congressional research service marijuana
Ending Marijuana Prohibition

Congressional Research Service Discusses Dangers Of Marijuana Prohibition

congressional research service marijuanaI just read a very interesting report from the Congressional Research Service which talked about the legal issues facing Congress in regards to states legalizing medical and recreational marijuana. What really struck me was the part where the document talks about what happens when someone violates federal marijuana laws. See below:

The present and potential consequences of a CSA violation can be substantial. Cultivation or sale of marijuana on all but the smallest scale invites a five-year mandatory minimum prison term. Revenues and the property used to generate them may merely be awaiting federal collection under federal forfeiture laws. Federal tax laws deny marijuana entrepreneurs the benefits available to other businesses. Banks may afford marijuana merchants financial services only if the bank files a suspicious activity report (SAR) for every marijuana-related transaction, and only if it conducts a level of due diligence into its customers’ activities sufficient to unearth any affront to federal interests.

Marijuana users may not possess a firearm or ammunition. They may not hold federal security clearances. They may not operate commercial trucks, buses, trains, or planes. Federal contractors and private employers may be free to refuse to hire them and to fire them. If fired, they may be ineligible for unemployment compensation. They may be denied federally assisted housing.

It’s a sobering thing to hear the Congressional Research Service accurately talk about the penalties of violating federal marijuana laws. Usually they try to sugar coat things and act like ‘no one really goes to jail for marijuana these days’ and leave it at that. There are far more penalties than just jail time involved. I would add to that list the loss of federal student financial aid.

For something with such harsh, life changing penalties, one would think that marijuana is one of the worst things in America. However, there are numerous things that are more harmful, such as alcohol, tobacco, etc. Yet those things won’t result in such harsh penalties. Penalties should fit the crime, and I don’t see how possessing a joint or growing a plant comes even close to warranting those penalties. Hopefully Congress addresses this hypocrisy in a meaningful way sooner than later. I encourage everyone to read the report. There’s quite a bit of interesting stuff in it.

  • pkr8ch

    Maybe Congress will actually read the Congressional research report.

    • Marijuana is a plant!

      Get real. The Congress didn’t even read the Patriot act. They do not read anything except the numbers on the graft check.

      • Midnight Moses

        Truth. We have to do anything and everything needed to remove these criminals from elected – and appointed – office.

        • MrPC

          Most politicians don’t start out to become blood-sucking weasels. Unfortunately, the system almost requires them to compromise their morality in order to survive. Most members of congress literally spend half their working day raising money. Nothing will change until we put a stop to anonymous campaign contributions and multimillion-dollar campaign budgets for every elected office. Work to limit campaign spending and shorten the campaign calendar if you want more accountable, honest public officials.

  • Tim Cook

    I have written both of my senators and the president, all 3 sent me a form letter back ugh i let them know i AM a voter and this issue will affect my decision

  • jontomas

    The truth is seeping into all the dark corners. It can no longer be denied.

    More than 700,000 innocent Americans are arrested for simple marijuana possession each year and made second-class citizens – for life! They will forever face huge obstacles to decent employment, education, travel, housing, government benefits, and will always go into court with one strike against them. They can even have their children taken away!

    20 million Americans are now locked away in this very un-American sub-class. That has a horrible effect on the whole country, being an incredible waste of human potential.

    The fraudulent prohibition has never accomplished one positive thing. It has only caused vast amounts of crime, corruption, violence, death and the severe diminishment of everyone’s freedom.

    There is no more important domestic issue than ending what is essentially the American Inquisition!

  • Mary

    What changed my mind about prohibition and started me on the path supporting reform was reading documents like these. I do not feel that a ‘cure’ or set of laws should do more harm than the problem itself. I do not smoke (or drink) and never will BUT I feel that you as an individual have every right to make that choice. If the choice you make results in direct harm to another then you should be punished for the action. We are all adults and know right from wrong. We have become a nation of excuses and have forfeited our rights and freedoms by not taking responsibility for our actions. I know many wine sippers and cannabis smokers ( I was very surprised as I found out who they were! ) who use both to take the edge off after a hard day without any issues to family, friends or country. I also know a few that take stupid to the limits with or without an intoxicant and they should be held accountable for their stupid actions not punished (along with everyone else) simply because of the intoxicant. I may not have said this clearly because I am new to the movement but I am trying to help everyone I know understand that the state and federal governments are wrong about this. If you choose to drink-smoke and drive and you kill someone with your vehicle what makes the vehicle any less guilty than the drink-smoking in the death? The guilty party is the person not the car, clothes, watch, sunglasses or intoxicant. I just wonder when we decided to take off the big boy pants and put on the diapers when it came to adult responsibility and how I managed to miss it for so long.

    • Indivisually Responsble

      Thank you for this refreshing thought on individual responsibility for our actions. This goes to not only the adult use of marijuana but to many things that have evolved with an all or none approach to the controversial. We have Zero tolerance as the easy approach to drugs, weapons, drinking and driving and many others. This approach is counter to individual liberty and breeds distrust of our neighbor and brothers. It is much better to man up and take responsibility but as you point out, Mary that is getting less common. I do not feel there should be any penalty for our actions regarding drugs, alcohol usage or weapons so long as there is no victim for those actions.

  • After Snowden’s leak that the US uses marijuana as a pretense to destabilize other countries, Uruguay legalized marijuana. Other countries are not far behind as the dirty tricks of the US are out in the open for everyone to see. Add the use of marijuana laws to enslave docile blacks into a lifetime of servitude, and anyone with any decency knows that prohibition will not last long.