Members Of Congress Introduce First Federal Measure Since 1937 To Legalize The Adult Use Of Marijuana

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director June 23, 2011

    House lawmakers introduced legislation in Congress today to end the federal criminalization of the personal use of marijuana.

    The bipartisan measure, HR 2306 – entitled the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011and sponsored by Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank and Texas Republican Ron Paul along with Reps. Cohen (D-TN), Conyers (D-MI), Polis (D-CO), and Lee (D-CA) – prohibits the federal government from prosecuting adults who use or possess marijuana by removing the plant and its primary psychoactive constituent, THC, from the five schedules of the United States Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Under present law, all varieties of the marijuana plant are defined as illicit Schedule I controlled substances, defined as possessing ‘a high potential for abuse,’ and ‘no currently accepted medical use in treatment.’

    Said Rep. Frank, “Criminally prosecuting adults for making the choice to smoke marijuana is a waste of law enforcement resources and an intrusion on personal freedom. I do not advocate urging people to smoke marijuana, neither do I urge them to drink alcoholic beverages or smoke tobacco, but in none of these cases do I think prohibition enforced by criminal sanctions is good public policy.”

    The ‘Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act’ seeks to federally deregulate the personal possession and use of marijuana by adults. It marks the first time that members of Congress have introduced legislation to eliminate the federal criminalization of marijuana since the passage of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937.

    Language in this Act mimics changes enacted by Congress to repeal the federal prohibition of alcohol. Passage of this measure would remove the existing conflict between federal law and the laws of those sixteen states that allow for the limited use of marijuana under a physicians’ supervision. It would also allow state governments that wish to fully legalize and regulate the responsible use, possession, production, and intrastate distribution of marijuana for all adults to be free to do so without federal interference. (To date, lawmakers in six states have introduced legislation to legalize and regulate the adult use of cannabis, and separate statewide initiative measures are planned for 2012 in several additional states.)

    Speaking in support of the measure, NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre said, “The federal criminalization of marijuana has failed to reduce the public’s demand or access to cannabis, and it has imposed enormous fiscal and human costs upon the American people. It is time to end this failed public policy and to provide state governments with the freedom to enact alternative strategies — such as medicalization, decriminalization, and/or legalization — without running afoul of the federal law or the whims of the Department of Justice.”

    You can read the full text of Allen’s remarks from today’s press conference, which is being reported today by major news outlets nationwide, here.

    NORML, along with representatives from the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), and the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), worked closely with members of Congress in drafting the measure.

    Additional information regarding this measure is available from NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here.


    Below is video of co-sponsor Steven Cohen (D-TN) speaking on the House floor today in favor of HR 2306: Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011.

    185 Responses to “Members Of Congress Introduce First Federal Measure Since 1937 To Legalize The Adult Use Of Marijuana”

    1. […] has been a few weeks since a bipartisan coalition of legislators introduced HR 2306, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011, into the House of Representatives. […]

    2. Brandon says:

      Marijuana should be legalized for recreational use as its been proven in 1974 that marijuana prolongs life by 36% and helps you fend off against things such as tumors and cancer and other diseases out there and the smoke is only said to be 3% bad for your lungs and within time your lungs will heal so please tell me whats so bad about this miracle grown plant that god ahs sent us even since the apostles were around and how its cheap grown everywhere and can replace medicines and help people and save them money and relax and live a less stressful life so come on goverment why is there a prohibition on this? besides how the pharmacutical industry is afraid of it since its so cheap and people wont buy medicine as much and the timber industry will lose profit big deal americans deserve the right to live there life and how they please as america is the land of the free and yet that logo doesnt even seem to be heard anymore, its been forgotten.

    3. […] has been a few weeks since a bipartisan coalition of legislators introduced HR 2306, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011, into the House of Representatives. […]

    4. ambrjak says:

      In the grand schism of things,the fact that it is so hard to get the criminal stigma removed from cannabis,you have to consider that absolutely nothing in this country is done right. Everything is done with someones agenda in mind.If you want to cut to the chase on removing criminal prosecution of cannabis, just get on the ball and send Ron Paul a couple $$ and if he is lucky enough to get through the primary,vote for him in the general election. That will make short work of this whole mess. Amberjak

    5. annonymos says:

      I dont drink or smoke tobacco. I wanted a mental health professional to talk to to help with lifes problems from anger to saddnes. I was offered to take opiate base drugs by a nurse practioner mals who didnt want to listen to me just wanted to take their drugs.
      They were not intersted in talking just giving me a drug that nobody knows exactly how or why it works.
      They pushed a few times for me to take them.
      I didnt and stil dont want them.

      I wanted to talk. It turns out they wont help me because i smoke weed. I couuld drink 2 quarts of liquor every day and get help. But cant get help because of maijuana . it is ridiculus esp because it was only made illegal to rpotect lubmber , papaer compines and chemicla compaines because hemp takes onlyy 2 years to grow the samamount ofiber that trees take 20 yearsto grow. Also paper made from hemp does not need to be bleaches thus chemical companies loose money.

      I wanted someone just talk to I did not want their drugs and I do not need them because I have made great progress with changing i how I react to things.

      It is ridiculs that ,mental health care is refused because of this. All the medical treaments have been given by Doctors with knowledge of me smoking a number have stated how it should not be illegal .

      I wanted a professional ear ,a person who listens and helps you that is what I wanted and that was what is refused because of Me Smoking Marijuana.


    Leave a Reply