On June 23rd Representatives Barney Frank and Ron Paul introduced bill HR 2306, or “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011”. To quote Bill Maher “In these hyper partisan times this issue was able to unite a flaming liberal from Massachusetts and a crazy Republican right-winger from Texas. Oh marijuana, is there anything you can’t do?”
HR 2306 would not legalize marijuana, instead it would no longer classify the drug as a federally controlled substance. According to Congressman Barney Frank “Criminally prosecuting adults for making the choice to smoke marijuana is a waste of law enforcement resources, and an intrusion on personal freedom.” Aside from Ron Paul and Barney Frank, the bill is also supported by representatives John Conyers, Steve Cohen, Jared Polis, and Barbara Lee.
In the video posted below Ron Paul debates Stephen Baldwin on the pros and cons of marijuana legalization. Ironically Baldwin was in the film Half Baked.
I think Paul said it best when he said “Drugs are very dangerous, but there are a lot of things that are dangerous. Who should regulate danger? Should we take responsibility for ourselves, or should we let the government take care of us?”
Unfortunately the proposed legislation already appears to be doomed. House Judiciary Committee Chairman ,Lamar Smith, had this to say about the bill “Marijuana use and distribution is prohibited under federal law because it has a high potential for abuse and does not have an accepted medical use in the U.S.” To make matters worse The Office of National Drug Control Policy made this statment to the LA Times “Our concern with marijuana is not borne out of any culture war or drug war mentality, but out of what the science tells us about the drug’s effects. The facts are that marijuana potency has tripled in the past 20 years and teens are using the drug at earlier ages.”
The Blue Scholar Blog wants to know what you think. Should marijuana be federally decriminalized? Please feel free to share your opinions by leaving a comment.