Members of Congress To Introduce Federal Measures To Legalize Cannabis, Regulate Sales

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director February 5, 2013

    rethinklogohd1Members of Congress will introduce historic legislation today to permit for the regulated production and retail sales of cannabis to adults in states that have legalized its consumption.

    Representative Jared Polis, (D-CO) is sponsoring legislation that seeks to regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol.

    Separate legislation to be introduced by Rep. Earl Bluemenauer (D-OR) seeks to establish a federal tax structure for retail cannabis production and sales.

    Both Representatives, along with drug policy reform advocates, will discuss these measures at a teleconference this afternoon.

    “When residents of Colorado and Washington voted to end their state’s prohibition on marijuana last November, it was a watershed moment for our nation’s move towards sane marijuana laws,” said NORML Communications Director Erik Altieri, who will be speaking at today’s teleconference. “But there remains a lingering conflict between state and federal law. These historic measures seek to resolve this conflict and empower states to dictate their own marijuana policies, without fear of federal incursion. NORML would like to thank the Congressmen for taking this brave step forward and encourages their colleagues in Congress to join them in calling for sensible marijuana law reform.”

    Both Representatives have also released a report today outlining the need for federal marijuana law reform, titled “A Path Forward: Rethinking Federal Marijuana Policy.” The report states that “it is time for Congress to allow states and voters to decide how they want to treat marijuana. The current system is broken. It wastes resources and destroys individual lives, in turn damaging families and entire communities. It is past time to take action and stop this tragic waste in the future.”

    Members of Congress will also call for the establishment of a Congressional Working Group on Sensible Drug Policy.

    You can read the full text of that paper here.

    Please check back the NORML website later this afternoon for further details regarding today’s press conference.

    91 Responses to “Members of Congress To Introduce Federal Measures To Legalize Cannabis, Regulate Sales”

    1. Jessie says:

      Erik, McCain is a supporter of legalization

    2. Stan says:

      We need to free the weed. Prohibition is making the criminals wealthy. Our country can benefit from many uses of the marijuana plant. It time our government wakes up and reaps the billions of dollars in revenue from the recreational, industrial and many other uses this plant has to offer. God made cannabis for us. Who are we to argue with god? I will everyone would open their minds. Stop spending money trying to fight the battle against marijuana. It will always be around forever, reap the cash and medicinal benefits from it.

    3. BW says:

      You democrat lovers need to get your heads out of your asses. Dems have had plenty of chances to do things properly, but suck just as bad as the repubs.

      FFS, stop drinking the damn koolaid. You look foolish when you bash one party and love on the other…. both are equally responsible for the current state of affairs.
      To say anything different just perpetuates our political issues.

      Seriously, I bet alot of you fuckers even think obama matters lol.

    4. Jason says:

      I just don’t understand why Congress would cite all these reasons why Marijuana is harmful and even go so far as to say “it could affect children” when alcohol has been killing children by means of intoxicated drivers since its’ initial inception. A poor argument.

    5. Will says:

      Its about time our nation at least discussed marijuana policy reforms. Alot of people have been waiting for this. Personally I’m not sure it will pass but it is a start, I also wonder how much the budget deficit has had to do with this new measure being introduced.

    6. Nutzak says:

      $7/g tax

    7. Mordikai says:

      Finally we are having progress. After all this time trying to get someone to reconize tht this is a bigger pain than it is a help to this economy. I really hope that it gets legalized here in the U.S. I have gone over the numbers in what we get from the gov’t for the prison population in comparison to what we would get from taxing it and we would get more money from taxing it…so why haven[t we done it…i’ll tell you why because we have dumb people where we should have more intellegent people. We also have to make it to where they do for the nation as a whole instead of doing for just themselves. But I am glad to hear that someone has reconized the issue as it is and is doing something about it. Congratulations and keep it up.

    8. Tom says:

      see now heres the problem with 7$ a gram thats 196$ an ounce witch all the way up is 3136$ a pound now i know some people that pick up 1800$ a pound half that if 2 people were go on it thats 900$ for 8 ounces alone cut that in to 4 people thats 450 for qps of high quality stuff alone thats the big problem cant compete with the black market they lose cant even imagin what that person is geting it for that dose 1800 for that so all being said i say 100$ an ounce 50$ a 1/2 25$ a 1/4 15$ or 20$ 1/8 no grams puts all illgal marijuana dealers including cartell out of bissness and i would like to see tabbacco illegal instead of regular dutches lets make hemp duches and hemp papers and hemp everthing to fuel,contrution,clothes its funny alot of people say were a long time away from hemp powered cars when it was done in the fortys so i say thats bull i know people who use greese for fuel and if thats the case are they saying were more stupid now then back then thats bull making a billon doller cash crop illegal that never killed anyone and helps with just about just every problem the us has thats bull a plant that could put millons back to work if enough revenue was made and get us out of dept i think its time for people that oppose and most people in congress to wake up and relize why oppose it and why keep millons of people out of work?? oh because of a public health problem even though most of are foods have GMO witch is linked to cancer and the tooth paste we put in our mouths and the water we drink have has foride in them both witch lowers IQ not to mention tobacco or alcohol killing enough people as it is and they wanna talk about marijuana causing health problems oh but what a awsome coutry we live in right?? i could all day but i think im done for the day and like always thank you people of normal doing the right thing!

    9. Take it off the schedule! It is not and should not be listed as a schedule I drug. That would make a big difference. No more excuses.

    10. Evening Bud says:

      @ BW,

      It’s true that Democrats have done plenty of things in the past to warrant your criticism. And in many ways they are just as much in the pockets of the lobbyists as Repubs.

      But to insinuate that they’re exactly the same is complete foolishness, and an indicator that you only pay superficial attention to what is going on in our govt. You, or your father, or grandfather, can still count on getting that Social Security check every month–thanks solely to Dems!

      I won’t waste my time explaining all the ways in which the two parties are different. But I will say that Democrats, by and large, support MJ legalization far more so than do Repubs. They even support it in greater percentages than independents. If not for Democrats, you’d probably have to wait another 10-20 years for even the slightest hope of MJ legalization.

      You might wanna think about that next time you consider a harangue.

    11. This is about time, just have to vote the right people into office that are pro weed.

      Its time to stand up and tell them what WE want!

      I personally contacted Marty Flynn, D PA. And asked him where he stood on legalizing weed.

      He wrote me back more surprized I think than anything.. Surprised that I would stand up and actually say something about the issue!

      That tells me that no one is talking to him about it at all. He even continued on to commend me on voicing my opinion and said he wished more people would come forward and speak up for what they wish.

      Time to get our heads outta the Sand !!

    12. Stone Mountain says:

      Yes there are problems with this bill, the tax is just one, in fact as it stands I don’t support it. That said it’s not going anywhere this session, but it’s intent I doubt is to actually pass but to start the conversation and gain test the waters for gaining support for future efforts and in that it’s a useful device.

    13. patti holthaud says:

      I’m hoping to ” free the weed” in every state ..soon .I have chronic pain..anxiety..and use. Weed daily ..also if gov would stop and think of the tax money that can help at every point …

    14. Stan says:

      Taxing Marijuana is going to be hard. When it finally becomes legal I will grow my own for my use only. Most people would prefer to buy from a dealer, because they don’t know how to grow a quality 20% to 25% thc plant. However if the government tries to screw growers by charging a 50% tax (that will just be passed on to the consumer)consumers will learn to grow their own, due to cost. Marijuana should be taxed equally with cigarettes, when sold like cigarettes, and equally with tobacco when sold by weight. More tax will simply create another black market.

    15. Ben says:

      I agree with Stone Mountain-

      IF it is a well-written first-round attempt to test the waters, then I am all for it.

      The taxation should fall in lines with tobacco. Tobacco is taxed fairly heavily, yet isn’t smothered in the process.

      While the general public is not likely to gain a clear understanding that cannabis is better for the populace than tobacco- we can at least hope to get the legalization started with that supposed equality. It would, at least, be a good start…

      It would be a shame to see exorbitant taxes crush it, last thing needed is IRS goon squads looking for moonshiners and farmers…

      I wonder what the taxes, by weight, of tobacco is? (And it being a KNOWN contributer to societal woes and healthcare costs)

    16. joe says:

      The dumb hillbillies from the States in the South may never legalize . They are too dumb in the South to know it only makes good sense .

    17. Chaz Z says:

      As Congress realize the financial conundrum they are facing, they will be looking to shore up money to save the day, good old Mary J and hemp have a very strong possibility in getting us back on track. The Demi’s a d Publicans both know its a failed policy but, just like $16 trillion in debt, they want to play politics.

    18. wbs 101 says:

      Agree with 3rd post political parties are brainwashing and their only purpose is to divide us. All parties should set aside their difference and unite against our common enemy the federal government controlled by corporatism.

    19. Alex says:


    20. Michael Miller says:

      If the entire country legalized the Herb, we could feed every every hungry man, woman, and child and still have tons of cash left over for education and infrastructure. Millions of sick people could use was a cheap and EFFECTIVE medicine that HAS NO SIDE EFFECTS. Hemp oil CURES cancer. Juicing raw Cannabis and smoking it helps to prevent it.

    21. Michael Miller says:

      I post this stuff as if all the readers don’t already know lol.

    22. Lou says:

      We should also start thinking about sending to jail everyone who has been involved in sending pot users to jail. Cops, prosecutors, judges, politicians: Lock them up in retaliation for the evil they have done to thousands of citizens.

    23. Stone Mountain says:

      Joe – Comments like that do no help, and I might add in light of the recent close vote in AR, and efforts underway in AL and to a much lessor extent GA make your comment look foolish.

      Stan – you said “When it finally becomes legal I will grow my own for my use only.”, I wanted to let you know that under H.R. 501 you would be defined as a “producer” for a home grow, necessitating registration and related fees, and if you consumed your own product, you would owe tax on such. Yet another problem with H.R. 501 – no safe harbor is defined for a home\personal grow tax wise. As the bill reads you would effectively be treated as a moonshiner and subject to similar penalties and fines.

    24. Yeah, well, they were just doing their jobs, like we asked them too.. The people made it Illegal, not the cops.. Now its time for the people to make it LEGAL. Just like Alcohol back in the 1930’s.

      Just keep passing the word and speaking up about it ! We WILL BE Heard, LOUDLY and Clear.

    25. Emma says:

      A few things to ponder. 1) letting “potheads” out of Prison if they were carrying < 1 oz. = money saving for budget.
      2) Profit by taxing the product. Simple use ABC rules. = money saving for budget
      3)Less court time, = money saving for budget.

      Last but not LEAST!!! Help for all the people that will gain physical relief from using it leagally. Less stress on their already immune suppressed bodies.

    26. nydlstrick says:

      @Emma, Why the quotes around Potheads? I agree with all your points except the slang names. Why not just call us what we are users, patients,etc. When folks enjoy a glass of there favorite drink do we call them “Bottleheads”. The sooner we cut down on the derogatory name calling. We give our opponents less verbal ammo, IMHO…

    27. nydlstrick says:

      What my original post was going to say was.
      YEAH government greed is actually going to try to work for us? With all the cuts to budgets across the country. We all know that both government and big corps are going to find any way they can to get into our pockets. Even if they have to repeal laws that are 80+ years old. Which I don’t mind if they actually help us and keep the taxes within reason. Even if they do try to tax us to death (or greater than alcohol). The Black Market that has been operating since prohibition will still be there. My personal stance “Grow your own” done right nothing tastes sweeter than a crop you grew and harvested properly.
      But 1st lets see if 2 politicians can turn into 20 then 200. I’m 52 and have waited 36 years to hear news like this.

    28. Bruce_Indica says:

      America and all states need to legalize it. Pills and alcohol are destroying this country when this plant can change life’s. They lock you up for a plant and then people use fake spice shit that destroys there mind its time we wake up.

    29. TwistedSchism says:

      Sometimes I put a piece of pie in my cereal
      You guys should try that out
      I went with apple pie and cornflakes

    30. michael says:

      Can the tears of joy flow yet?

    31. Anonymous says:

      Just make it legal its causting to much to house all the inmates that keep offending time after time. Canafa will save a shit load of money. It could be put to better use like feeding starving people around canada keep our weed in canada. And trying to say its like booze. Well ya should pull your head out of your ass cause its not the same. I smoke weed every day. Not drink. So really how can u conpare it just not logic at all

    32. Michael Miller says:

      Cannabis prohibition is criminal. I see drunk people and I can’t believe how stupid they act. Drink up idiots. It’s legal.

    33. real says:

      time to legalize and give amnesty to all those in jail because of pot

    34. Yana says:

      I live in CA. Opened a storefront and was arrested by our county DA. I am 60 years old with a disabling illness, I watched my husband of 30 years die of cancer. My 2 sisters and I opened a health co-op, we offered many healing avenues for our pt. had a nurse on sight to help pt. dose for themselves. As of today we have been fighting this alone for two years as even our pt are afraid to support us in court. I have lost my life saving, my home and what was left of my health. I have never been a criminal before. I am ashamed for this country, D & R both have failed us. This was a fight I knew may have to fight when we opened our doors and I stand proud in spite of the hardships, becuz IT IS TIME TO STAND UP. If we live in fear, we die in fear. Freedom is not just a word. The thing is we did not break any CA law, and this is how our gov. protects it’s law abiding citizens.

    35. Razr says:

      Turning a productive, tax paying citizen into a criminal, for weekend, social smoking of marijuana, really should be the crime. What a waste of city, state and federal resources. Meanwhile here in Houston, we have a backlog of around 20 yrs., on hundreds of rape cases that we are unable to test because we don’t have the funds available for rape kits. WTF happen to priorities? Politics, that’s what. Lady justice weeps…….the cycle continues in the name of career advancement and personal monitary gain. This is where the real intervention should be focused. To the powers that be, its painfully obvious you’re not familiar with the word dignity, how about integrity? Let me guess, your hands are tied. Yea………….it’s shameful. From where I stand, it sucks to be you. Small dose of reality for ya, Southern style. Razr, Houston

    36. robert says:

      For it is the tree of life so free it now!!!

    37. Robert M says:

      What we have here is momentum. Nothing is written in stone yet so all of the rhetoric about taxes and fees and who can and cannot grow etc., is just silly. It will be up to each state to create their own set of laws and regulations which is the point of the article and the potential pending legislation. To coin a phrase, “we aren’t out of the woods yet”. But again, and let’s be clear here, we have momentum and that is a nice change and hopefully for the better. Stay tuned and remember to actually cast a vote when the time comes or it all means nothing. And in the meantime, be a responsible cannabis user so there isn’t any cause to slow this momentum down. Peace.

    38. greg r. says:

      58 now retired worked n paid taxs since 16. Smoked weed daily .not a criminal,diabetic do not drink alcohol which is like hard drugs. Never caused an accident or injured anyone. Weed does help control my diabetes. Unfortunately, I have to get my weed from scary people n have been ripped off a few times.I wish my state will legalize weed so I don’t have to take chances when I purchase it. Legalizing and taxing it would also help my states budget. I have lots of friends like myself who are productive citizen’s and r not criminals. Keep up the fight NORMAL to end the crime of prohibition on the weed laws.

    39. Knighthawk says:

      “It will be up to each state to create their own set of laws and regulations which is the point of the article and the potential pending legislation.”

      Actually if this passed as written (which i agree it’s not going too) no it would not in many respect, states could certainly add there own restrictions and tax etc, but the federal laws would apply as well and irs would be after you if you were no in compliance with this federal legislation. The rest of that post I completely concur with though.

    40. Manoel Pires says:

      Congratulations America in particular Washington and Colorado – Legalizing marijuana consumption and production is the best alternative smarter fight crime cartels and raise billions in taxes.

      Here in Brazil the cartel’s daily crime drugs kill more than 100 people, we atrazados culture of freedom in production and consumption of marijuana, we have over 2 million users of marijuana.

    41. peteski72 says:

      We live in a small State. One of the counties stated reasons they had against allowing dispensary in its community.
      1, it would attrack criminals and a less than reputable types
      2. It will raise the crime rate (robbery)
      How can anyone ever make such absurd comments. Every storefront has a potential to be robbed. Personally I’d go for jewels,but that’s just me.
      also, there is a huge number of criminals selling drugs everywhere. Taking weed sales away from them has many advantages.selling and cultivating mu is a huge boost to any community.

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