Wednesday, February 06, 2013
Marijuana Bill Introduced In Congress
A bill has been introduced in the United States Congress that would repeal the federal laws criminalizing marijuana. The bill, introduced by Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colorado), would not legalize marijuana in all 50 states. Instead, it would allow each state to decide whether to legalize the gentle herb or not -- without any interference from the federal government. It would also set up a regulatory system for states that choose to legalize marijuana (much like the current system of regulations on alcohol).
This bill makes a lot of sense. It allows the people of each state to decide whether they want marijuana to be legal or not. And it would regulate the marijuana use (and allow states to now tax the legal growth and sale of marijuana -- providing some new revenue without having to raise current taxes). And it would head off the coming clash between states that have legalized the recreational use of marijuana with the federal government. So far, two states have legalized marijuana use (Colorado and Washington), but it is expected that several more will soon do so (especially after they see those two states haven't gone to hell in a hand basket).
I don't expect Rep. Polis' bill will get very far in the 113th Congress. It may not even get out of committee. But you have to start somewhere, and introducing this bill is a start. It's still going to be a long and difficult fight to overturn the ridiculous federal laws criminalizing marijuana -- laws that should have never been passed in the first place (since marijuana is non-lethal, non-addictive, and less harmful that other drugs -- including legal drugs like tobacco and alcohol).
But attitudes are changing with each passing year in the United States. More and more people are starting to realize that it is an insane policy to make criminals out of hard-working citizens who choose to smoke marijuana. And it is just as crazy to pass on the jobs and taxes legalizing the production, sale, and use of marijuana would produce.
Thank you Rep. Polis. Keep up the good fight!