Members Of Congress Introduce First Federal Measure Since 1937 To Legalize The Adult Use Of Marijuana

House lawmakers introduced legislation in Congress today to end the federal criminalization of the personal use of marijuana.
The bipartisan measure, HR 2306 – entitled the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011and sponsored by Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank and Texas Republican Ron Paul along with Reps. Cohen (D-TN), Conyers (D-MI), Polis (D-CO), and Lee (D-CA) – prohibits the federal government from prosecuting adults who use or possess marijuana by removing the plant and its primary psychoactive constituent, THC, from the five schedules of the United States Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Under present law, all varieties of the marijuana plant are defined as illicit Schedule I controlled substances, defined as possessing ‘a high potential for abuse,’ and ‘no currently accepted medical use in treatment.’
Said Rep. Frank, “Criminally prosecuting adults for making the choice to smoke marijuana is a waste of law enforcement resources and an intrusion on personal freedom. I do not advocate urging people to smoke marijuana, neither do I urge them to drink alcoholic beverages or smoke tobacco, but in none of these cases do I think prohibition enforced by criminal sanctions is good public policy.”
The ‘Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act’ seeks to federally deregulate the personal possession and use of marijuana by adults. It marks the first time that members of Congress have introduced legislation to eliminate the federal criminalization of marijuana since the passage of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937.
Language in this Act mimics changes enacted by Congress to repeal the federal prohibition of alcohol. Passage of this measure would remove the existing conflict between federal law and the laws of those sixteen states that allow for the limited use of marijuana under a physicians’ supervision. It would also allow state governments that wish to fully legalize and regulate the responsible use, possession, production, and intrastate distribution of marijuana for all adults to be free to do so without federal interference. (To date, lawmakers in six states have introduced legislation to legalize and regulate the adult use of cannabis, and separate statewide initiative measures are planned for 2012 in several additional states.)
Speaking in support of the measure, NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre said, “The federal criminalization of marijuana has failed to reduce the public’s demand or access to cannabis, and it has imposed enormous fiscal and human costs upon the American people. It is time to end this failed public policy and to provide state governments with the freedom to enact alternative strategies — such as medicalization, decriminalization, and/or legalization — without running afoul of the federal law or the whims of the Department of Justice.”
You can read the full text of Allen’s remarks from today’s press conference, which is being reported today by major news outlets nationwide, here.
NORML, along with representatives from the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), and the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), worked closely with members of Congress in drafting the measure.
Additional information regarding this measure is available from NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here.
AFTERNOON UPDATE:
Below is video of co-sponsor Steven Cohen (D-TN) speaking on the House floor today in favor of HR 2306: Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011.

185 thoughts

  1. We all know the right answer on this issue is to have this bill pass with flying colors, because we-the-people are not stupid.

  2. I have smoked it evertday for 35 years…I do not have a criminal record….I am not a violent person…..have never crashed my car or been in any accidents…I still have all of my memory skills and go to work every single day in a highly skilled job…..what’s the big problem???

  3. people might be creative and overthrow the jackasses in gov, thats what they worry about , they want everyone controlled like robots! Our country is built on lie, kill and destroy`

  4. the real issue would be the loss of $$$ when the price plunges, taking out the 4 billion in overinflated cost value of it being’illegal’ juan

  5. this would be so awesome people. i have consumed cannabis for over thirty years and, its a damn shame that i have to stop consuming to keep a decent job in fla. its been two loooong years now an im chompin at the pipe more so then when testing was first started.for those who can still work and consume….feel DAMN lucky you can do so…..i have written letters to mister scott and,our reps and, the prez from they’re reply those few who have….testing is still coming to your work….friggen count on it.it seems you are the folks who arnt helping the cause by speaking up about it for fear of retrobution in the work place or, with our government. it is fear that will keep bills of freedom like this one from passing. we must find a way to speak up for our choice of the end of the day recreations. many of us have been quite responsible about our use of cannabis. we dont consume it around our children! but, because it is a very , comfortable and peaceful buzz, i personally dont have a problem being around my children while in that frame of mind….altho, i dont think i want to consume it all the time, i dont have a problem being in that frame of mind all the time.i dont need to consume it at my workplace because,i can wait to get home to enjoy its effects. i would never consider drinking before i went to work simply because cannabis is a much better, more controled feeling.. cannabis has been very good in this rollercoaster life that is mine.many people who dont partake only seem to here that this is our personal right to do as we want in our private life and until it spills over in a negative way on someone else then, it should be no problen for it to be legal.but their needs to be heard the reasons why it is good to consume. i know for me, it brings a small amount of inner peace, allows me to constrate more effectively because of millions of thoughts blasting at me in a micro second. i find i seem to handle problems in a more reasonal manner. and, at the end of the evening, ive not been quite so hard on my own parade. i have driven many miles across this map of life of thirty four years while being in that frame of mind and, has been a benefit to my consentration for the rules and consideration for others tho, i would not drive that way another day if, i could consume it again and it be legal. i miss its utiliy of making the things done out of necessity in our daily lives done with the addition of a grin and more willingness to get it done.
    more folks need to here those things so they can see the other reasons why we consume cannabis. not only that it is our personal right but, that our choice is more responsible then to drink or, pound pills for a buzz. cannabis is safer then any of that waste. their is absolutly no reason for people not to know ALL the reasons for consuming cannabis. i will address it in its proper name as well..cannabis.no slang for the wonder herb. cannabis does a mind and soul good…peace to you all..stand ..up for it….

  6. my fiance was pulled over and had his truck seized for .2 grams! he goes to court gets 2 yrs of active probation, 1000 fine 121hrs of community service, and had to go thru drug evaluation. finds out he has no drug problem so the probation officer makes him do 32 a/a meetings!!! and yes this bullshit has stopped him from getting a real job. i am too a pothead but im not a criminal and i think that they should be going after the real criminals instead of the petty potheads!!!!!!!!! LEGALIZE THE SHIT ALREADY!!!!!!!!!

  7. I hate to be a kill-joy hear, and I hope this bill passes legalizing marijuana, but the big pharm companies will never allow the federal government to let marijuana become legal. These companies spend millions in lobby money keeping marijuana illegal. They know that if marijuana were to become completely legalized, they can kiss all the sales in pain killers good buy, which would amount to billions of dollars in losses.
    Just saying is all.

  8. I used Marijuana well over a decade ago. I’ve never been a big drinker, so Marijuana was my way of relaxing after work. As I got older, got involved in a serious relationship, and had my first child, I decided the risk of arrest and jail time wasn’t worth my own happiness, having a daughter and all. I smoked marijuana for about 4 years. Sometimes every day after work. And sometimes I wasn’t able to find any available, so I’d sometimes go a couple weeks without it. I experienced no withdrawls. And I never once had a hallucinogenic experience. I experienced relaxation. Total relaxation. I’m 31 now, and I still haven’t smoked any, due to its illegal status. If legalized, I don’t even know if I’d smoke it again. I have no strong urges to do so, but I’ve done wxtensive research on the subject, and the benefits of Marijuana outweigh any negative CONCEPT that those uneducated may have. I would absolutely love to see it legalized and decriminalized. We would not only end the needless deaths during violence regarding its posession and sale, but if those serving Marijuana-related prison sentences were released, we would be able to unite families that were torn apart.
    Tobacco has been PROVEN time and time again, that its use is directly related to cancer. Mouth. Throat. Lung. etc.. But it’s legal.
    There aren’t many drugs that are more lethal than alcohol. We all know of someone who died from the results of its use. We all know of a musician or movestar who died from its use, yet alcohol is legal.
    How many of you, whether you support the legalization of marijuana, or oppose the legalization, know of someone who has died due to effects of marijuana?
    I know I don’t. I can’t even think of a single time that I just read about someone in the news dying, due to the effects of marijuana.
    I fully support the legalization and decriminalization of Marijuana. Whether I use it again in the future, or not.

  9. nice above 115~ i own kona , hawaii property ,it sits empty , it has the potential to do 500 k a year , but , it sits empty . THANK YOU US GoV!

  10. It’s way past time to legalize marijuana. The war on drugs is a farce. All those people that have been incarcerated should be let out and their records cleaned up.

  11. @ Mrs. Issacson. I had the same problem. I went through a government based mental health facility. The government based mental health facilities, especially here in Texas, are just horrendous. There is a book I recently read called Crazy written by Pete Earley. It explains how screwed up the mental health system in America really is today, esp for those in jail. I hope it helps. Maybe the more people who see how much harm is being done to people who really need the help, will help change it.

  12. Hi! I’m a computer science major working on my master’s thesis. I’m sick with Fibromyalgia, and I just posted my story on my blog. See my website.
    (Where are the dang technical manuals for these blog software things? Nevermind, I’ll just look at the source code.)

  13. more lies by the us gov, they recognize marinol , but not pot , what double standards~ juan!~ can you imagine all the mexicans going home to work on the pot farms LOL

  14. I have Fibro, heart disease, RLS, IBS, AND NOW Rhuematoid Arthritis that has sent me spiraling down into Depression/Anxiety. I would LOVE to be able to use it to TRY to regain @ least a small quality of my once independent, active life, have been bed ridden for 3 years, ALWAYS worked 2-3 jobs @ a time, but have been unable to do so for 3 years…not only am I HAVING to fight for disability, I can’t get FREE medical care, nor the meds I NEED to just live PLUS if I even THINK about using this in my own home, I can be arrested ??? Seen more of my share of family/friends die with cancer, KNOWING the government has kept this from saving their lives…it’s time WE TAKE a stand. Just as anything else, there’s a difference between NEEDING to use it & abusing it !!!!

  15. we still have a communist country that we give all our money too, can you name it? china ! lazy americans want cheap 3rd world labor and more debt , thats the american way!

  16. We need to take our country back and stop this goverment from telling lies. Stop the war on marihuana!!This goverment needs to stop putting the citizens of this counrty in jail for marihuana. What a bunch of asses!!!!

  17. All I can say is “IT”S ABOUT TIME”-It is and always has been an absurd, ridiculous law that has done nothing but take away our personal rights, harming everyone’s rights, and our democracy in the process.

  18. Its just time. Yes there are cannabis abusers, Yes there are legitimate patients and or illness that cannabis helps to better oneself. Yes there are social users or for pleasure users. Its time to clean up the stereo type. Yeah I know some people just like to smoke or however but they just use cannabis like its a fad. But don’t hide behind the medical card because there are people that are ill and just want to get better…and those of you that post on weedmaps with “counter culture” “fad cannibis users” you really give medical cannibis users a bad name . Its time to legalize and do away with the insane jail time for cannabis …which never should of been illegal. So the medical cannabis users can do away with the fad smoker stereo type. And the real cannabis users can relax and be themselves. And to those of you that want to blame and claim cannabis as your addiction. You my friend need to get in a program and get help because no substance is the root of any problem..It all boils down to three people to blame for bad behaviors and problems…look in the mirror and say …Me,Myself,And I. Ultimately its time to do away with jail time, arrest and loss of assets over a plant. By the way thanks tylenol for the damage to my liver. honestly could careless for weed its not addictive…I just wish I could take it once and never have nerve damage and nerve pain again.

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  20. i can’t beleive it. there is NO WAY they are actually going to do this, it just makes too much sense. ok, think with me, follow the money… the #1 question in obamas’ first open net interview thing was ‘legalize it’ and HE TOTALLY DISSED IT. was he just making everybody wait? is this the re-election plan? he finally listened to us!! yay weed! or, is it a conservative ploy… we here in the mid-west, southeast grow some good pot, so i’ve been told. lots or GOP guys come from here. they killed our tobacco industry. i WANT to beleive these guys are actually doing the WILL OF THE PEOPLE and doing this out of common sense. but when do they EVER do that?

  21. when this one is said and done, it would be instructive to have a list of the yay’s n nay’s- but it will be more likely that we’ll see a name of someone who killed it in proceedure, so the yay and nay part will never happen.

  22. Are you serious? America REALLY can’t come up with a medicine better than a smoking a marijuana joint for people in pain, with cancer etc? IF AMERICA LEGALIZES THIS ITS GOING TO GO OUT OF HAND AND YOU KNOW THAT DAMN WELL. WE CAN’T EVEN CONTROL MINORS(and adults)FROM DRINKING ALCOHOL. hOW THE HELL WILL WE BE ABLE TO CONTROL THIS. I’m making my own country if this is legalized…. I only want this use for people where there is no other medicine or procedure that can help what so ever. As a last measure thing. Come on America…
    [Editor’s note: You’re an idiot to support another 74 years of a totally failed government policy and you’re invited to leave the country when cannabis is legalized if you’re that intolerant of other people’s vices and/or medicines.
    It must suck to be you right now watching the end of Cannabis Prohibition in American happening…
    Bon voyage you Anslinger wannabee!]

  23. if they really needed tax money yes, but the prison union won’t let it happen . It would cause the price to plunge. so , it will remain broken and illegal , the black market has power , thats why it failed in ca last year.

  24. how can taxes be paid if its illegal under fed law? what a shyster deal , az. gets it , co ,. does too . but ca ? no , they just want to rip everyoneoff

  25. maybe my kona budz cans will make it new yorkies by 2028!!! 4,000 lb grade A fancy hawaiian!

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