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Federal Bill to Legalize Marijuana Gains Support in Congress

By Marijuana Policy Project March 21, 2013 Federal Bill to Legalize Marijuana Gains Support in Congress
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Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013 now has 14 bi-partisan co-sponsors

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-District 1) joined the effort to end marijuana prohibition and start regulating marijuana like alcohol at the federal level. Rep. Pingree, as well as Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), signed on to co-sponsor H.R. 499, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013, on Monday, joining a bipartisan group of supporters in the House.

There are currently 14 co-sponsors of the bill.

Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013 on February 5, which would remove marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act and establish a system in which marijuana is regulated similarly to alcohol at the federal level.

It would also remove marijuana from the jurisdiction of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and place it in the jurisdiction of a renamed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana, Firearms, and Explosives.

“It is a very positive sign to see federal lawmakers finally coming around on this issue and supporting rational marijuana reforms,” said David Boyer, Maine policy director for the Marijuana Policy Project.

“This comes at an important time, as the Maine Legislature will soon be considering taxing and regulating marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. We are grateful to Rep. Pingree, as well as the rest of the congressional bill sponsors, who have expressed support for the rights of individual states to determine their own marijuana policies.”

“It makes no sense to punish individuals for using a substance less harmful than alcohol,” continued Boyer. “Instead, we should allow adults to use marijuana legally while regulating the production and sale of the substance. We will not only better control production and sales, but we will also create new jobs and generate tax revenue.”

In November, voters in Colorado and Washington State approved measures making marijuana legal for adults 21 and older and directing state regulatory bodies to create regulations for businesses to cultivate and sell marijuana to adults.

Bills to regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol have been introduced this year in Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Maine state Rep. Diane Russell (D-Portland) has introduced a similar measure at the statehouse.

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  • Mike

    While most of the real action and potential for progress is at the state level right now, it’s good to hear that things are starting to perk up at the federal level. Frankly, the state level initiatives have more chance of success right now, because when it comes to human rights, Congress works like the La Brea tar pits, more likely to suck you down and make you a meal for the prohibitionists than deliver the freedom Americans expect.

    It may be too soon to shift significant resources to the federal level, but it’s the right time to either:
    A. Thank the 14 Congress members most likely to qualify for inclusion in an update of JFK’s Profiles in Courage if they happen to represent lucky you.
    B. If like most, you’re still represented by some hack who thinks the only way s/he can get reelected is to figure out new ways to imprison her/his fellow Americans and make sick people suffer more exquisitely, you need to call them and politely explain they need to support HR 499 if they want your support in the future. Take no excuses, be polite but make sure they know failing to support HR 499 will result in political consequences, given your district is like most in the US right now, in majority support of legalized cannabis.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kevin.bacin.1 Kevin Bacin

    Great news! It’s fantastic we’re finally being noticed by those who have a little more to do with regulating the country.

    Don’t miss BadKat’s (BadKittySmiles) presentation at the Cannabis World Summit this April, it’s going to be online for everyone to watch all together for free!

    Here is a sneak preview of her presentation with timelapsed plants growing and wiggling:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkbclJ5wZKk

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCwRh3SZD-w

  • chuck

    And here we are in Washington state where we have (though we are at the beginning of) cannabis freedom and yet despite the overwhelming majority from mostly democratic voters in our state, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and most of the rest of the state’s Congressional delegation have been strangely silent and for all intents and purposes invisible on anything whatsoever to do with legal and medical cannabis in the state they profess to represent. I think I-502 got more votes than Obama (and if you go back and look it probably got more than either of these two power babes too) but the state votes democratic and they vote for these two disgraceful democrats right along side him (Obama). The point?? Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell need to get with the voters on this issue and check their personal bias on the legal cannabis issue at the door. We voters EXPECT our elected representatives who represent us in the nation’s capital to represent OUR views on a particular issue – NOT theirs!!! If they have a personal problem doing so they should resign immediately so someone who can do the job in DC can be chosen & elected in their place.
    Anyway, if you’re looking for ineffective state representation in DC but yet we voted for cannabis freedom in our state and SUCCEEDED anyway, just look at Washington state. And if this crowd of elected bums doesn’t straighten up and start articulating OUR views back there, watch what happens next time there’s an election and all these losers will be just that. If we can vote cannabis legal, we as a state can accomplish anything and surely rid ourselves of this crowd as well.

    • firetheliberals

      Right on, dude. Patty Moron and Maria Paidwell-Donothing are a disgrace. The little troll stands by harry reid at every press conference as he espouses nonsense to cover his do nothing agenda in the senate. PM has been bought and paid for by boeing.

      Both of these ninnies got re-elected so we are stuck with them.

      What outrages me if DOJ and eric holder doing the washington dc two step on whether the feds will honor I-502.
      Do they really think we are that stupid that we can’t see that they are delaying the “ruling”. 6 months?????

      The feds position on weed is the same as the delay on benghazi. Delay, delay, delay and maybe these pesky citizens will lose interest and go away..

      • http://twitter.com/motoxfreek7 lyle winterhalder

        Well, if you get off the coach and get involved in an election, maybe you would have an option. Like I say, If the revolutionary war were to occur today we loose. People are to self serving and lazy to get anything done!

    • http://twitter.com/motoxfreek7 lyle winterhalder

      Poor Dumb Chuck, I don’t live there, but follow 420 closely. They are working with the feds so they don’t get sued by the federal government and loose the federal money they need, that not even pot will supply them. Now you know. You should educate yourself some by reading up on what’s happening, try ASA or Normal to start. peace out

      • pete

        you’re an I d I o t… he’s complaining that they aren’t supporting HR 499. They can’t get sued for supporting a bill…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Norman-Gooding/100001236498173 Norman Gooding

    Only when we start removing the bought and paid for members of our congress will these bills be debated on the floor.
    The loss of legislative seats by both parties will wake these self-serving hypocrites that we are not going away and that marijuana legalization IS that important.

    • Michael

      How do you remove Bought and paid for members of congress when the only people running are already bought and paid for before they announce they are running? First you have to find someone not willing to take the bribes. Greed wins more often than morality.

  • zappa

    i want weed legalized taxed regulated!
    2 relieve r national debt

    • prophet

      learn to spell first.

      • Maximus

        Learn not to be an ass first

      • Joe Blo

        Reading someone’s response written with poor grammar: slightly irritating.

        Reading someone’s response to the original poorly written one telling them to correct their grammar while at the same time using poor grammar themselves and forgetting to capitalize their sentence: priceless.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AugustusCarter Augustus Carter

    The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana, Firearms, and Explosives. My God I want to work their.

  • HP

    As long as this bill has some way of keeping big businesses and harmful chemicals out of our cannabis, then I am in complete support of it.

  • VJ

    once the senators representing private prisons, pharmaceutical ands alcohol industries step up to fight this, it is over.

    • http://twitter.com/motoxfreek7 lyle winterhalder

      Wow, one other person here gets it. Until we remove money from politics we are all just slaves!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/Firecracker704 Dannette McSwain

    According to stats this has a 2% chance of going any further