Congress’ Continued Disconnect on Marijuana Prohibition

  • by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director March 7, 2013

    Among the many hundreds of public policy concerns that Americans care and act upon, what are the top policy concerns in Congress for which citizens search?

    -Military spending?
    -Reproduction Rights?
    -National Deficit?
    -Drones Used In Domestic Law Enforcement?

    None of these supposedly political hot button topics were at the top of a newly created list by Thomas (the online interface the public has with Congressional legislation, run by the Library of Congress).

    According to the March 6 print edition of The Hill, the new marijuana legalization legislation introduced by Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) was the second most popular legislation that citizens have searched on in the previous week (second only to the white hot issue of pending gun control legislation).

    Gun, pot bills attract the most attention online
    By Bob Cusack

    It’s a Top 10 list that will never make David Letterman’s show, but it reveals that people are very interested in guns and marijuana. A relatively new feature on the Library of Congress THOMAS site is a Top 10 list of bills searched on Congress’s official website.

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) measure to ban assault weapons has the top spot with Rep. Earl Blumenauer’s (D-Ore.) bill to allow states to legalize medical marijuana in second place.

    However, despite the popularity for marijuana law reform in America, will the leaders in the House allow even a subcommittee hearing on the Blumenauer bill (or the near half dozen other marijuana law reform bills—which range from legalization to banking regulation reform to decriminalization to sentencing reform to industrial hemp)?

    Aren’t elected officials supposed to listen, deliberate and respond to public advocacy—long festering public advocacy, in the case for cannabis law reform going back almost forty-five years—rather than be silent and oppositional?

    Who do they work for? Who pays their salaries? Who is ‘wise’ enough to both elect them to power and also want substantive cannabis law reforms? Why disrespect citizens’ concerns in a democracy?

    The phenomena of ‘malevolent neglect’ specific to cannabis law reform is not of course unique to the legislative branch as President Obama has laughed off basically the number one asked question at his so-called electronic town meetings from the beginning of his presidency.

    The empirical data (all measurable from public surveys to citizen vote totals to public interest with reform legislation to Internet traffic on reform vs. prohibitionist webpages) is clear and elected officials—from all political parties—are rue to ignore it: Ending cannabis prohibition is a major political concern for Americans.

    88 Responses to “Congress’ Continued Disconnect on Marijuana Prohibition”

    1. tim says:

      I don’t think it’s even the lobbyists that are the problem even though people are quick to blame them. They are called lobbyists because these people “hang out” in the lobby of govt office bldgs, waiting for their influence target.

      But these people don’t act on their own. They are paid shills, paid by the individuals who want changes and laws altered to suit them. The lobbyists don’t get anything but a flat-rate salary for “contributing” and bribing their way to influence the decisions of elected officials who depend on more money to remain in office, as *career politicians.* They can’t and won’t do anything else and they vote to give themselves raises and vote down any suggestion of TERM LIMITS. Elected officials don’t become more effective with time and experience, they become more jaded and greedy, learning how to manipulate the system better to suit their needs.

      Elected officials. Most are lawyers. Most desire greatly to remain in office forever as perpetual incumbents. While in office, they change the laws to suit themselves, for their benefit, when they leave “public service” and go back to law, where they’ve adjusted and changed the laws to suit themselves. Most return to law practice after scandals, extra-marital, bribery, sexting little boys, or just plain corruption.

      Lobbyists are not some evil predators who corrupt politicians who are naive, innocent victims. The politicians love the lobbyists, they are the same if not worse. Although that may be a generalization since I know there are some officials who cannot be bought out or would sell their integrity, but it’s true for the vast majority.

      Career politicians are the scum of the society. The lobbyists just encourage them, they don’t create the scum.

    2. Terri says:

      I think the drug lobbyists pay very well to keep these positicians from voting the will of the people in this matter, the drug lobbyists, and the for profit prisons, this is and always has been a racket, and they’re going to do it despite your vote, they’ll just rig the election to win anyways, look at Pennsylvania look at other states. If folks would bring to their attention more the fact it might produce a surplus in taxes instead of a recess on their state funding due to paying for the prisons, it might get done

    3. For the people who fight pain every day, I couldn’t belive the sheriff in florida taking the Ladies medication (that’s right I said medication) my god if was her docter I would be amazed at how well she doing on medical mariquana she has been able to get rid of nine of her ten (doctor perscribed meds) if that’s not a miricle in medicine then what is! Being a lab rat for big pharm, yes doc the free trips for someone health nice. I’m not saying all meds are bad because their clearly their not. But no longer is marijuana ( In the dark ) so please bring into the light! And let us all benifit from it. If its done with love, compassion and openess to the truth all the truth and nothing but the truth! So please leglize mariquana for the people. It means jobs , money for our communitys , taxs for schools, hospitals not mention the lives it will change for people who so desperately need it for pain relief , legally and safely. Thank you for your ( yes ) vote. God Bless

    4. skye hi vehr says:

      I invented the smoke trapper it is a FILTER FOR THE BURNING END and in public we use it all the time..Can you Please spread the word that this is what smoking in public has been waiting for a long long time perhaps forever.It is cpornstarcxh and cotton ad very light and shaped like a tube or a cloud to ensure best sucking…This is the law everything else is legal…

    5. Anonymous says:

      What about spiritual issues? Where is our freedom of religion? I know a number of people who use marijuana for spiritual development. Those “in power” have no right to tell me or anyone else how to develop our connection with spirit, or God, especially when done in the privacy of our own homes. It was one of the main reasons people sailed from England. Perhaps the states with reformed laws will find people “sailing” to their shores and states like Wisconsin will find people leaving for a freer existence.

    6. thepersuitofhappiness says:

      22 million americans smoke pot according to the latest documentary I saw.6,000 kids a day are trying it for the first time. In 2005,my son tried pot for the first time and repeated to me the same comment I made in 1975 the first time I got high.”The government is lying about pot”.As an honest parent who refuses to perpetuate the lies I had to agree with him. This is only the beginning of distrust of our government.Its time to stop intruding into our right to the pursuit of happiness in this arena.If any of our representatives have the balls to stand up and speak the truth there is a chance that the growing distrust of government could be turned around ,at least at the state level. Imagine that John Lennon!!RIP

    7. Dave Evans says:

      Mexweed, now I got you. Dude, you’re going thru lighters at such a high rate, you may as well buy a real vaporizer! You’ll save a lot of money man. I love my Arizer, it works so good, it is a dream machine. It will put the vapor into a bag for you and since you can control it so well you only have to use half of you do when you burn.

      You can literally fill one bag after another and pass them out, like at a party. The person can rebreath a couple times and toss it out. You get more herb per hit like this than hitting a bong since none of the active ingredients are being burned up. And there is so much vapor, you’ll want to rebreath a couple of times before releasing it. Also, trying to pass a bag just doesn’t work so good.

    8. RUT says:

      I think Norml should take a stand like the NRA does, rate the individual politicians and get our readers to vote accordingly. I think we are finding our politicians flat footed with this issue. They are going to ignore this issue if they can. It is hard to believe they want consultants on how to market weed. VOTE AGGRESSIVELY AGAINST POLITICIANS WHO ARE FOR PROHIBITION. DO NOT JUST RANT!

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