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Republican Led Legislation To Protect States That Regulate Marijuana Introduced In Congress

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Federal marijuana lawBill Would Shield Citizens from Federal Enforcement in States That Have Reformed Marijuana Laws

Supermajority of Americans Believe Federal Government Should Leave State Marijuana Reforms Alone

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), long-standing opponent of the Department of Justice’s use of federal money to undermine state medical marijuana laws, and other Republicans introduced legislation today exempting law-abiding citizens from federal arrest and prosecution in states that have reformed their marijuana laws. Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical use – and voters in Colorado and Washington passed laws to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol this past November.

“The people have spoken and members of Congress are taking action,” said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. “This bill takes conservative principles and applies them to marijuana policy; in terms of the national debate it’s potentially a game-changer.”

The bill was introduced with bipartisan cosponsorship, including Reps. Dana Rohrabacher, Steve Cohen (D-TN), Don Young (R-AK), Jared Polis (D-CO), Justin Amash (R-MI), and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR).

Regarding this new legislation, Rep. Rohrabacher said, “This bipartisan bill represents a common-sense approach that establishes federal government respect for all states’ marijuana laws. It does so by keeping the federal government out of the business of criminalizing marijuana activities in states that don’t want it to be criminal.”

Earlier this Congress, Reps. Polis (D-CO), Blumenauer (D-OR), Rohrabacher and others introduced the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, H.R. 499, which would end federal marijuana prohibition and set up a federal regulatory process – similar to the one for alcohol – for states that decide to legalize. Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has said he will hold hearings to examine Colorado and Washington’s new marijuana laws and explore potential federal reforms.

New polling data from Pew shows that a majority of Americans support legalization of marijuana and believe the federal government should not enforce federal laws in states where it is legal. “We’ve reached a tipping point,” said Jasmine Tyler, deputy director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, “and it is time Congress acknowledge what voters, law enforcement, and state officials have been telling us for years: the feds should stop wasting money interfering when the states are more than capable of regulating marijuana effectively.”

Press Release From The Drug Policy Alliance

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9 Comments

  1. If our law makers (elected officials) knew how and why marijuana was deemed criminal essentially “outlawed”. One could only hope that they would be very ashamed for allowing and upholding the law behind those beliefs. Passing things into law without reading the bill suggests stupidity, but it happens every day in DC. If your elected official knows why and how this law came to be, and hasn’t tried to change it. Your state, is in deeper trouble than just marijuana remaining illegal, sorry. For common citizens not knowing the how’s and why’s, is very bad too. But they trust their leaders to be smart and do the right thing for their state. And at least know why a law has been put into play in the first place. Two main characters in outlawing marijuana were (entrepreneur) news paper owner and silver miner William Randolph Hearst and Federal Bureau of Narcotics first appointed commissioner, Harry J. Anslinger under President Herbert Hoover. The “facts” quotes and testimony given as to why marijuana should be criminalized are nothing short of astounding especially if you’re a woman of any color, African American, Hispanic or Filipino. Do yourself a little favor when you get the time two or thee minutes is all it takes. See if your elected official upholds the ideology of these men as law for this issue. If they do, well, I don’t think they’re saying it out loud.

  2. I do not know how long this bill will take to become law, but this might be what Obama and the DOJ are waiting for.

    This bill would wrestle the the legalization issue away from Obama’s administration. I have a feeling Obama does not want to make a decision on legalization because of his legacy (past, present and future) considering his ‘pot smoking’ past, presidential legacy, family matters – daughters weigh in on this issue also and the sticky issue of doing what the people want.

    If congress passes the bill then Obama could sigh it with reservations (I sign this only because the people want it). He would remain in the middle, the states get to legislate reforms and the feds get to keep their prohibitive policy intact for UN treaties and other agreements. Interestingly the DEA can continue their tyranny and theft (asset forfeiture) in states that probably wont’ legalize (Texas and Hawaii) as well as continuing their form of imperialism in developing countries that maintain the DEA’s drug war.

    This is a win-win (hate this phrase) bill for everyone. It actually sounds too good to be true. When was the last time our inept congress did anything that benefitted everyone?

    Hell, if I don’t live in a state where cannabis is legalized, I have no problem moving to one that does…

    :reddit r/trees

  3. 1 out of 10 representatives from Washington state that are supposed to carry out the wishes of the majority of the people back home these people represent. And yet according to a recent editorial by the Seattle Times, all of these so called representatives except one and that was Adam Smith I believe, were called out in this editorial as being completely ineffective when it came to doing anything in regards to furthering cannabis freedom in Washington DC and representing the pro cannabis views of the majority back in Washington state that they are supposed to represent. Medical cannabis was authorized by the voters in 1998 and then again later on and then the historic legalization vote last November legalizing adult recreational cannabis use and you know what?? That editorial was right!!! These representatives have done NOTHING ever in regards to cannabis freedom in Washington state and everyone of them deserves a letter or call from a pissed off voter who does the same thing that editorial did and that was to call them ALL out on doing such a pathetic job representing our pro cannabis views back in DC. I don’t care if they personally like it or not. The majority voted to legalize and it was the same majority that sent their sorry asses to DC. Either…..get effective in DC about OUR pro cannabis views NOW or resign so we can get someone in there who will. While I dislike all these so called representatives, I have particular disdain for Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell both who have gotten lazy and turned into career politicians. Anyway, the voters in Washington state were able to legalize ALL issues regarding cannabis medical & recreational IN SPITE of such ineffective & unfriendly representation and that really was a miracle….

  4. blue republic on

    Good news! Rohrabacher has been pretty consistent against warmongering in general, Justin Amash is an outstanding young representative – that I’d swap for my own Rep. (Walden) any time.

    I’m glad to see Blumenauer co-sponsoring, but it doesn’t seem to be consistent with where he is on gun law since he appears to be supporting the current round of gun legislation that would penalize states for not making information about marijuana users (including medical) to the NICS (background check) system so they can be denied the right to purchase a firearm – or prosecuted as felons if they do possess guns or ammunition.

    I’ve written to him twice now and called his office trying go get clarification about where he stands on this but no response..

    My second letter to Earl:

    “Dear Congressman Blumenauer,

    I am disappointed not to have received any response
    to my previous (March 13) request for clarification
    regarding your positions on points of law and pending legislation
    pertaining to guns and marijuana.

    Since some of your stated positions seem contradictory I am
    still hoping you will provide some clarification about where
    you stand on these important issues.

    Briefly, you appear to be saying that simple marijuana use
    or cultivation for personal or medical uses should not be
    criminalized. On the other hand, you appear to also support
    existing federal law that criminalizes the exercise of 2nd
    Amendment rights by marijuana consumers and requiring states to
    provide all information about marijuana users to the federal government
    for use in the NICS background check system.

    As you likely know, federal law defines various classes of
    people as prohibited from owning, acquiring, transporting & etc. firearms.
    For such a “prohibited person” to possess even a single live round of
    ammunition is defined as a felony offense punishable by 10 years in federal
    prison 18 USC § 922(g) & (n).

    ALL consumers of marijuana are defined as prohibited persons, with no regard to whether their consumption completely legally under state and
    local law.

    As applied to Oregon medical marijuana users, this conflicts
    with Oregon court rulings that medical marijuana use by itself does not
    disqualify an Oregon resident from possessing a gun nor from obtaining a
    concealed carry permit.

    Question #1
    Do you support the existing definition of prohibited persons? If not, in what way should it be modified and what are you doing to bring that about? Should all marijuana users be prosecuted as felons under federal law if they acquire firearms or ammunition?

    Question #2
    What information about marijuana users should states have to provide to the NICS system?

    Given that the aims of S.649 as stated in the title:

    “to ensure that all individuals who should be prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in the national instant criminal background check system”

    can only be achieved if all information about marijuana
    users is in the system do you think that Oregon should report all of its
    medical users? Information on all persons cited for marijuana violations?
    Should Oregon be penalized if it does not provide the above information? Are you currently supporting S.649 or equivalent legislation in the House?

    Question #3

    If the simple act of consuming marijuana is sufficient to negate the
    2nd Amendment rights of Americans, could it not also be
    grounds for negating other civil liberties such as those “guaranteed”
    under the 1st, 4th or other Amendments?

    I am very much hoping to receive clarification from you on
    these important points and awaiting your response.

    Sincerely,

    (Blue Republic)

  5. That would mean having to lay off or reassign DEA agents and they’ll fight this TOOTH AND NAIL! However I’m ECSTATIC that a Republican introduced this legislation. Rohrbacher is a long time proponent for STATES rights as far as Marijuana goes

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