This week Congress members Jared Polis and Earl Blumenauer introduced bills that would allow marijuana policy to be controlled by individual states, regulating it much like alcohol. These legal reforms would also create a federal excise tax on pot in states where it is already legal, such as Washington and Colorado. The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act would remove the Drug Enforcement Agency’s authority over weed, freeing each state to choose whether or not to legalize cannabis for medicinal or recreational use.
These two politicians have also joined together to co-author an extensive new pot policy report entitled: “The Path Forward: Rethinking Federal Marijuana Policy”. The study details the history of marijuana prohibition in our country, attempts to clarify some of the current conflicts that now exist between state and federal law, and also offers some potential solutions. Oregon Congress member Earl Blumenauer explained why these sensible legal changes are so very much needed:
“We are in the process of a dramatic shift in the marijuana policy landscape. Public attitude, state law, and established practices are all creating irreconcilable difficulties for public officials at every level of government. We want the federal government to be a responsible partner with the rest of the universe of marijuana interests while we address what federal policy should be regarding drug taxation, classification, and legality.”
Two years ago Barney Frank and Ron Paul also called for an end to federal pot prohibition. These marijuana legalization advocates introduced legislation that called for a repeal of all federal laws related to criminalizing marijuana, and also proposed ending all federal regulation over the weed, returning the authority to regulate cannabis back to the states. Their bill’s original co-sponsors included Representatives: John Conyers, D-Mich., Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., Jared Polis, D-Colo. and Barbara Lee, D-Oakland. Frank and Paul have both now retired from Congress.
If you are so inspired, you can utilize NORML’s Take Action Center to contact your own elected officials and urge them to support these federal cannabis reform measures.