Saturday, April 26, 2008

Bill to Legalize Marijuana Offered in U.S. House


Rep. Frank seeks to end Fed war on pot.

Nobody expects it to pass except its most ardent enthusiasts, but H.R. 5843, a bill "To Eliminate Most Federal Penalties for Possession of Marijuana for Personal Use, and for Other Purposes," sponsored by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and Rep Ron Paul (R-TX), was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on April 17. It is not the first such attempt, nor is it likely to be the last.

The bill would remove federal penalties for personal possession of up to 100 grams of marijuana, or roughly 3 1/2 ounces. Not-for-profit transfers of up to an ounce of pot would also be legal under the statutes. A civil penalty of $100 would be levied for public use of marijuana.

The bill would not affect federal laws prohibiting major drug dealing, nor would it interfere with or hinder federal agencies prosecuting the cultivation and export of cannabis. In addition, the bill does not seek to alter the legal status of marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act.

The bill is an a rational attempt to break through the confusion surrounding the various laws passed in at least twelve states that allow people to use marijuana for certain medical purposes. The confusion reached a peak last year when several medical marijuana dispensaries--operating legally under California statutes--were raided and their owners arrested by Federal drug enforcement authorities. The message from the hard-line Feds was: Even if it's legal in your state, it's not legal to us.

Rep. Frank has taken on this issue before. In 1970, he filed a bill to decriminalize marijuana in Massachusetts. He has also argued before NORML--the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws--that such issues rightly belong to the states.

In a letter to the Providence Journal, Frank also vowed to introduce a new version of his "State's Right to Medical Marijuana Act," which he has offered as legislation "every year since 1997."

"If the laws I am proposing pass," Frank explains at Daily Kos, "states will still be free to treat marijuana as they wish. But I do not believe that the federal government should treat adults who choose to smoke marijuana as criminals. Federal law enforcement is a serious business, and we should be concentrating our efforts in this regard on measures that truly protect the public."

Rep. Frank said on "Real Time with Bill Maher" that the new bill could be called the "Make Room for the Serious Criminals" act.

In a prepared statement, Rep. Frank said: "I think it is poor law enforcement to keep on the books legislation that establishes as a crime something which in fact society does not seriously wish to prosecute." The Massachusetts congressman added that "having federal law enforcement agents engaged in the prosecution of people who are personally using marijuana is a waste of scarce resources better used for serious crimes."

Sarah Rubenstein of The Wall Street Journal reports that groups such as the Massachusetts branch of D.A.R.E. and the Drug Enforcement Administration continue to oppose the legalization of marijuana because it would signal to children that the drug is benign.

Frank also noted in his letter to the Providence Journal that "bipartisan amendments have been introduced by my colleagues, Representatives Maurice D. Hinchey (D-NY) and Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA) every year since 2003 to preclude the use of federal funding to prosecute medical-marijuana patients by the Department of Justice. Each time the amendment has been voted on, it has failed in the House."

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Blog

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

I believe marijuana should be legalized!!!!! What is the big deal??? People don't kill people for weed and how many people get high and have accidents!

Jonathan said...

The reason marijuana is illegal is because there is no way to make money off it from a business stand point. The government can tax it, but a private/public corporation like, hmm I dont know, lets say, Pfizer, cant patent a naturally growing plant. There are possible ways around this, but to keep it simple Mary Jane=No Profit. In the case of marijuana these laws have nothing to do with the protection of the people. In fact, I would be interested in the actual non drug company backed analysis of the dangers of the plant.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/25/AR2006052501729.html

Cigarettes/Cigars, Alcohol, Firearms, and other weapons are all legal, leading to an astounding level of deaths and overall degradation in society. So the argument that allowing the free use of marijuana will lead to children believing drugs are ok and destroying their fragile little minds is moot and unfounded.

Amazing how little control we have over our little republic...

Dirk Hanson said...

Jonathan--

Seems a bit, I don't know, inconsistent, doesn't it? One might even call it hypocritical.

Anonymous said...

People who use drugs, use drugs. It would not stop with marijuana but would escalate further. It is a horrible thing to legalize it as it has no benefit truly. Our poor children are confused enough and have enough troubles with growing up in a failing society now. Why give them another easy out. It is our downfall today. Medicinal marijuana - I KNOW that there are other medications that could produce the same relief that are not illegal. There is just no real argument.

minniebarker said...

Jonathan,
If there was no profit, the drug cartels wouldn't invest so much time, money, effort, and manpower into farming it.

Alcohol and tobacco are far more harmful and addictive than marijuana. Alcohol users are more likely to be unruly and violent, while marijuana users are pleasant and easy going. People who over-use marijuana can usually walk away with very little effect, while over-users of alcohol and cigarettes face excruciating detox periods if they try to quit.

Legalize it, farm it, regulate it, tax it. Use the money to go after serious and violent criminals.

minniebarker said...

Oh, and btw,
If pot users had a legal source, it would dry up the illegal pot market for the drug cartels. I realize that doesn't solve the meth or crack or coke issues, but those are a whole different ballgame.

Anonymous said...

how the fuck can a plant be a crime what the fuck is wrong with smokin pot nothing at all leagliz it

Anonymous said...

if a certian plant is legal why do we have flowers and all that shit? what the fuck? salvia is legal and it has worse effects then marijuana. so just fuckin legalize the good stuff yo!

Anonymous said...

I'm a marijuana user myself and I don't see shit wrong with it. I've smoked it since I was 11 years old and yet I attend a university and am majoring in physical science it has had no affect on my grades or permanetly "permafried" my mind there is a small percentage of ppl in the us that don't smoke so just make the shit legal!

Anonymous said...

I'm a marijuana user myself and I don't see shit wrong with it. I've smoked it since I was 11 years old and yet I attend a university and am majoring in physical science it has had no affect on my grades or permanetly "permafried" my mind there is a small percentage of ppl in the us that don't smoke so just make the shit legal!

Dirk Hanson said...

"I'm a marijuana user myself and I don't see shit wrong with it"
-------

So? What's your point? Millions of Americans smoke pot without getting addicted to it. Nothing special about that. What's interesting is your lack of sympathy for the minority of smokers who get addicted to pot and go through hell and back to get clean. Maybe spare a thought for the people who aren't as lucky as you?

Anonymous said...

@Dirk Hanson:

Yeah, so should we illegalize cigarrettes and alcohol which have much worse withdrawal effects than pot?

Pot has an unneccessary bad vibe surrounding it. I also smoke and go to college and do fine! Why should we have to suffer the criminilization of the drug when some people have a hard time breaking the habit? Why don't we give the same treatment to alcohol and tobacco in that case?

Some people simply have more addictive personalities than others. It's a fact of life.

Jerrell said...

I am a user that has quit. I have never had a withdraw. Not a part of me was affected by quitting except proving the point that there is no physician addiction to marijuana. They say that it makes you lazy and nonfunctional. I felt more compiled to go to school because i was much less bored. I am very ADD so maybe a medical substance that made it more appealing to go to school but as a whole people are calmer, less violent, and more eager to learn new interesting things. I got more done high then i ever do now. People are scared of what might happen to kids, slap an age limit on it. Ether way they're going to do it. I drank before I was 21 and it will continue that way for all time. They will learn for themselves like it has happened for, lets see, all time. Jobs can drug test if they don't want that type of person working for them. It's not hard to say a drug test is required. If they don't want to pay for it, then they don't care enough to make it a requirement. Quit destroying our freedoms to control a little more of society. I love the books and movies that have the robots halting the freedoms of humans for their "own good". And the hero get their freedoms back. We need a hero. Thank you to the congress men putting their reputations on the line to be a hero.

Anonymous said...

I believe Frank is proposing to sell an ounce at around $50. Anyone who smokes knows an ounce of GOOD weed is atleast $300+ for the chronic stuff. Now $50 compared to the $300 is a very cheaper price... so cheap that common people would not spend their time growing marijuana. Think about it, marijuana is so profitable because its EXPENSIVE, and is so expensive because it's ILLEGAL. If it were legalized, it would probably be just over the price for a pack of cigarettes... probably $6 or $7 for a pack! At that rate no one besides large manufacturing marijuana companies (once legal) will be the only ones making profit.

Think about industrialization and factories if you look back in the old days - it's not worth anyone's time to grow a couple plants because they will only make a couple hundred on FULLY GROWN plants. Compared to large factories will be making a profit.

Legalizing marijuana and selling it CHEAP is a very good idea, and Frank expects to make $1Billion/year off of his $50/ounces! That will economically save California!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but anyone who thinks for one second it is up to the government what we do with our bodies is redicolous! I don't want to be told that I'm a criminal for smoking a freakin' joint! I'm a tax paying citizen I take it very personal when someone tries to tell me marijuana should be illegal! Also giving someone a felion for a drug charge is BS to! I cna't believe what we are doing to the Anerican people same as you and I... They pay taxes, not all are scum bags, just like with alcohol your going to have abusers but we need to find a better way to handle this problem! By the way, the number of people doing drugs has stayed the same since the 1930s when drug prohibition started! It's just been the biggest waste of money EVER! We are raging war on our friends and family, because I know damn well just about anyone reading this knows someone, or knew someone with a drug problem that was just like YOU! Don't hand me this crap about our children our children! If your a good parent you'll keep your kid away, and if he/she decides to do it down the road it being illegal doesn't STOP ANYONE! WAKE UP! If you think marijuana should be illegal then we need to just go ahead and illegalize alcohol to damn it! I'm sick of the arrguement that pot is a gateway drug because if your going to arrgue that point with me cigarettes should be illegal also because it's like smoking a joint! Cigarettes are a link to pot which is a link to drugs, which intitled could be a gateway to a gatewat drug! So screw that arrguement!

Freben said...

"What's interesting is your lack of sympathy for the minority of smokers who get addicted to pot and go through hell and back to get clean. Maybe spare a thought for the people who aren't as lucky as you?"

@dirk hanson: you best be trollin fool, seeing as there is no way of getting addicted to weed, any more than there is a way to get addicted to chocolate or sex or exercising. there is no physical addiction you moron. people like you are the reason weed is still illegal. you talk as if there is a small portion of people who get horribly addicted to weed, and they have to go thru rehab and shit? anyone who thinks they are addicted to weed is a tool, and they have no willpower of their own. watch half baked or ask bob saget.

Dirk Hanson said...

Check out this site where hundreds of pot smokers describe the basics of marijuana withdrawal for you. No point in being ignorant:

http://addiction-dirkh.blogspot.com/2007/10/marijuana-withdrawal.html

Freben said...

you are the ignorant one sir. you can only have withdrawls from something that is PHYSICALLY addictive. succumbing to a mental want of something does not mean there is any chemistry involved, it means you have a WEAK MIND. learn the fuckin difference

Anonymous said...

Very True, there is no known physical addiction to marijuana at ALL! The people you are refering to, have extreme addictive personalities. They probably use other things often too. There is NO SUCH THING AS MARIJUANA WITHDRAWL!! THAT IS A FACT!! Its just that Marijuana is CHEAP, not expensive!! Easy to find!! Unless you have no friends you don't pay the 300 an ounce price. Also, the government spends an estimated 30billion anually fighting the drug. Thats 30 billion that could be doing something else!!! Like pullin this shitty economy together. The university of berkeley, did a studing which had statistics stating that around 80% of the US has used or does use marijuana habitually. No real uses you say . . . hmmmm. . . Eating disorders, Crohns disease, other gastrointestinal autoimmune deficiencies, sleeping disorders, severe anxiety disorders, severe pain relief, cataracts and glaucoma, just to name a few! Now, harms that we know of: the carinogens in marijuana have not at all been proven to cause cancer, however extended marijuana use can cause emphysema as with any inhaled smoke. Also even though it helps with anxiety, extended use can actually be found to have the reverse effect and cause anxiety. Last but not least, if the synapsis in the brain is at low activity during marijuana use, than short term memeory loss can occur. Basically this means if you don't stay mentally active reading or doing whatever while using marijuana, it can make you dumb. As things have to go through the short term memory to get to the long term. More Pros, the plant its self is very strong and effecient for industrial use. The seed from the plant also produces an oil not that different from petrolium. You know what that means? If legalized labs could check into energy use of the oil! So before you speak, you should get the TRUE facts and put them on your scale to weigh the pros and cons.

Also I would like to point out that 6 months ago I had full reconstructive surgery on my labrum and rotator(Shoulder). I was on both morphine and oxycodone(percocet) for my pain. Both would either make me extremely hyper as opiates do or I would crash and fall asleep. I was on both for a period of 3 months. Opiates have Real withdrawls even when used right. Withdrawls in which your body attacks itself. Plus they didn't do that good of a job. To limit the opiates destructive possibilities, I got some White Widow(indica). Two pinch hits and my pain was gone, I could function normally. That helps since I'm a single parent. I don't need all of the side effects of an opiate. the real drug of america that is called a Plague on the streets. One that does cause crime!! IF your in pain from an opiate, you will do anything you can to stop it. Its animal instinct, fight or flight mode. If a person feels like theyre dying, theyre gonna do whatever they have to. Then there is the issue with Mexico that would disappear if Marijauna was leaglized.

In this time of despiration I say regulate and tax it!! Stick an age limit on it! Military and other organizations could simply say we don't want our people using it. They have the legal right to do so.I have more on this topic but I think I've said enough. Oh, btw this is coming from someone with a 186 IQ, a member of MENSA, and a Anesthesiologist for Saint Louis University Hospital. One of the elite hospitals in the world. I have used marijuana since the age of 16. Remember next time you or your kid are injured and need surgery, the one controling if you wake up or not, smokes Pot!

Anonymous said...

alcohol is a drug and we teach our children that for adults it's okay. how would we be teaching them that drugs are okay by legalizing weed when we already do with alcohol and caffine? also, there are plenty of ways for the government to tax and make money off of weed. if it was a federal product where individual sale would be illegal, you'd have to buy your weed from the government and they'd tax you. dont be stupid about legalizing something that is less dangerous than alcohol and that would bring billions of dollars into our governemt. the war on drugs is killing more people than it's saving and in my opinion it's a bunch of bullshit. Also you idiots who think its physically addictive...how stupid are you? it is in no way physically addictive and you need to get your facts straight. try saying something again once you become more educated. Don't be stupid, legalize it!

Anonymous said...

marijuana motivates some ppl helps them with depression never killed no one help some ppl sleep or eat its not addicting how many time you hear about ppl smokeing weed then geting in a fight ? none you see and hear about ppl doing it with Alcohol sex is better i could go all day Alcohol is more a drug than weed is
and if its legal then kids will not be buying laced weed from drug dealers nor would they be haveing conversations with them about other drugs witch could lead them in to trying them come one ppl use commen sence legalize the shit then pack a bowl and smokeing it and try i pet youl be happyer

Anonymous said...

i do agrees marijuana should be legal but like with smokes and berr there should be an age limit lets face the more you tell ppl no the more they want something its the oldest story in the book man whats what he cant have. now im not going to say im a saint or nothing like that but i do pay my taxes i go to church and work and when i get home a little marijuana helps me relax. its no different then comming home to a nice cold beer. i really dont like to drink myself but to each his own. and as for marijuana being a gateway drug that is the biggest load of BS i have ever heard. i have been somking since i was 13 and never not once not even after that whole peer preasure thing did i try any thing other then marijuana. and i have seen alot of christians sticking up there nose at the though of marijuana but what they fail to realize it tells you in the bible to consume marijuana Genesis 1:29. The Authorized Version.
And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed;
and on top of that Botanically and scripturally marijuana is a herb, a food. It is one of the finest of foods. Of all the plants in the world the seed of marijuana is second in protein only to soy beans. marijuana seeds are the only food that provides essential amino acids and essential fatty acids in the ratio that is optimal for the human body. Humans can and have survived in robust health by eating marijuana seeds. The oil that is pressed from the seed has more polyunsaturated essential fatty acids than any other known oil. marijuana dosent make you voilent if anything it helps calm you down and for ppl like me with ADD it helps me focus. when i was in school my grades started to slip and i got depressed then i got high one day before class with a friend and i was actally about to focus. i continued to do this each day before class and let me tell you with in a week my teach told me she had never seen such a turn around in grades. so LEGALIZE it.

Cody Johnson said...

Half these jamokes talking about marijuana is so bad for you and this and that....Well hit the blunt one time and tell me what is so wrong about this.Can't sleep smoke a little,can't eat,stomache hurt,pains,etc., marijuana can help all these things.Instead of taken this pill for this and that pill for that,You can just get the pack of swisser and make it all better.Marijuana is half our problem, I'm a resident of Florida and the cops down here have to drive past 3 crack houses 2 meth factories just to get a little ole pot grower.And why is it called "WEED" anyway, isn't that like a nucince plant.Mary jane is one of the most sought after and cultivated plants in the world but yet there ain't no money in it right? But dopeboys are out in the middle of a resesion and having to spend 20 to 40 grand on their cars so they can get rid of the extra money they have from this no profitable plant. If you ain't tried it don't knock it and if your not gonna try it then sit back shut your mouth and let the rest of us.....Because in my America it's always 420!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts about the marijuana laws. I feel there are more serious crimes that can be more focus on. Our jails over crowd wit non-violent marijuana offenders and gets place into the same jails wit real career criminals, killers, and child offenders. This issue should be taken serious. It is a proven fact it is very easy for anyone including our younger community to get marijuana and I feel with regulating this issue like tobacco would save lives retaining it could stop some tobacco use which is proven this kills but we tax and sell it to our community knowing the effects. I do not understand it. Alcohol and tobacco kills a mass majority of people everyday but we continue to distribute these products. There are no reported deaths of marijuana users and I think it is just sad that we have been lied to concerning this issue and money was spent publicizing it in a negative way and by doing this many people actually believe it. I feel subjects 18 yrs of age and older are able to make there own decisions of marijuana use but I especially feel people who suffer disease, pains, headaches, depression, etc. should really be able to be prescribed medical marijuana. I am a resident of Georgia and I advice everyone to research medical marijuana laws in our states who have handled this situation like serious adults and put the negativity aside and look at the facts I believe this can and will eliminate a large majority of the drug war also percentage show big profit of marijuana sales and is non- harmful but its illegal. We will stop drug cartel that only care about profits when this can be proper studied and medically diagnosed to people in a responsible way. Thanks for this opportunity again and I would love to hear your feed back concerning these issues and think about by slowing down criminal activity by eliminating this element from the drug war we save lives. Be free.

Anonymous said...

WTF.

I am wasted on beer right now. We should tax the hell out of marijuana an legalize it. We can't win the war so lets remove the criminals from the production of it....

Anonymous said...

our government has not failed the drug war.... they just found 1000 ways for it not to work out hahahahahhahahaha LEGALIZE IT

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"People who use drugs, use drugs. It would not stop with marijuana but would escalate further. It is a horrible thing to legalize it as it has no benefit truly. Our poor children are confused enough and have enough troubles with growing up in a failing society now. Why give them another easy out. It is our downfall today. Medicinal marijuana - I KNOW that there are other medications that could produce the same relief that are not illegal. There is just no real argument."
my on the situation:
everyone has their opinion about pot, the sad thing is the people with the least experience and knowledge with this plant have the most say in the countries opinion of the plant.

Anonymous said...

how can mary jane not be profitable if tabacco is?
the society is falling
the goverment taxing mary jane
witch a lot of people would buy
would stimulate the economy
and everyone would be relaxed
of corse people should use it in moderation just like everything else
but everyone could go home and get stoned and relax
the only reason it was illegalized in the first place was because texans noticed illagel immergrants smoked it so they said it would be an easy way to catch them
at first states had the power and texans were still like no
so eventually it was federaly illegalized

Anonymous said...

seems like none of you know the true history about how cannabis became illegal. in the early 1900's Mexican immigrants living in the south west region farmed it because it had many uses. for one hemp was a competitor with lumber companies for paper making, rope (hemp). so the government didn't want the immigrants living there, and lobbyist of lumber and paper companies started a smear campaign, giving citizens wrong info about marijuana. politics. sad. so many great uses and rich beaurocrats always wanting to do anything to keep other people and competitors, free enterprise so they keep all the money.

bigballer23 said...

well lets think about this. marry jane has never killed any one has it or caused a diseases right. the only reason it is a gain wait drug is because the dealer you have to buy it from 9 times ouf 10 sell other drugs so you think why not try it. i think pot should be legal but only to an extent that it should be sold in certian locations. that it shouldnt be smoked publicly or any one under the age of 16 sshouldnt be aloud to smoke it. you all wonder why i put 16 right? well thats when it is rasy to access for any one really it is because i am some 16 year old i am 32. i am a father of 4 a 6 8 10 15 are my children ages an well it has never beeen that bad of a drug. native american use to smoke it TOBACCO WASNT THE ONLY THING GOIN IN THERE PEACE PIPE NOW WAS IT IF YOU WERE NOT AWARE OF THAT!

Anonymous said...

I will add this blog to my favorites, it is great.

Anonymous said...

marijuana is less dangerous to you and the people around you than alchohal and for some reason its illegal and alchohal isnt

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