cannabis and psychosis, it's just that: a link. Not a causal relationship. There's no evidence at all to suggest that cannabis use causes psychotic disorders barring any other confounding factors - such as a genetic predisposition towards psychotic disorders. In most people, psychotic disorders, especially schizophrenia, don't show up until around the age of 19-22. It is very possible that cannabis can trigger psychotic symptoms in people who already have a predisposition, or that people with underlying psychotic disorders are drawn to drug use, or both. Either way, the statistics suggest that you'd have to stop 2,800 heavy male cannabis smokers, or 5,000 heavy female cannabis smokers, to prevent one case of schizophrenia.

In short... cannabis, used knowledgeably and responsibly, isn't dangerous. Anti-drug propaganda is a gigantic waste of tax dollars, and saying that "drugs will continue to be villified" and use viewed as a "contemptible habit" is nothing more than a continuation of that sort of misinformation, and an unfair, baseless discrimination against drug users. Drug use is not inherently irresponsible. Your example with alcoholism is exactly the crux of the issue here. You're blaming the drug (alcohol) for the problem it creates in society, even though you just said that alcohol, when used in reasonable quantities (i.e. when used responsibly) has no significant negative long-term effects. If that's the case, then how can alcohol be causing problems in society? The answer is that it doesn't. Irresponsible people cause problems in society, and drinking alcohol is merely one of many ways in which they act out irresponsibly. Irresponsible people also drive cars and kill people (even without any substances to help); shall we villify the use of cars because they cause such a problem in our society?

The vastly more important thing is to educate people on how to behave responsibly. Yes, it is possible to use cannabis responsibly, just as it is possible to use alcohol responsibly, and the important thing is to show people that it's possible to enjoy these substances - and all the other conveniences of life, like cars - as long as they are careful and responsible about it. That is the kind of drug education we need, not continued villification, which doesn't do anyone any good (after all, we saw how well abstinence-only sex education worked.) I hope this post has opened your eyes to a new perspective on the issue and that you will find at least some validity in what I am saying.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (0, Troll)

Miseph (979059) | more than 3 years ago | (#31309410)

"Alcoholism is the only example required, here is a non-addictive substance"

I'm going to stop you right there. Alcohol is absolutely an addictive substance, there is a known and well-documented (if not entirely understood) physiological component to alcohol addiction. Alcohol is also fairly easy to consume in lethal quantities through normal usage, and it is quite common for people to do so, particularly people in their teens and 20s. Neither of those are even remotely true for marijuana (psychological addiction has been reported, but there is no credible evidence suggesting a physiologically addictive property, overdose is theoretically possible, but would require consuming such a vast quantity of the substance that it is considered practically impossible).

Alcohol is, by all rational measures, FAR more dangerous than marijuana. They aren't even in the same league.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 3 years ago | (#31308748)

I think that drugs are evil, and I am for legalizing them.

The evil they do to their users is only a part of the evil they do to society: gangs fight for recruits and territory, users commit crime to fund their habit, terrorists get rich making and shipping the stuff...
And even users may benefit from legalization, if done right, since it creates plenty of opportunities of engaging them, instead of alienating and criminalizing them.

The main issue with legalizing, is making sure nobody tries to turn us all into junkies, the way they do with cigarettes, fatty foods....

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31311464)

I think that drugs are evil, and I am for legalizing them.

The evil they do to their users is only a part of the evil they do to society: gangs fight for recruits and territory, users commit crime to fund their habit, terrorists get rich making and shipping the stuff... And even users may benefit from legalization, if done right, since it creates plenty of opportunities of engaging them, instead of alienating and criminalizing them.

The main issue with legalizing, is making sure nobody tries to turn us all into junkies, the way they do with cigarettes, fatty foods....

About 90% or so of the bad things you're describing are not a result of the drugs themselves, but of their prohibition. Looking back at the prohibition of alcohol, you see the same problems during that time. Why do you think people want to legalize it? They're tired of the damn never-ending war on drugs that never even comes remotely close to getting rid of them, but does cost an assload of money every year and is the direct cause of the black market and all the violence and crime that goes with it.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307664)

Maybe so, but does it 'strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness by making government more transparent, participatory, and collaborative.'?

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (1)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 4 years ago | (#31310582)

"Maybe so, but does it 'strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness by making government more transparent, participatory, and collaborative.'?"

Depends who smokes the stuff, if it's the members of the government then yes, it does, definitely.

 

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (1)

Etyme (1747182) | more than 3 years ago | (#31308156)

Indeed it is, and Obama has already responded to it. Remember his announcement not to enforce the drug laws for marijuana users? That's probably not enough to satisfy reform advocates, but realistically there's no way that a full repeal would pass Congress.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (0, Troll)

atchijov (527688) | more than 3 years ago | (#31308292)

Do you really believe that legalizing pot will bring any measurable improvements to US? There are thousands other problems which need to be solved before we even get to the point when thinking about legalizing marijuana should appear at the very end of our TODO list. If you start with pot, the only possible result is even further polarization of US population (and congress) which will make it even more difficult to make anything happen.

Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31311442)

The digital letdown was when many of the top ideas generated by the process were to legalize marijuana

Or maybe that's because it's a worthwhile and viable policy objective.

I agree with you there. Marijuana (to my knowledge) was the last natural (as opposed to synthetics and chemical) 'mind altering' substance. Cocaine was outlawed in 1914 with the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act, Opium was made illegal in 1905, alcohol was illegal in 1920 (Prohibition). Marijuana on the other hand was made illegal in 1937 with the Marihuana Tax Act, and while it was a tax the government wouldn't accept the money effectively making it illegal. It was also followed with the Uniform State Narcotic Act

It was also made illegal for the wrong reasons, with massive help from Harry Anslinger. Some of the reasons where financial gains, as people like Harry Anslinger's wife's family, the Mellon family who owned Mellon Financial Corporation. The Mellon Financial Corporation had invested in DuPont who had synthetic products that competed against hemp, amongst others, and that helped since hemp and marijuana aren't very different (they are, but not like and apple to an orange). Another reason was racism, and Harry Anslinger was also a virulent racist, and at the time spun marijuana to be considered a 'color man's' drug, noted of being used by black jazz players and Mexican immigrants (while I'm aware it was not limited to certain people, it was how it was spun at the time). It was also had the use of very distorted 'facts' to help, one of them being the story in Scientific America in March of 1936 ( http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/history/menaces_youth.htm [druglibrary.org] ) that stated when marijuana was 'combined with intoxicants, it often makes the smoker vicious, with a desire to fight and kill'. It was also seen as a stepping stone in Harry Anslinger's future when he entered the Federal Bureau of Narcotics to outlaw it. These are of course just some of the reasons.

My idea for the government is real simple . . . (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307124)

Get off my lawn!

But this being the government, they just won't get it.

Not what they wanted to hear (4, Insightful)

J'raxis (248192) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307142)

The digital letdown was when many of the top ideas generated by the process were to legalize marijuana, solve tax issues and to reinvestigate Obama's birth origins.

So, in other words, they didn't get the answers they wanted to hear. What a "letdown."

Fast forward to February 6 and the same process has been repeated with individual federal agencies as the subject. This time the idea generation has been much more productive, with ideas such as ...

And "productive" means now they are.

Re:Not what they wanted to hear (4, Insightful)

KiahZero (610862) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307292)

No, "productive" in this context means "substantive," "based in reality," "possible in the current political climate," and, most importantly, "not subject to the Internet-poll effect." The highest rated "idea" right now is basically telling people to shut the fuck up about their bullshit Birtherism. That may be many things, but it's not "productive."

By narrowing the topic of discussion, it filtered out more of the trolls and thereby increased the signal-to-noise ratio.

Re:Not what they wanted to hear (2, Interesting)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307340)

The digital letdown was when many of the top ideas generated by the process were to legalize marijuana, solve tax issues and to reinvestigate Obama's birth origins.

So, in other words, they didn't get the answers they wanted to hear. What a "letdown."

I don't know what "solve tax issues" means, but legalizing marijuana and investigating Obama's birth certificate are hardly innovative ideas promoting more effective governance, even if you think they're worthwhile it's stuff everyone has heard of, and the intent wasn't to give tired ideas a new platform

Re:Not what they wanted to hear (2, Interesting)

mhajicek (1582795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31310490)

but legalizing marijuana ... hardly innovative ideas promoting more effective governance

Unless of course, ending prohibition would drastically cut the amount of tax money needed to pay for police, courts, and prisons, while potentially generating significant tax revenue through the taxation of legal drug sales. In other words, perhaps not innovative but otherwise exactly what they're asking for.

Re:Not what they wanted to hear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31307422)

Oddly enough, the two issues that rose to the top are related - most of the birthers would be helped greatly by a toke or two. Either that, or a jumbo shipment of tinfoil hats.

Re:Not what they wanted to hear (1)

hpycmprok (219527) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307578)

The digital letdown was when many of the top ideas generated by the process were to legalize marijuana, solve tax issues and to reinvestigate Obama's birth origins.

So, in other words, they didn't get the answers they wanted to hear. What a "letdown."

Fast forward to February 6 and the same process has been repeated with individual federal agencies as the subject. This time the idea generation has been much more productive, with ideas such as ...

And "productive" means now they are.

Perhaps it means the "birther" issue early on was conclusively and logically resolved beyond the doubt of all but the most ardent, hardened, rabid, nut-job conspiracy theorists. And that the marijuana issue is already a well known issue, and is incrementally making good progress towards legalization at the moment. Both issues old stuff, with only a tiny fraction of the most tenatious loud mouths beating the drum about them.

There is always the internet phenom of the crazies shouting the loudest and longest. Just because somebody shouts louder and longer than anyone else doesn't make the ideas they shout any better. Neither does using all caps, bold face font, exclamation points, etc. etc. In fact the fringe usually just cause other people to go somewhere else with their ideas, thus doing a good job of regulating themselves by alienation.

Original article and related web sites being a case in point.

This doesn't mean people don't have a right to think and say what they want. It does mean that 'let down' results tend to get ignored, while more 'productive ideas' get attention.

"legalize marijuana, solve tax issues" (4, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307162)

The Obama birth record bs I can understand... but why are "legalize marijuana, solve tax issues" big letdowns?

legalize marijuana: It could not only reduce the cost of law enforcement by tens or even hundreds of billions but provide valuable new jobs and revenue streams for taxation.

Re:"legalize marijuana, solve tax issues" (0, Troll)

rswoods7 (1737022) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307194)

Why do you think the birth record issue is BS?

Re:"legalize marijuana, solve tax issues" (0, Troll)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307306)

MODS ON CRACK ALERT!

Please, don't mod parent troll. Instead, realize that a slahsdot birther is an extremely rare occurrence, and should be nurtured appropriately lest this most endangered of species disappear forever.

Just kidding. Dude's a massive tool.

Re:"legalize marijuana, solve tax issues" (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307642)

Give him the benefit of a doubt. The illimunati were probably so busy controlling the banks and the military that they got sloppy with their choice of presidential candidate.

Re:"legalize marijuana, solve tax issues" (3, Funny)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307398)

Because I am not retarded.
Fact: Hawaii became a state in 1959.
Fact: He was born in Hawaii in 1962.
Fact: The later year came after the former.
Fact: Documents have been provided to that effect.
Fact: That means he is electable for presidency.

Re:"legalize marijuana, solve tax issues" (2, Insightful)

Danse (1026) | more than 4 years ago | (#31310358)

Why do you think the birth record issue is BS?

Because it is [factcheck.org] .

Re:"legalize marijuana, solve tax issues" (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307506)

because thease sort of systems attract the nutters out of all proportion to the actual support for a particular issues.

Re:"legalize marijuana, solve tax issues" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31308136)

Because they were answers to a question that wasn't asked. They were not answers to the question that was asked.

Re:"legalize marijuana, solve tax issues" (3, Insightful)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#31308266)

legalize marijuana...

Gee, you're all heart... puttin' all those law enforcement personnel and bureaucrats out of work. You all completely fail to see the necessity of laws creating contraband, where now they are being used against information on a wide scale. It is merely another form of protectionism, creating scarcity to drive up its value for the local pirates. If you want to see the stuff legalized, you're going to have to vote for people that will do it. Seems fairly logical.. no?

Hey, here's an idea: (1)

You'reJustSlashFlock (1708024) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307228)

How about we follow the constitution?

You mean the one that thought slavery was okay? (0, Troll)

kgibbsvt (162082) | more than 4 years ago | (#31310310)

How about we follow the constitution?

The whole strict "constructionism" p.o.v. might apply if we all went back to the days of the horse and buggy, oil lamps, whole groups relegated to second class citizenship, etc..

The NASA Guys Aren't "Hackers" (0, Flamebait)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307278)

Words means something.

They may not mean what you want them to mean, and they may not mean what they meant for about seven months in 1993, but they still mean something.

The letdown was actually the best part (2, Insightful)

Xelios (822510) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307314)

It may have been a letdown in terms of the goals of the project, but I think it was pretty successful in showing how much the government actually cares about these interactions. They're not after collaboration with the public in solving problems, they're after an image of openness, nothing more. Sure, if they run into an idea that's easy to implement and jives with their own agendas they'll run with it, but by and large it's just a marketing campaign.

Legalizing Mary J is Bad? 4 Good Reasons for Gov. (4, Insightful)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307318)

1) Reduces prison population -> reduces Government budget/deficit
2) Introduces new tax revenue -> increases government revenues & reduces deficit
3) Reduces crime rate - small-time marijuana dealers no longer have any customers as it's more convenient for smokers to buy from regulated sources, so small-time marijuana dealers move onto other things (some will move to harder drugs, but many who would move are already dealing those)
4) Whoever moves to legalize it first gains many votes from the millions of adults who regularly smoke it

Re:Legalizing Mary J is Bad? 4 Good Reasons for Go (1, Insightful)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307540)

Oh, dear. This is why statistics so often lie. The question of _legalizing_ marijuana is often conflated with that of _decriminalizing_ it. Decriminalizing it would provide the first, third, and fourth benefits at least somewhat, and consistently gathers far more than 50% support in polls.

Re:Legalizing Mary J is Bad? 4 Good Reasons for Go (2, Insightful)

voodoo cheesecake (1071228) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307936)

1) Reduces prison population -> reduces Government budget/deficit - Too bad that prison is an industry, decriminalizing pot would hurt that industry at an average of $25,000 a year per person.

Re:Legalizing Mary J is Bad? 4 Good Reasons for Go (1)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31311390)

The idea itself may not be bad, but as a suggestion to open.gov it is bad simply because it is completely politically infeasible to implement at this time. You may as well be wishing for ponies.

aldawaghranet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31307384)

It may have been a letdown in terms of the goals of the project, but I think it was pretty successful http://aldawaghranet.com/ [aldawaghranet.com]

Get real! (1)

voodoo cheesecake (1071228) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307416)

Screw sharing my ideas with the incumbent. All this says to me is that they're running short on ideas and are begging for help. I say let's start a technocratic party since current policy makers have such difficulty with technical issues. We have a group of policy makers deciding the fate of the internet who probably ask their children how to configure their fucking network to get online at home.I also say legalize pot, America was founded on it anyway.. As far as other drugs are concerned, I say investigate ways to enable the countries who produce them to not have to rely on coke and heroin as cash crops and therefore take the power out of the hands of the drug lords and religious fanatics. Put that in you pipe and smoke it!

Where's the USPTO? (1)

gregben (844056) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307458)

I took a look at the aggregated US Government idea site, but didn't see the
USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office).

The USPTO needs a lot of help as far as I'm concerned; too bad they aren't
accepting ideas. They do have a "feedback channel" http://www.uspto.gov/blog/feedback [uspto.gov]
but it seems pretty limited.

Seeing the little picture (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307562)

People like to look at the Big Picture because it's a lot easier than seeing the details. Details take work, but anybody can see the Big Picture. Or at least, believe that they do.

Fixing "the government" is something people think they can do. But the executive branch is made up of agencies, and most people haven't the faintest idea what those agencies do.

How do you fix the State Department? Well, what's wrong with the State Department? Plenty, if you ask State Department employees, who know what actually goes on inside it. Any idea how the Bureau of Consular Affairs coordinates with the Bureau of Diplomatic Security? Did you even know we had a Bureau of Diplomatic Security? Or the difference between its Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence and its Office of Intelligence and Threat Analysis?

Big, sweeping solutions like "legalize marijuana" seem like panaceas, but in fact the government is a vast, complex entity, like the company you work for scaled up by a factor of 1,000. Ending the war on drugs is certainly a good idea, but if you really want to fix government, it helps to know something about government, and not just

Re:Seeing the little picture (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307588)

(stupid submit button)

not just the 50,000,000 foot view you get from watching the news.

Re:Seeing the little picture (1)

npsimons (32752) | more than 4 years ago | (#31310912)

Big, sweeping solutions like "legalize marijuana" seem like panaceas, but in fact the government is a vast, complex entity, like the company you work for scaled up by a factor of 1,000. Ending the war on drugs is certainly a good idea, but if you really want to fix government, it helps to know something about government, and not just

I don't think that anyone is arguing that legalizing marijuana would be a panacea. Much like those who say organized religion should be abolished don't think it will solve all the worlds' ills. Both are good ideas, and the main reason people want to see them done is that they are quick and easy ways to eliminate big problems. It's sort of like profiling code, where making a small change to one piece of code might cut the overall run time in half. Sure, it won't *eliminate* the run time completely, but it's such an easy thing to do, that will help so much, why not do it? The only reason it isn't being done is some political bullshit. To continue the analogy, it's as if you found the slow piece of code, found a fix, but then your manager said "oh no, we can't do that, it might upset our users." even when the user survey obviously says they all think your code runs like a dog.

Participatory democracy has always been (3, Insightful)

aminorex (141494) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307614)

...a big disappointment to those who wish to control society for their personal ambitions, rather than respect the popular will. If you don't think legalizing marijuana is a critical issue, I guess the overwhelming force of public opinion isn't going to change your mind.

Re:Participatory democracy has always been (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 3 years ago | (#31307784)

I think you got that the wrong way around. According to every poll, overwhelming force of public opinion in the US has always been opposed to legalizing marijuana. However, that most definitely isn't going to change my mind, as overwhelming force of public opinion is very often wrong.

There is no right or wrong here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31307902)

You want marijuana to be legalised. Others do not. They've got the power to stop it. You have to work your way around it.

There is no right or wrong. It just comes down to how you feel about it and what you're willing to trade to make it happen.

For what it is worth, I don't care whether it is legal or illegal, so I win either way :-)

Goodness, I hate it when people start talking about their rights, and good, and bad, when all they really mean is that they want something.

Re:There is no right or wrong here (4, Insightful)

jimrthy (893116) | more than 3 years ago | (#31308334)

Actually, there is a right/wrong to be considered.

Either the Founding Fathers meant what they wrote when they agreed to the Constitution, or the idea behind the entire American system of government has absolutely no basis.

Either Congress has absolute authority to do whatever we let them get away with (which is pretty much what the Supreme Court has given them over the centuries), or those men in Philadelphia (what other people have later considered "the greatest collection of brilliant minds ever assembled"...more or less..I forget the source and probably have the quote wrong) when they decided things like, for example, they would not allow a central bank.

You'd have to have a mind as convoluted as a lawyer's to argue that anyone in the Federal government actually had the authority to start this whole stupid "war on drugs" thing in the first place. Especially since it took a Constitutional Amendment to prohibit alcohol.

Every time the Federal government takes another step down the road to tyranny, we all lose. Even if you don't happen to have a dog in that particular fight.

range voting (1)

Garble Snarky (715674) | more than 3 years ago | (#31308072)

Does anyone have any idea which agency would be responsible for implementing a change in ballot methods (range voting/runoff/whatever)? The little I have read about these has convinced me that any improvement to our current voting system would be incredibly helpful. Which site would this idea best be submitted to?

Re:range voting (1)

graft (556969) | more than 3 years ago | (#31308212)

As far as I understand, there are no federal rules regulating voting in federal elections. Each state has a certain number of electoral delegates which they can dispose of however they like; electors are in fact not even required (by federal laws) to select the candidate chosen by popular vote in their state. They merely do so by convention, or in some cases according to state laws. In practice this means any state could implement a system of proportional representation of their electors (i.e., if ~40% of the people in California voted for someone, ~40% of the electors would cast their votes for the person). Similarly for voting mechanisms, and voting machines, I believe. If you wanted to impelement, say, an approval voting process, you'd have to do it state-by-state. Which seems both bad and good; harder to get the whole country doing it, but easier to convert one state.

Re:range voting (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31311240)

In practice this means any state could implement a system of proportional representation of their electors

Note that several States do this already.

Note that those States basically have no influence on the outcome of Presidential election, since in practice, there is effectively one one electoral vote to be gained in each of those States (in general, most States are split pretty evenly Rep/Dem, so the winner in a proportional award State tends to get half rounded up votes, the loser gets half rounded down votes).

Since even the smallest winner-take-all State gives you three Electoral votes, you're better off winning Alaska (one of those "smallest" winner-take-all States - Montana is another) than two proportional States.

Which means that the proportional States tend to get ignored completely in election years.

Change! (limited time offer) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31308280)

Change! Before March 19!

The critics distant from their democracy... (1)

jonverve (1755592) | more than 3 years ago | (#31308308)

..no matter how frusterated they are, are giving up their right to be involved in their democracy. Those of you who flame, whens the last time you attended a PAC or somehow worked for some cause you are passionate about? You know Erin Brockovich was a true story about a woman without formal law education, right?

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” - Teddy Roosevelt

ACTA (1)

elvesrus (71218) | more than 3 years ago | (#31308550)

I wonder how many ideas were to release the ACTA text.

Re:ACTA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31308626)

Probably just about none. People, even most technically literate people, are pretty much unaware of it.

US Open? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31308584)

Golf or tennis?

Wrong Summary On Marijuana (5, Insightful)

careysub (976506) | more than 3 years ago | (#31309158)

No, one of the top ideas was NOT to "legalize marijuana"! The third most popular item was to remove marijuana from Schedule 1, where its placement violates federal law, the DEA's own internal regulations, and peer-reviewed science!

Click on the "marijuana link" in the summary and read the item for yourself.

This is a simple matter of paying attention to science and obeying the law as written.

The rules for Schedule I are:
A) The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
(B) The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
C) There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.

The best available scientific and medical evidence and opinion clearly shows that criteria B and C do not apply. The only way one can claim A applies is via a circular argument: all cannabis use DEFINED as abuse, therefore it has a high potential for abuse.

The logic of scheduling Cannabis at no higher than IV, and most accurately at Schedule V, is further shown by the DEA itself - by scheduling pure 100% THC at Schedule III!

Clearly a preparation that is only about 10% as potent should have a lower ranking. One should note that Schedule V consists ENTIRELY of drugs with higher rankings (from I down to III) in reduced potency preparations. This the reason that this low scheduling category exists.

If the rules of classification are objectively and scientifically applied the it would rank no higher than Schedule V, the lowest and least restrictive.

Re:Wrong Summary On Marijuana (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 4 years ago | (#31310868)

No, one of the top ideas was NOT to "legalize marijuana"! The third most popular item was to remove marijuana from Schedule 1, where its placement violates federal law, the DEA's own internal regulations, and peer-reviewed science!

Click on the "marijuana link" in the summary and read the item for yourself.

This is a simple matter of paying attention to science and obeying the law as written.

The rules for Schedule I are: A) The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse. (B) The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. C) There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.

The best available scientific and medical evidence and opinion clearly shows that criteria B and C do not apply. The only way one can claim A applies is via a circular argument: all cannabis use DEFINED as abuse, therefore it has a high potential for abuse.

The logic of scheduling Cannabis at no higher than IV, and most accurately at Schedule V, is further shown by the DEA itself - by scheduling pure 100% THC at Schedule III!

Clearly a preparation that is only about 10% as potent should have a lower ranking. One should note that Schedule V consists ENTIRELY of drugs with higher rankings (from I down to III) in reduced potency preparations. This the reason that this low scheduling category exists.

If the rules of classification are objectively and scientifically applied the it would rank no higher than Schedule V, the lowest and least restrictive.

While I thank you for your very informative post on this, all of this really doesn't matter when you try and apply your A-B-C Schedule rules to something like alcohol, which is legal, and which has proven to be FAR more harmful than marijuana ever could be. It's all about money and power, nothing more.

The Legislative branch is also missing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31309340)

I for one would like the proceedings of the Senate and Congress available on the Internet. Preferably in an open format
It makes no sense that Congress could make a concession to C-span and that C-span can copyright the video.
All works created by the U.S. Government are in the public domain, are they not?

Derp (1)

kothmac (1609535) | more than 3 years ago | (#31309974)

"... strengthen our democracy ..."
But, we're not even a Democracy. Democracy isn't all it's cut out it to be anyway.

Public funding = open access+open source (1)

dwheeler (321049) | more than 3 years ago | (#31310050)

Please support proposals such as the proposal to the National Science Foundation (NSF) called "Public funding = Public viewing [ideascale.com] " (by voting for them, making positive comments, etc.). This proposal recommends that publicly funded projects must be published as open access and all data and code shared as open source software. If "We the people" pay for research and development, then "we the people" should get the results. If there aren't existing proposals for certain agencies, please add them.

As I've commented before, Government-developed Unclassified Software [dwheeler.com] should be default be released as Open Source Software, and U.S. research should be open access [dwheeler.com] . The current model, especially for research and development, isn't working.

Fab Labs everywhere, basic income, vitamin D (1)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | more than 4 years ago | (#31310988)

"21,000 Flexible Public Fabrication Facilities across the USA"
http://opengov.ideascale.com/a/dtd/8412-4049 [ideascale.com]

Also:
"Revisit the Triple Revolution Memorandum sent to President Johnson"
http://opengov.ideascale.com/a/dtd/8402-4049 [ideascale.com]

Also:
"Something I tried to post here but did not appear:
"Policy Forum on Public Access to Federally Funded Research: Implementation""
http://www.cnewmark.com/2009/12/making-govt-work-a-huge-step.html#comments [cnewmark.com]
"""
Summary: This topic of how government funds academic research is fairly inseparable from related STEM education issues that touch on every aspect of the USA as it becomes a 21st-century society heavily dependent on science and technology while at the same time facing an employment crisis (in part from automation and better design causing structural unemployment -- even within academia and related research institutions). The essay explores problems with the current research funding model (of which open publication is just one part) with connections to all levels of the K-emeritus academic enterprise. Then it points towards some solutions like a "basic income" to help the USA transition to a full-fledged 21st century "post-scarcity" society where giving information away under open licenses would be the default in most situations.
"""

And I've posted stuff on how treating vitamin D deficiency could save hundreds of billions of dollars a year in US medical costs:
    http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/treatment.shtml [vitamindcouncil.org]

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