2011 could be the year marijuana is finally legalized. That’s right, today representative Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-Texas) are expected to submit the first bill ever introduced in Congress to end federal marijuana prohibition; the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011.
This historic bipartisan legislation, Oakland’s Rep. Barbara Lee is a co-sponsor, looks to repeal federal marijuana prohibition, allowing each state the ability to form their own laws regarding marijuana enforcement, similar to the way states make their own rules regarding alcohol. It would give each state complete freedom to regulate marijuana in the best interests of its citizens. So, if a state decides to make marijuana available to patients, it can…and if it prefers to make marijuana legal for all adults, it can do that, too. It also will grant immunity to individuals and entities from federal prosecution when they’re complying with their individual state’s medical marijuana laws…finally ending the terrifying state v federal conflicts over marijuana policy.
“The time has come for the federal government to stop preempting states’ medical marijuana laws,” Frank has said. “For the federal government to come in and supersede state law is a real mistake for those in pain for whom nothing else seems to work. This bill would block the federal prosecution of those patients who reside in those states that allow medical marijuana.”
“It is time to get the federal government out of state criminal matters, so states can determine sensible drug policy for themselves,” says Paul. “It is quite obvious the federal war on drugs is a disaster. Respect for states’ rights means that different policies can be tried in different states and we can see which are the most successful. This legislation is a step in the right direction as it removes a major federal road block impeding businesses that states have determined should be allowed within their borders.”
The new bill will also force the fed to prioritize their resources. “Making marijuana illegal hasn’t prevented anyone from using it, but it has created a huge funding source that funnels billions of dollars in tax-free profits to violent drug cartels and gangs,” Neill Franklin, a former Baltimore narcotics cop and executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), has stated. “It baffles me that we arrest nearly 800,000 people on marijuana charges in this country each and every year at taxpayer expense when we could instead be taking in new tax revenue from legal and regulated marijuana sales.”
Something has to change. States must be set free to experiment with their own marijuana policy. Over the past forty years, as a result of the failing War on Drugs, hundreds of billions of dollars have been wasted on fighting their main perceived threat; marijuana…all to no avail. Marijuana and marijuana smokers still exist and they aren’t going anywhere. Ever.
Text of the bill is not yet available yet, we’ll post it when we get it, but if you’re down tell your representative in Congress to put an end to the war on marijuana users…here’s how: Our friends at the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) have an electronic form letter of support that will automatgically go to your representative after you fill it out. Click HERE to fire off your letter.