Federal Bill To Decriminalize Marijuana Use Introduced
Reported by Norml:
Members of Congress called on lawmakers to enact legislation that would limit the government’s authority to arrest and prosecute adults who possess marijuana for their own personal use.
The federal government should “not lock people up or use scarce federal resources to arrest people for using or possessing … marijuana,” Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) announced at a Capitol Hill press conference Wednesday. “The vast amount of human activity ought to be none of the government’s business. I don’t think it is the government’s business to tell you how to spend your leisure time.”
Rep. Frank, along with Reps. William Lacy Clay (D-MO) and Barbara Lee (D-CA), called on lawmakers to support legislation, HR 5843, which would eliminate federal penalties for the possession and non-profit transfer of marijuana by adults. Representatives Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), William Lacy Clay, Barbara Lee, Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Ron Paul (R-TX), and Jim McDermott (D-WA) are co-sponsoring the bill, entitled “the Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults Act of 2008.”
The legislation is the first proposal to be introduced in Congress in 30 years that seeks to eliminate federal pot penalties.
I don’t expect this to pass. But with many legislation, the very fact that it could be introduced without political backlash is an indication that a bill like this might gain traction over time and pass in the future. Kudos to Barney Frank for introducing this bill, and for Ron Paul for being a cosponsor.
Perhaps this is something that we can use to ask RLC members (other than Paul, of course) to cosponsor. If they want to talk the talk, let’s make sure they walk the walk.