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Frank/Paul Joint Effort Against Marijuana Prohibition to Be Introduced Tomorrow

Tomorrow, Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Ron Paul (R-Texas) will introduce bipartisan legislation to end the federal prohibition of marijuana. Under the new legislation-to-be, each state would be able to legalize, regulate and tax it (or not) as they see fit, without interference from the federal government.

News broke earlier today, when the Marijuana Policy Project made a press release announcing the legislation, which was later confirmed by a spokesperson for Rep. Frank.

Here’s some more info from the press release:

Other co-sponsors include Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA). The legislation would limit the federal government’s role in marijuana enforcement to cross-border or inter-state smuggling, allowing people to legally grow, use or sell marijuana in states where it is legal. The legislation is the first bill ever introduced in Congress to end federal marijuana prohibition.

Rep. Frank’s legislation would end state/federal conflicts over marijuana policy, reprioritize federal resources, and provide more room for states to do what is best for their own citizens.

It’s not Frank and Paul’s first bipartisan legislation. In 2009, they co-authored similar bill to decriminalize marijuana. But rather than fully legalizing and passing authority over to the states, it only “eliminate(d) most Federal penalties for possession of marijuana for personal use, and for other purposes.”  More recently, in 2010, they co-authored an op-ed on the need to reduce military spending.

While it’s pretty likely to get some debate on the floor, it still has to to get voted on, before it goes on to President Obama to be signed in to law, where it awaits an uncertain fate. We know he hasn’t been too chummy with the legalization crowd lately, but it will be interesting to see how he deals with the prickly issue this close to election time.

  1. Mike says:

    Jillian — I think you’re right on. We need to get the conversation going in congress to make it happen! Write your rep today and let them know —

  2. Jillian Galloway says:

    On June 17, 1971, President Nixon told Congress that “if we cannot destroy the drug menace in America, then it will surely destroy us.” However, after forty years of trying to destroy “the drug menace in America” we still *haven’t* been able to destroy it and it still *hasn’t* destroyed us. Four decades is ample enough to realize that on this important issue President Nixon wrong! All actions taken as a result of his invalid and paranoid assumptions (e.g. the federal marijuana prohibition) should be ended immediately!

    It makes no sense for taxpayers to fund the federal marijuana prohibition when it *doesn’t* prevent people from using marijuana and it *does* make criminals incredibly wealthy and incite the Mexican drug cartels to murder thousands of people every year.

    We need legal adult marijuana sales in supermarkets, gas stations and pharmacies for exactly the same reason that we need legal alcohol and tobacco sales – to keep unscrupulous black-market criminals out of our neighborhoods and away from our children. Marijuana must be made legal to sell to adults everywhere that alcohol and tobacco are sold.

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