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

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

    Members 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. Miles says:

      It is no surprise to me, at all, that the Representatives sponsoring this legislation are Democrats! I Salute them! They have their work cut out for them going up against a house full of Republicans though…

      The Republicans, in particular, have a lot of financial ventures tied up in marijuana prohibition (e.g. Private Prisons, Big Pharma, Alcohol, Tobacco, Law Enforcement (of the non-violence related kind, etc…)

      I continue to hold out hope that the Prohibitionists (the Anti-American liberty squashers) get what they deserve; and we all know what that is! Hint: If justice was to prevail, a lot of them would end up in prison.

    2. Mark R says:

      It’s long overdue that they stop ruining peoples lives over a damn plant…… totally ridiculous.

    3. Bradson says:

      It will be fun to watch the ONDCP and DEA react to this common sense, increasingly popular, fact-based approach. I predict that they will condemn it as wrong-headed and say they cannot support any measure that makes drug use seem OK to children.

    4. Mark says:

      Let’s hope this historic day is the beginning of an era where people who responsibly use marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes not only can be open about their use of the herb, but also lose the stereotype that has surrounded people who consume marijuana for years.

      My life. My Body. My Choice.

    5. James Tasoulas says:

      It’s about time.

    6. Fireweed says:

      Legalizing mj for adults would achieve so much. Primarily it would take a lot of fuel out of the drug cartels coming up from Mexico which seem now to present a serious us security threat. It would also create a barrier to minors acquiring it. Having a legal accountable system would eliminate the basis for involvement of marijuana in the illegal drug trade altogether. We could end up with a budget surplus if mj were legalized. And watch, I bet Washington and Colorado don’t disintegrate into chaos because of their legalization measures.

    7. Swedesrule66 says:

      Ah ha! There lies the rub, “… a Congressional Working Group…” As most Americans already know, a camel is nothing but a horse designed by committee. Will common sense rule or will Congress, like Obama, know better what is good for the people than the people themselves?

      Personally, I believe that this will, at the very least, get Congress talking. However, egotists like Chabot, will probably try to shove nonsense-able legislation down the throats of the public. All we can really do at this point is hope common sense prevails and donate $ to our favorite lobbyists in favor of reform. Like they say, money talks, bullshit walks.

    8. rooferon says:

      A good start, lets stop filling our prisons with nonviolent potheads. Instead embrace alcohol type of taxes to help our economy. Everyone knows in their heart that weed is not the devil stepping stone to harder drugs.

    9. Aj says:

      One Word. Finally!

    10. James Page says:

      It seems like a 2 way sword.

      Vote Democrat = Legalize Marijuana
      Vote Republican = Support Gun Owner Rights.