Lawmakers Call For An End To Federal Marijuana Prosecutions

June 18, 2009
Washington, DC: Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank, along with co-sponsors Ron Paul (R-TX); Maurice Hinchey (D-NY); Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA); and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), will reintroduce legislation today to limit the federal government’s authority to arrest and prosecute minor marijuana offenders.
The measure, entitled an “Act to Remove Federal Penalties for Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults,” would eliminate federal penalties for the personal possession of up to 100 grams (over three and one-half ounces) of cannabis and for the not-for-profit transfer of up to one ounce of pot – making the prosecutions of these offenses strictly a state matter.
Under federal law, defendants found guilty of possessing small amounts of cannabis for their own personal use face up to one year imprisonment and a $1,000 fine.
Passage of this act would provide state lawmakers the choice to maintain their current penalties for minor marijuana offenses or eliminate them completely. Lawmakers would also have the option to explore legal alternatives to tax and regulate the adult use and distribution of cannabis free from federal interference.
To date, thirteen states have enacted laws ‘decriminalizing’ the possession of marijuana by adults. Minor marijuana offenders face a citation and small fine in lieu of a criminal arrest or time in jail.
“The federal government has much more important business to attend to than targeting, arresting and prosecuting adults who use marijuana responsibly,” NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre said. “This is an issue that ought to be handled by the states, not the Feds.”
According to nationwide polls, three out of four voters believe that adults who possess marijuana should not face arrest or jail, and one out of two now say that cannabis should be regulated like alcohol.
The reintroduction of the Frank/Paul bill comes one week after the duo reintroduced HR 2835, The Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act of 2009 – which seeks to halt federal interference in states that have enacted medical marijuana laws – and just days after Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) called for federal legislation to sentence certain first-time marijuana offenders to 25 years in prison.
“The US Congress has a definite choice,” said St. Pierre. “They can choose the path of compassion, fiscal responsibility, and common sense by supporting Barney Frank’s and Ron Paul’s efforts, or they can continue down America’s failed drug war path by endorsing Rep. Kirk’s draconian legislation. It is abundantly clear which direction the voters wish to go; will their elected officials follow?”
Additional information about the ‘Act to Remove Federal Penalties for Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults’ is available at NORML’s Take Action Center.

0 thoughts

  1. #142 Jeremy R. Says:
    June 21st, 2009 at 11:01 am
    State Rules MJ Smoke
    anyone else hear about this? california medical marijuana dispensaries, will have to label the weed as Contents may cause cancer when smoked.
    RE:
    – Even though cannabinoids reputed to provide
    protective-effect against carcinogens…
    this still gives greater impetus to
    EMPHASIZE
    VAPORIZERS and EDIBLES over smoking…

  2. #142 Jeremy R. Says:
    June 21st, 2009 at 11:01 am
    State Rules MJ Smoke
    anyone else hear about this? california medical marijuana dispensaries, will have to label the weed as Contents may cause cancer when smoked.
    RE:
    – Even though cannabinoids ARE reputed to provide
    protective-effect against carcinogens…
    this still gives greater impetus to
    EMPHASIZE
    VAPORIZERS and EDIBLES over smoking…

  3. #152 I know about what you are saying what I was getting at is did any one look at that site and seen what was put on it about california medical marijuana dispensaries, will have to label the weed as Contents may cause cancer when smoked. I personally think it is some what BS being you do not need to only smoker MJ there are other ways to use MJ such as edibles , Drinks and Vaporizers. Also IF and that is a VERY BIG IF MJ was to give you cancer you would have to smoke more than what is humanly possible for that to happen. When I saw that site and post I shook my head and was thinking boy oh bot are they not educated do not get me wrong putting a warning lable on it like do not operate a machienry while on this product is some what wise but to put what they want saying it may cause cancer when it was proven that if anything it can reduce cancer risk is just being uneducated on their part.

  4. Bryan – I stand corrected. Thank you for pointing that out.
    Wow…that was REALLY easy to say…
    if only prohibitionists could do the same…

  5. You want to see an end to prohibition within the next 30 DAYS?
    July 4 everybody on the Wash DC Mall!

  6. Barney Frank is leading the charge on many fronts including online gaming (gambling).
    The US is missing out on millions and probably billions of dollars by not allowing certain things – and Rep. Frank is helping take our thoughts and hopes to a real level.

  7. Does anyone know the date time, or where to look for a possible date and time the congress/senate will debate and vote on these two bills?

  8. As i mentioned before i live in a small rural kansas town. Well today already has caused me great happiness and sadness. As you probably can guess good herb is hard to come by. But about once a month my friend from Colorado Springs brings me a coupla quarters of the Kinds or Kush. Then i bing a quarter over to my fifty year old neibor lady. She has brain cancer. Wen i bring her over a sak of the ggod shit shes so happy she tears up and is really greatful. then i thought about it: it cood be a 25 year penalty for wat im doin. And that thought makes me sad. But i wot stop helpin her ut i promise that. I will never stop writing and trying. Its sad there is prohibitionists still. (especially if u hav ever smokd reg herb from around here!) Why theyd wanna deprive the rec users and the sick is beyond me.

  9. But on the bright side i got some hella good shit for awile. Im goin to burn a fat one at 4:20 kansas time. Care to join me?. (and my neibor lady whos really hapy today wen my friend comes by too)

  10. California will have to post that cannabis is a cancer causing hazard in work places with 10 or more employs i think cigarette and alcohol stores post as will as super markets all ready its just a cover your ass from crazy lawyers and a sign that soon cannabis will be LEAGLE VOTE PEOPLE IN OFFICE THAT WILL LEGALIZE VOTE OUT THE PEOPLE THAT WONT !!!!!!

  11. To those who are calling for more action:
    Over at Ron Paul’s site we have organized days where we “bomb” our legislatures with emails, faxes, phone calls, and office drop ins. It has worked really well for us: Just look into HR 1207 and what we have been doing with that.
    Anyways, you could learn a lot from us on how to push these bills through.. The best part is that I am sure a lot of the Ron Paul folks will help push this through!
    Go to campaignforliberty.com and check it out. Read stuff about 1207, start talking to us, and let’s make this happen!!!

  12. This prohibition is stupid and it needs to change. Not just cause Im a pot smoker but for all those getting busted for a bullshit crime possessing part of a plant. How stupid have humans stooped to? Im startin to say it, I’ve lost faith in humanity.

  13. Is anyone listening? Does anyone care about our rights? Does this government care that we are living in a country where we can’t make our own choices? I think “NOT”. We just sit around, writing our little, meaningless comments on websites while this government squashes us one by one like cockroaches. Marijuana smokers in this country are gutless. All we have the guts to do is write our comments. We deserved to be squashed.

  14. HOLY HELL IF THIS NEWS ABOUT MEXICO GETS OUT………
    NORML- why am I hearing this from a blogger and not from you?
    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705311999/Vote-decriminalizing-some-drug-use.html
    [Editor’s note: Is this really new news? A search on ‘decriminalization’ and ‘Mexico’ finds numerous articles about the Mexican government debating, and passing ‘decrim.’ laws going back to the 1990s. The question is, ‘to what end?’]

  15. #153 Jeremy R. Says:
    June 21st, 2009 at 11:21 pm
    …putting a warning lable on it like do not operate a machienry while on this product is some what wise…
    RE:
    And also the warning:
    “Objects may appear
    more edible than they actually are…”


    😆 😉

  16. Oh here we go…Glen Beck Is talking about Brney Frank And mexicos decrim. Come on Glen…Lets not step on peoples rights here.You talk about peoples rights all the time…this is just part of that equation Glen.

  17. PROBLEM: It’s almost impossible to separate medicinal cannabis, recreational cannabis, and religious cannabis…but…they truly are apples, oranges, and Holy Sacrament.
    WAIT JUST A DAMNED MINUTE HERE! HOLD YOUR HORSES!
    Question: Since when does 20% tell 80% what to do?
    Answer: It doesn’t…not since 1776.
    So then…it’s not a matter of percentages, or the Will of We the People. It’s a very small pin-pointed mass of prohibs that tells 100% of We the People what
    we can do, and where we can go.
    Question: When does “reality” impinge “fantasy”?
    Answer: We the People never expect to receive 100%. The only time you have 100% is when you are standing there alone, without mixed emotions. There’s two times when you,re alone…when you take a stand,or you’re on the run.
    In conclusion: If the 20% thinks…they put prohibs in office…think twice…because it’s the 80% that’s going to vote their ass out. Why?…because…if the
    20% cannot see the justice in this issue…they can’t see the justice in any issue, and have “no place” in a just government. They have reinfected my Constitution with a disease…one which we cured in 1776.
    It’s always 10% that cause 100% of the problems…but
    then…when you deal with human beings, you have to deal with human being problems. As P.T.Barnum said…
    “People love to be humbugged.”…or…”There’s a sucker born everyday.” Well!!! We the People are not
    “suckers”…and…if these prohibs think we are…1776
    was a good year.

  18. You kno wat c. anderson? you are write. Though i appreciate the tireless efforts of the ppl tryin to decriminalize the legal way like NORML i still think yoiu are right. our government dont giv a flyin fuck about ppls rights no more. in reality we r wastin our times. nothin will change till we stand up and shake off the yoke of our oppresion. but yeah most of us are stuck online and far too cowardly to rise up. Give me a army c. anderson and we will march on washington and demand our rights bak.

  19. #173 LOL I hear you there….. And the next thing they will say is “govt warning we appear more stupid than we are” LOL had to put that even though I know we do have some decent people who are for the cause in the govt I simply am refering to those who are not….LOL

  20. I think that the prohibitionist just need to smoke the hooka instead of being idiots who know nothing but to violate our rights and be ignorant descriminalizing bastards….

  21. #181 Jeremy R. Says:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 3:34 pm
    I think that the prohibitionist just need to smoke the hooka instead of being idiots who know nothing but to violate our rights and be ignorant descriminalizing bastards….
    RE:
    Jeremy,
    I would recommend the GAS CHAMBER for them,
    (Retrofitted with Volcano™ Vaporizers,
    prepped with finest BC-Bud, in lieu of HCN…),

    😉

  22. I am Manford Mantis…a cartoonist, writer, and activist for the word of my creator and his/her gift of Manna as Holy Sacrament for CDXX Communion. My sister Hootie Mantis is a fundamental christian and hangs out with the prohibs. I keep reminding her of Genesis I:11,12. Genesis I:29,30,31.Genesis IX:3. She gets it. I sure would like to know who else gets it, and stands by “THE WORD.”
    I know “religious use” will cause an issue with the fundamentalists, but their belief in our creator is “no greater” than mine/ours, or in fact the rest of the religions of the world do. I just think a little more honest bible study wouldn’t hurt. I know it wouldn’t hurt because I know and believe that my/our creator doesn’t practice “mind control”…at least on me.
    I know that “religious use” may be an issue with those who question the existence of a creator, or flat don’t believe at all, but individual freedom is my creators
    gift to his children.
    Whether one believes as fundamentalists do, or doesn’t believe at all, I sure would like to know who else believes as I do. Talk to me.

  23. P.S. When I told her about Christians for cannabis, she
    shuttered a bit, but not as much as her fundamental friends…I’ll bet.

  24. I could deal with the way the laws are now if I could just get a job like non-cannibus users can. I think that if you work hard, show up on time, and do your job to the best of your ability it shouldn’t matter what you do outside of work. If you come to work high; I agree that whoever should get fired. Just like you can’t come to work drunk. I’ve smoked for 5 years everyday. I had to get a job and quit on a dime. Man that stuff must be addictive huh? Also made straight A’s and got into an accredited University, but pot makes you dumb doesn’t it? Only reason I hate quitting so much is because, its not something I wanted to do. Its something the government forced me to do. Doesn’t sound like something that would happen in the land of the free does it? I feel like if the government starts regulating marijuana it will ruin it. The government is good at ruining good things. I don’t want the government in control of marijuana but I want the government to stop treating marijuana smokers like criminals and let them choose how to live their lives. Don’t we have the right to choose how we pursue happiness?

  25. #183 Manford Mantis Says:
    June 24th, 2009 at 7:28 pm
    I am Manford Mantis…a cartoonist, writer, and activist for the word of my creator and his/her gift of Manna as Holy Sacrament for CDXX Communion. My sister Hootie Mantis is a fundamental christian and hangs out with the prohibs. I keep reminding her of Genesis I:11,12. Genesis I:29,30,31.Genesis IX:3. She gets it. I sure would like to know who else gets it, and stands by “THE WORD.”
    RE:
    Manford Mantis,
    – If any professing Christian church or believer
    considers themselves “fundamentalist”,
    yet is a prohib, they are contradicting
    themselves by ignoring the fundamental-precepts
    in the first chapter of Genesis…

    – I believe:
    Cannabis was created by God to fulfill certain,
    specific, unique, biological and nutritional roles
    that no other plant can…

  26. 186 Neurogenesis1:29
    Thank you for your belief system. It’s really great to know that there are those out there that aren’t fearful
    of declaring their faith…which is trust and belief.
    This is for sure…I would much rather get busted for religious use, even more so than medicinal use. If everyone that believes in their creator, and the gift of Manna to creation, stood up for their faith??????? Rastafarians do…they even have a religious defense
    …but…so does the worlds religions. Their defense is God! And…this is an “ode to Eddy Lepp (Rastafarian Minister).” who received a 6 year mandatory minimum sentence for cultivating for the members of faith, instead of two life sentences. Dear God.. they’re putting ministers in prison now. God save us all. Hope to see you again Eddy.

  27. Little more than 200 yrs ago i believe 55 men and 13 colonies stated that “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness—-That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
    We are allowed the persuit of happiness if someone does something illegal and hurts others while they are persuing then they should be put away for the crime the original persuit, “Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new Government”, the government arresting over 700000 ppl for personal use possesion to me seems that someone is taking ppls freedom for their right to persue what they feel will give them happiness. If the ppl speak the government should listen if they dont our fore fathers were sure to put an escape clause, although i dont suggest all out rebellion yet, next time we go to vote it is time to make sure our voices are heard and get rid of the mighty idiots that think once elected they are there for life!!! ( One last comment be sure to know your rights don’t let them find you and give you a felony conviction because besides being a negative on your background check they also take your voice at the ballot boxes, Hmmm if we lock up all the pot heads then they cant vote against us? just a thought)

  28. we need to make noise about this.
    this legislation is more important than the states medical/decrim laws. dont remember the last time fed laws were being done over.

  29. What is this bill titled? is it HR5843 like it was last year, or did it change? I can’t find anything in the media about this…
    [Editor’s note: Information about the bill, HR 2943, is front and center at NORML’s Legislative Alert section, at:
    http://capwiz.com/norml2/home/%5D

  30. I think the federal government has no right to enforce laws within the state due to any amount
    the only way the federal government should be able to gain jurisdiction is if state lines are cross ,
    the amount means nothing , the law as to MJ should be change and legalize for any useage what so ever
    who the hell is feds think they are Congress is wrong to not allow legalization efforts for all 50 state
    massvocals

  31. i an not an user but am for the decriminalizing,legalizing,taxing,regulating-whatever it takes to let a god created plant grow along side all other god created plants as intended and be used as god intended then if some seed lands on some one’s property by weather,animal,bird and so forth and grows we pray to god that it becomes legal to be allowed to grow as god intended-it is so ridiculous to throw someone in prison and treat a good and non violant person like a criminal-waste of tax money,manpower,time,aircraft fuel and the list goes on! it is a horrible way to treat people -especially over a god given plant!!!!!!!!

  32. @ Manford Mantis, “Talk to me.”
    Hello. 🙂
    “I sure would like to know who else gets it, and stands by ‘THE WORD.'”
    I’m trying to “get it.” Everyone “stands by something,” (actually A LOT of things) whether it/they turns out to be true or not—whether those beliefs hold together or come apart—is the question. 🙂 The words one stands by are one’s own, and if they were true, accurate, honest, then of course this is a good thing and means standing on the rock. But if one mostly spoke lies, tricks, and engaged in other Non-Golden Rule Behaviors, then that person’s own words will most likely end up cutting that person to pieces.
    Have you taken a look at the video that NeuroGenesis1:29 links to? Check out the last passage used.
    One strong underlying thread I see to many of the most divisive/expensive/etc… issues of our day is the desire of one or more parties to force their will on others, overriding the wishes of the victim.
    As a counterpoint to the forcing/legislating/strong-arming/etc… of one party’s will over another, there is not doing so and using reasoning—talking, conversation—instead, as an attempt to change behavior.
    People who believe in violence have no problem in forcing their wills on others, in a variety of ways, even escalating to death. They insist on more and more heavier-handed approaches.
    I think the best advice is to avoid the brow-beating (and worse) techniques employed by the fear-mongers/extremists/scripture-worshippers/idealogues in many religions (and other belief-systems), and focus on reasoning, nearly exclusively, using “neighborly” conversation with others.
    Here are some essays you might like:
    We Love Religion, But Not Forcing It On Others!
    Prohibition Prophecy Showcases some “intersections” of the Bible with modern-day events.
    The Evils of For-Profit, “Private,” Prisons
    Wanted: God, for Creating Illegal Plants! A video some Aussies made, with a custom introduction, to make sure the point was obvious.
    Go Barney! We’re rooting for you!

  33. the fight for legal weed is a big one, we need to protest like our ancestors did, but instead of the war in vietnam, it will be the war for our rights as americans and legal marijuana!!!
    woot woot

  34. it is so wonderful to see some people who have the courage to stand up and show that they are going to fight for our rights-we thank you very muchto barney frank,ron paul,maurice hinchey,dana rohrabacher and tammy baldwin-you all are dfinately appreciated!!!we all know how crazy it is having a god given plant illegal-it is stupid on how people get treated over a weed and how much tax money is wasted on aircraft fuel,auto fuel,man power and it goes on and on-then if seed lands on someone”s property from animals,birds,weather and so forth they come in busting and tearing up people’s property and treating them like a criminal-they should go after real criminals.again thank you so very much.i pray there are more of you out there that are as smart as our beautiful people that are fighting for our rights!!!!!!!!we are with you!!!!!!!!

  35. you may be surprised on how things are starting to happen on legalizing marijuana-people are becoming educated on the real reasons why marijuana was made illegal which is greediness and other STUPID reasons.they are starting to see how ridiculous it was to make a god given plant that was meant to grow along side all other plants illegal-changes for the good are coming!!!!!!!

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