Apr 182013
 

Federal marijuana legislation commissionRepresentative Steve Cohen (D-TN) has introduced federal legislation that would establish a National Commission on Federal Marijuana Policy. The proposed commission, inspired by the 1971 Shafer Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, would be tasked with undertaking a comprehensive review of how federal policy should interact with state laws that make marijuana legal for medicinal and personal use, the cost of our current marijuana prohibition and potential revenue from marijuana regulation and taxation, the impact of federal banking and tax laws on marijuana related businesses, the health benefits of risk of marijuana use, the public safety and criminal justice implications of marijuana prohibition compared with regulation, and the effects of marijuana prohibition and potential regulation on our international relationships and treaties.

“Regardless of your views on marijuana, it’s important that we understand the impact of current federal policy and address the conflict with those state laws that allow for medicinal or personal use of marijuana,” said Congressman Cohen. “This conflict is only going to continue to grow over the next few years and we must provide certainty to the millions of individuals and businesses that remain caught in a web of incompatible laws. A national commission would provide us with the information we need to create sensible policy going forward.”

Representative Steve Cohen is joined by Representatives Jared Polis (D-CO), Earl Blumenhauer (D-OR), Jim Moran (D-VA), and Sam Farr (D-CA).

During an interview with Barbara Walters in December of 2012, President Obama stated, “…what we’re going to need to have is a conversation about, how do you reconcile a federal law that still says marijuana is a federal offense and state laws that say that it’s legal?”

Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske stated in January of this year that, “Coming out of the recent election, it is clear that we’re in the midst of a serious national conversation about marijuana.”

“The Obama administration has repeatedly stated that a national conversation is needed when it comes to our country’s marijuana policies, but so far that conversation has been largely one sided,” stated NORML Communications Director Erik Altieri, “It is time for federal lawmakers to listen to the voice of the majority of Americans who want to see change to our nation’s marijuana laws and for them to take part in that dialogue. NORML is pleased to have worked with Representative Cohen and his staff on this important legislation that would provide a public and professional venue for that conversation to take place. A majority of Americans agree that it is time for the United States to end it’s fruitless and expensive war on cannabis consumers and pursue policies of regulation and taxation. Enjoining this national commission would be a pragmatic and productive step towards assessing the true costs of our current prohibition and creating a framework for a functional federal policy on marijuana.”

Join NORML and federal legislators in calling for a “serious national conversation” on regulating marijuana.

Click here to quickly and easily contact your Representative and urge him or her to support this legislation.

Source: NORML - make a donation

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About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
  • Conservatives4Legalization

    This has me smiling ear to ear. 10 years ago I did’t think I would see the beginning of the end of Marijuana Prohibition.

  • Chris_in_WI

    Delay tactic, but this does show they are scared legalization is coming!

  • Tony Aroma

    “The Shafer Commission undertook a comprehensive review of the nature and scope of marijuana use, its effects, the relationship of marijuana use to other behavior, and the efficacy of existing law. Its final report, released in 1973, called for the decriminalization of marijuana.”

    What makes them think this commission would be listened to any more than the Shafer commission? No administration has ever paid any attention to any of the many studies already done that recommended decriminalization.

  • incogneatow

    Well, well, well… Will cannabis become a political football?

    I think that they can’t laugh about it any longer and shrug it off. Since the CO and WA windfall politicians are looking to grab a portion of those green voters. I think we need to form another political party (insert name here) _____________ and advocate states rights and the return of personal liberty (expansion of consciousness), medicinal liberties – strictly progressive…

    We need a larger presence in D.C. There are plenty of cannabis activists organizations that could come together under one umbrella party, organization, think tank or lobbying group, we could be have significant impact in American politics.

    One important caveat, this commission will educate our “out of touch” members of congress on the facts concerning cannabis. I’m all in…