SARASOTA, FL -- While the presidential election is the only true national referendum, petitions are well and alive.
Sarasota, this should be up your alley, with residents in both the city and county embracing the power of petition and referendum. While you can't do the latter, anyone can file a petition with the White House.
At least a few folks in Florida are doing just that, actually petitioning the President Barack Obama White House to allow Florida to break off from the United States government and become its own nation. Hey, Puerto Rico is waiting to take Florida's place, so no need to change the amount of stars on the flag, so there's that.
The Obama White House offers citizens the opportunity to file a petition on its official website. Several people have already opened petitions asking other people to join them in asking for a variety of issues to be considered by the administration. Included in those petitions gaining popularity are a couple relating to Japan’s territorial issues.
For Florida's issue, 1,343 signatures were collected as of Sunday afternoon. Here's what the petition asks:
We the people of the great state of Florida, do see that in today's world the Federal Government has not led our citizens justly and with honor. We therefore as free men and women of our great state do believe that it is time to take matter upon ourselves to ensure our continued freedom, and to enact our own laws and here buy govern ourselves without the federal government's involvement in our internal matters from this day forward.
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
The goal for that petition is 25,000, which is essentially hoping that a town about the size of Venice would say yes and kick off the movement for the whole state, so realistically, we'll put the chances of that happening near zero percent.
A similar petition requested that the state of Louisiana be allowed to peacefully withdraw from the United States of America and create its own new government, as well.
The other Florida-based petition asks the White House to legalize marijuana in the state of Florida, which would really be a state-based issue and vote, but would ultimately needed to be decriminalized by the federal government for any state measure to truly take hold. That petition collected 799 signatures out the 25,000 goal.
Another one though not local, sure wouldn't be met with open arms in Ybor City as the petition asks the FDA to regulate premium cigars.
At last count, more than 30,500 people had digitally signed that petition.
What petition would you like filed with the Obama Administration?