Reefer Madness: Alive And Well In The Federal Government!

Almost as if on cue from a movie director, the head of the Judiciary Committee in the US House of Representatives, ‘conservative’ Republican from Texas Lamar Smith, has provided both cannabis law reformers and the general public a typical up-close view of why the US Congress—the creator of Cannabis Prohibition laws in 1937 and later the Controlled Substances Act of 1970—rarely seems to work the way it was intended. One person, either ignorant or uninformed, can block consideration of a controversial political issue if he or she wishes to do so. And the ability to do this only increases with time, as the legislator gains seniority and become a committee or subcommittee chairperson.
Rep. Smith, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, responded to press inquiries yesterday about the new federal legalization bill, that will be referred to his committee, saying he had no intention of considering the bill, or even giving it a public hearing. Unfortunately, under current Congressional rules, a committee chairman is given great discretion regarding what bills to consider, and which to ignore, and it is only when another member or members of that committee, or the general public, make a big deal out of it that sometimes one can overcome the stiff opposition of a committee chair.
One promising fact is that the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. John Conyers, JR, is a co-sponsor of HB 2306, and should serve as a counter-balance to the opposition of the chairman.
Smith’s anti-cannabis salvo against the new legalization bill should inspire cannabis consumers and activists to redouble their efforts this year to get as many co-sponsors as possible for HR 2306, and to recruit and elect political candidates to Congress who no longer embrace reefer madness or favor continuing—possibly for another 74 years—the status quo of arresting another cannabis consumer every 35 seconds in America.
NORML and our supporters decided to reach out to Representative Smith today, to let him know we considered HR 2306 sound public policy that deserved a hearing. Instead of addressing the concerns of the general public, Smith removed his page from Facebook and wiped it clean of any and all comments posted in support of the bill. Further commenting was also disabled on the page. Once one too many calls began coming into his congressional offices and the extension for the House Judiciary Committee, a prerecorded message was posted stating that his office was closed (it wasn’t, their operating hours on Friday are posted as until 6pm EST).
Even President Barack Obama has stated he considers legalization a legitimate topic for debate, so why is Rep. Lamar Smith stonewalling the legislation?

NORMLtv is now streaming a new PSA targeting Smith and his refusal to engage this issue in a productive and rational way, which you can view above. We encourage you to continue contacting the chairman through his contact information listed below.
Rep. Lamar Smith
DC Office: 202-225-4236 (8:30 am- 6:00 pm EST)
TX Office: 210-821-5024 (8:00 am- 5:00 pm CT)

You can also use NORML’s Take Action Center by clicking here and easily message your elected officials to encourage their support of this important legislation. Over 3,000 of you already have, let’s keep the pressure on!
We appreciate your support and especially want to thank those who have been helping us push this issue today with Chairman Smith. We will be back in touch soon to ask for your further help as we find new ways to push this new legislation forward.
Subscribe to NORMLtv or follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on the latest marijuana news and further updates on HR2306.

202 thoughts

  1. How rotten does corruption have to get before we call it garbage – and – take it out with the rest of the trash and put it in the street. It should be like artificial respiration – “Out goes the bad air – in goes the good air.”
    The truth is – we’re in a class war. We’re polarized. The middle class has suffered a tremendous loss. The poor never had it to lose. Soon – we will truly be “We the People” – and they – “Your Royal Hinny.” The truth is – this totalitarianism has made me [caused me] to worry about “what’s going to happen next.” They’ve caused me great concern with the loss of so many freedoms, so much property and income. They’ve caused me to resist trusting my government [only because they’re in it] – and – the corruption runs ramped on their watch. They’ve caused me to mistrust my own ability to elect an honest person to represent me and my brethren. This cannot be – this will not be – I will not live on my knees!
    It’s “easily understood” that they won’t give up the income from prohibition [the legal and illegal use of cannabis]. There’s too much money in it for them to turn loose of it.

  2. Lamar Smith, If you are religion. Don’t forget State and religion separation. Don’t tell me and people what he want us doing. We want to doing ourselves. Not you, you are not Fascist! This is democracy! Majority already take over of Legalization Marijuana. You oppressor. Oppressor is ignorant. Ignorant define of uneducated person like you!

  3. Come on, just get over with it. End prohibition then it will help our economy boost up. It hasn’t prevented people from using or selling drugs, it’s cost roughly 1 trillion since 1973, our prisons are packed to the brim (1980 we had about 500,00 people incarcerated in the U.S. now it’s around 2.5 million) and more people are doing drugs than ever before. Marijuana is Americas number 1 cash crop and majority of that money is going into drug dealers pockets and making criminals rich. Also, there are drugs in every neighborhood in the U.S. whether rich or poor and when those of low income get caught they can not afford to “pay there way out” so they are the ones who suffer the most. If something is broken shouldn’t you fix it? I mean, an ounce of heroin is worth more than an ounce of gold and you expect people not to sell it? All of these problems are related to the black market and illegality of these substances. If we learned anything from the 20’s and 30’s it’s that prohibition doesn’t work and encourages violence and criminality. Use your common sense for god sake!!!

  4. Potism- mean a policy, system of government, etc., based on discrimination, oppression, prejudge, and stereotype.

  5. #88 You’re so right!
    What if everyone moved to California or Colorado that is in need of the weed???
    I would bet that the economies of those states that allow medical marijuuana, marijuana decrim and marijuana legalization would be in much better financial condition if all the tokers and marijuana activists were to just up and move to Calif. or Colorado or those states that are more open to the needs of us “we the people” who are in need of retaining and exercising our rights, freedoms and civil liberties. THE SOUTHEAST SUX! NOTHING BUT A BUNCH OF BIBLE THUMPING PROHIBITIONERS WHO ARE LICKING THE DONKEYS BEHIND.

  6. Hey know what? China is on way to world power. Huh? Do you want beat China? huh? Think triple! not think twice! China is on way! So, I prefer Legalization now then economy boost up then USA will beat China so China won’t get first place anyway. Just do it, now! Don’t be bullshit political! Green is honest political period!

  7. You have only one way. Just lever up to legal from illegal and economy will boost up. You have two paths, first path if you refused then USA will flush down like George Washington will gone… Our dollars will gone.. Freemasonry will gone… our flag will disappear… USA shut down like roman did… second path, if you accept then USA will alive… our history keep on and will number one in world like number one cash crop more than gold. Please enough of denial. People and I are allergy your bullshit. I’m sorry if I say curse words but people and I sick of your political always denial and avoidable. We are fed up. You should not choice. People choice! If you follow policy and tell people, “I can’t” You can’t???? because of policy? You know what that not many people follow the policy because they are being human and they are not robot like you should not be robot either. Time for change legal now and end of war! If you like to keep war on marijuana then another trillion dollars spent make people have hard time to pay off our debt!

  8. crymsonkyd to get an email through, just get a real address from the Austin TX white pages with zip and use that. They only want to hear from “constituents” even though his committee chairmanship affects everyone. The system will accept your email if it has a real address and zip from his district. Who cares if it isn’t actually your own, they don’t know that.
    Too bad there isn’t a “US Association of Cannabis Growers and Wholesalers” with its “headquarters” (sorry, pun intended) in DC. This group would hire DC lobbyists to wine and dine Congress members and buy $10K a plate seats at Campaign fundraising dinners which would get face time with the candidate. Congresspersons will kiss any ass with a fat wallet. That’s how business is done in DC. If you hope and expect that today’s legislators will reverse decades of disastrous policy because it’s the right thing to do, you’re going to waiting a very long time.
    Someone has to pay to get access to them and then convince them of two things, one, that it will have a positive economic impact in their district. Also, that this positive economic activity will mean a flow of campaign funds in the future, AND two, that there won’t be a downside for the yes vote politically. You can usually only persuade them of that in person while handing them a generous check and if possible some favorable polling. Then they begin to see things your way.

  9. Revised 29 to 90
    You are absolutely right about every thing but the Constitutional Convention. If you think that our Constitution has been raped now – you wouldn’t recognize it at all once out of a Constitutional Convention. Is that what you really want? I’ll take back my remarks about your motives. Sorry. You just pushed the big red button in the middle of my chest, and every bell in my body went off.

  10. I do not believe in the two party system and do not hold many traditionally “republican” views, but I’ll be straight with you when I say that Ron Paul is the fucking man and if he were President he would turn this whole fucking bullshit charade around. He understands that things should be settled at the State level, ESPECIALLY concerning the War on Drugs, and I guarantee the guy would fucking shut down the DEA in a damn heartbeat. If any of us want to live to see Marijuana become legalized in our lifetime, and perhaps watch a lot of the bullshit politics in Washington turn around, I highly suggest you jump on the Ron Paul train. He will at the very least change America drastically, and most likely for the better.

  11. Doesn’t Rep. Lamar Smith work for the American citizens? How can he not be available… is that not part of his job, the part we pay taxes for? If he doesn’t work for us, who does he work for? A vote or petition of no competence towards Rep. Smith may be a solution. Then again, as said earlier, Rep. John Conyers is a co-sponsor of HB2306, and his vote would cancel out Rep. Smiths nay vote. That means the bill will, or should be released from the house judiciary.

  12. I disagree Adolf Smith is not stupid, just the opposite. I don’t think a dummy could rise to his position. That can only mean he knows too well the consequences we all suffer for his choices. But he doesn’t care because of the greater wealth and power he gets from forcing his way on everyone. Our problem is he has 250 million dummies who can’t think for themselves and do listen to every word crooks like him say like it was the gospel.

  13. Jason-Why stop at the judiciary committee? Keep tabs on all politicians who vote against marijuana laws. Hey JACKASS SMITH! THIS BUD’S FOR YOU!

  14. This Lamar Smith has shot right up to the top of my list of politicians that I’ve come to, well, dislike! His unwillingness to even discuss it when I’m absolutely sure he knows the American people want to discuss is him acting like a dictator.He is not a dictator! And I hope the people of this country let him know that and throw him out on his ear the next election!

  15. Do we have to wait for 2012? Recall his ass now. Let him know – in no uncertain terms – that we are coming after his seat in Congress – and – his ass won’t be in it when we’re done with him. Recall Smith.

  16. I was just on Lames’ web site and this guy is a control freak that is scared to death of his own shadow.
    He actually believes some rag head terrorists did 911… When all the evidence is clear that it was the Cheney regime..
    we are in trouble with a mentality such as this in our government… where did this one get raised and what was his abuse as a child?
    If this Lame guy gets his way,, I see the Mexican border turning in to a concrete wall, 50 foot tall with automatic lasers that will destroy even a cockroach from getting into America. The wild life will die due to migration interruption and on and on…
    I get the idea he thinks the world will keep him alive forever if he can just control everything in the world and he most certainly KNOWS EXACTLY what the American people want…
    he knows nothing. what a guy, a true un-American

  17. This ain’t going to happen people. Who gives a crap about the federal government?
    Break the law in the privacy of your own home and pray you don’t get caught. That’s what everybody seems to want us to do.
    You’d think at this point they would see things changing– but by the time the federal government actually changes ANYTHING it will be in name only since it will be virtually decriminalized everywhere but the bible belt long before then.
    It’s sad that we all have to suffer because southern idiots think Jesus cares if you get high.

  18. To Lamar Smith
    “Whatever you do to my Constitution – I will do to you.”
    Your treachery is without consequence – a luxury only corrupt power provides. To make our position clear – we will be tough when we do our stuff. We move by our individual selves. We move as God intended us to move – as individuals – with individual freedom. “We paid the price” in the Garden of Eden. You can’t punish us for the same thing twice [Double Indemnity].
    “Subordination of the individual’s desire to the needs of the collective.”
    Do you “honestly believe” that this will occur in America? If so – you have the best drugs. A great many lives will be lost in defense of our freedom. Our American Revolution, Civil War, and yes the Alamo wasn’t bloody enough for history to record. You need to step down Smith. We the People no longer consider you to be an honest man, a good American, or a loyal representative of We the People.

  19. keep up the calls and dont let up If he is your rep ask for a meetin to discuss this with him. Put Him On The Ropes 202-225-4326 DC
    210-821-5024 TX

  20. Larmar Smith, is one of those good ole boys who will always think marihuana is an evil weed. There are alot of people in the goverment, they would rather, have this , just go away !!1 They are just brain dead when it come to marihuana, and will not listen to any one, except the lying goverment! We need to vote these people out!

  21. Change will only come more quickly if you collect enough people to smoke weed on the steps of the capitol to have them all get arrested and have as much media coverage as possible.
    We’re a people moved by events and scandals now.
    And other than that, just spreading the word obviously, doing what you’re doing now.

  22. Everyday, when I watch some tv, I always see an add for an attorny advertising law suits against some pharma drug, these highly dangerous, but sometimes helpful drugs being produced by big pharma are much more detrinental to our country than some weed. Also ask him how many people have been killed due to alchohol and how many from weed, there is no comparison it’s like a million to one.

  23. 126. Anonymous
    “There is no comparison it’s like a million to one.”
    I know it’s semantics – but – it’s a million to zero. I’m not giving them even that – “one.”

  24. Rep. Lamar Smith is not actually a true representative for the People, but rather, a Narcissian. Derived from Narcissus, meaning “sleep, numbness.” The story from Greek mythology is that Narcissus was a hunter, exceptionally proud, in that he disdained those who loved him, and survived on his own ego. Nemesis, another from Greek mythology, knew this and, attracted Narcissus to a pool where he could see his own reflection. Narcissus naturally fell in love with the image of himself, not realizing it was just an reflection and more importantly, unable to take his eyes off from his own reflection, and his own ignorance of the People and Nature around him, Narcissus died. He simply could not fulfill even his most basic needs for survival. So enamored he was with himself, so blind, numb and unaware of Nature, except as prey…

  25. how long must we endure ppl..that have never tried marijuana and only know the propiganda spewd by the goverment..making the calls for all of us…be nice if they stopped bein so hard to get along with know it alls that really dont have a clue…the ppl are speaking on this matter and have been for along time..when will the goverment finally listen to us…this country has far more serious probs that need dealt with befor worrying some one some where has grown their own and is toking blissfully up not bothering a soul…really?

  26. This is not a Democrat verses Republican problem. There are two sponsors of the bill in question one is a Democrat one is a Republican. Only two candidates for the 2012 presidential election have endorsed legalization of Cannabis. Both Republican. Don’t play the us versus them game that both parties want you to play or we will never get out of the rut we are in.

  27. dont remember whos post it was but seems to me some one mentioned the 10th ammendment earlier…said something to the effect that the federal goverment only had the power over the states that the whole of the states alow….that being said if the whole of the states wanted legalization would that then make it so?
    would it be possible to organize a nationtion wide vote state by state to ask we the ppl what we the ppl want and stop making us say mommy may i please grow and smoke my own weed in the privacy of my own home without fear of legal retaliation by any law enfocement agencies…its only been a few weeks ago in a neighboring town the law broke in on a private home to bust ppl for growing weed and in the process shot the family dog…even closer to home my nieces other half got busted for weed and at the time she was pregnent…these buffoons kicked the door in and she was standing close enuff that they knocked her down…these ppl have no regaurds for the safety of any one or any thing…they are like animals unleashed…where the hell are our rights? im sorry but to me the legalization of marjuana is more than jus the right to grow and smoke weed…its a start at the restoration of many rights relieved us in the yrs gone by…by supporting this bill you are supporting americans wanting to take our rights back…there is a bigger picture here than lots of ppl seem to think…it is for these reasons i wish cali would move forward with legalization…i feel colorado and several others would fall in behind them and eventually more would see the light until finally there was enuff to make the goverment take we the ppl serious and open talks would then insue and no one actually had to end up looking like a fool…i know but it doesnt hurt to dream alittle…helps keep the hope alive and btw im fifty in aug so ive been keepin the hope alive and living in fear of the refermadness mentality all these yrs. i started smoking marijuana at the age of 14…i learned by the age of 15 i liked it better than i ever did beer…it started out as something to do socially with my friends and in my older yrs its turned out to be my best friend…i cant afford to go to a docter but i have a problem with severe pain in my lower legs and feet to the point i have trouble walking across my own livingroom floor…this seems to help make the pain more tolerable…regaurdless of the law i will always smoke it and risk yet another jail senttence because it does me that much good that the risk means little for the piece of mind i get while under the influence of this wonderful plants effects…i am not a criminal but have been made to look like one because i exercised what i felt was my god given right and chose to smoke weed…pls legalize and allow me to be a completely legal tax paying weed smoking non criminal…is it really that much to ask of something we should already have? i remember seems to me it was back in the 70s we got a glimmer of hope that it would be legal soon…wrong…now here it is again…lets dont let this be just another one of lifes teases…get behind whoever it takes and do what ever you can to support this…even talk to your neighbors…an enlightend neighber could mean one more yes vote…the very vote that could put it over the top for all we know..dont just sit back and let others fight the good fight…not alll of us can get around good but we can make ourselves heard in places like this for coast to coast….ta yes vote for leagalization is a yes vote for a better life for ALL Americans…pls vote yes if we can ever get it to that

  28. 138. ConservativeChristian
    To answer your question – YES – this [is] what America is all about! But – what America [is] also all about [is] electing representative who will “represent” We the People. Someone made a horrible mistake – voting Smith into office. Now [2012] is their chance to correct that mistake. “If we don’t learn from our mistakes – we’re doomed to repeat them.”
    Good CDXX Communion.

  29. Ending pot prohibition is a policy that a good Republican should embrace.
    I usually (but not always) vote Republican.
    Ending pot prohibition is about individual freedom, about leaving people alone to do what they want to do in their personal lives and in the privacy of their own homes.
    And, ending pot prohibition will increase tax revenues.
    Be a good Republican! End pot prohibition!

  30. The funny thing about people like Smith is that they probably use drugs themselves, they just don’t want people to publicly know about it, so they keep getting their stash from the black market, or even freely from the vaults.

  31. I am here in DC and I went to Mr. Snith’s office. A staffer informed me that they had a little birthday party for a staffer and that is the reason they turned off the phone on friday. I asked about facebook. The same staff member said that alot of the messages were vulgar and abusive so offline they went. We need to put pressure on these type of politicians but lets play it smart people or they will not work with us.

  32. #138: Conservative Christian:
    Thank-you! I will put your links to good use.
    #120: Libertarian:
    Thanks for the link! This is a big help!

  33. All the persons that made a comment on here. I must ask how many of yall are register voters? Yea i dint think so You have to go vote.And yall dont

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