Members of Congress to Introduce Historic Bill Ending Marijuana Prohibition | Drug Policy Alliance

PRESS RELEASE  | 06/22/2011

Thurs: Members of Congress to Introduce Historic Legislation Ending Marijuana Prohibition

The Legislation, Modeled after the Repeal of Alcohol Prohibition, Comes on the 40th Anniversary of the Failed War on Drugs and on the Heels of a Global Commission Report Recommending Marijuana Legalization

Teleconference: Rep. Barney Frank and Leading Organizations Working to End the Failed War on Marijuana Explain the Significance of the Legislation

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) will introduce bi-partisan legislation tomorrow, June 23, ending the federal war on marijuana and letting states legalize, regulate, tax, and control marijuana without federal interference. Other co-sponsors include Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA). The legislation would limit the federal government’s role in marijuana enforcement to cross-border or inter-state smuggling, allowing people to legally grow, use or sell marijuana in states where it is legal. The legislation is the first bill ever introduced in Congress to end federal marijuana prohibition.

Leading critics of the war on marijuana will explain its significance for state and national marijuana policy at a national tele-press conference on Thursday.

What:  Tele-Press Conference on the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011

When: Thursday, June 23. 2:00pm EST / 11am PST

Who:

Representative Barney Frank (D-4th/MA)

Aaron Houston, executive director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP)

Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP)

Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)

Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA)

Last week marked the 40th Anniversary of President Nixon declaring a war on marijuana and other drugs. In an oped in the New York Times last week, timed for the 40th Anniversary, former President Jimmy Carter called for reforming marijuana laws.

The legislation also comes on the heels of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, which released a report on June 2 calling for a major paradigm shift in how our society deals with drugs, including calling for legal regulation of marijuana. The report sent a jolt around the world, generating thousands of international media stories.  The commission is comprised of international dignitaries including Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations; Richard Branson, entrepreneur, founder of the Virgin Group; and the former Presidents of Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Switzerland. Representing the U.S. on the commission are George P. Shultz, Paul Volcker, and John Whitehead.

46.5% of Californians voted last year to legalize marijuana in their state, and voters in Colorado, Washington and possibly other states are expected to vote on the issue next year. In the past year at least five state legislatures have considered legalizing marijuana, including California, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Washington. 16 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical use, but the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) continues to arrest people under federal law and U.S. Attorneys have in recent months sent threatening letters to state policymakers in an apparent attempt to meddle in state decision-making.

Rep. Frank’s legislation would end state/federal conflicts over marijuana policy, reprioritize federal resources, and provide more room for states to do what is best for their own citizens.

Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or Bill Piper 202-669-6430

via Thurs: Members of Congress to Introduce Historic Legislation Ending Marijuana Prohibition | Drug Policy Alliance.

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Former U.S. Attorney McKay backs effort to legalize pot in Washington

Former U.S. attorney McKay backs effort to legalize pot in Washington
A coalition that includes former U.S. Attorney John McKay, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes and travel guide Rick Steves is launching an initiative that would legalize marijuana in Washington state.

By Seattle Times staff and wire services
A coalition that includes former U.S. Attorney John McKay, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes and travel guide Rick Steves is launching an initiative that would legalize marijuana in Washington state.

The group, led by the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, decided to push the initiative this spring after Gov. Chris Gregoire vetoed most of a medical-marijuana bill that had passed the state Legislature.

“We did some more public-opinion research, looked at the numbers and said, ‘Yeah, this is the time,’ ” said Alison Holcomb, campaign manager for the initiative and drug-policy director of the ACLU of Washington.

The initiative would regulate the recreational use of marijuana in a way similar to how the state regulates alcohol.

It would legalize marijuana for people older than 21, authorize the state Liquor Control Board to regulate and tax marijuana for sale in “stand-alone stores” and extend drunken-driving laws to marijuana, with blood tests to determine how much of the substance’s active ingredient is present in a driver’s blood.

Taxing sales would bring the state $215 million a year, conservatively estimated, Holmes said.

McKay, who spent five years enforcing federal drug laws as the U.S. attorney in Seattle before he was fired by the Bush administration in early 2007, said he hopes the initiative will help “shame Congress” into ending pot prohibition.

He said laws criminalizing marijuana are wrongheaded because they create an enormous black market exploited by international cartels and crime rings.

“That’s what drives my concern: The black market fuels the cartels, and that’s what allows them to buy the guns they use to kill people,” McKay said. “A lot of Americans smoke pot, and they’re willing to pay for it. I think prohibition is a dumb policy, and there are a lot of line federal prosecutors who share the view that the policy is suspect.”

Supporters would have until the end of this year to gather more than 240,000 signatures to get the initiative before the Legislature. Lawmakers could approve it or allow it to go to the ballot next year.

The coalition pushing the initiative is called New Approach Washington. It also includes Dr. Robert W. Wood, former director of the HIV/AIDS Program of Public Health — Seattle and King County, and state Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson, D-Seattle, who this year sponsored an unsuccessful bill to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana. Both McKay and Holmes supported Dickerson’s bill.

While Dickerson’s effort failed, separate legislation to license and regulate medical-marijuana dispensaries and grow operations, and give patients broader arrest protection, was approved.

Gregoire, however, vetoed parts of the bill in late April, saying it would put state workers at risk of prosecution under federal law, which bans marijuana.

Although the veto wasn’t the only reason behind the initiative, that’s when members of the coalition began talking more about a measure that would go beyond medical marijuana, the ACLU’s Holcomb said.

“The public opinion is there to support full legalization,” she said. “If you’re going to put the effort into doing an initiative, it doesn’t make sense to limit yourself to medical marijuana.”

New Approach Washington planned a news conference Wednesday to announce the effort.

No state has legalized marijuana for recreational purposes in such a way, although some have decriminalized it. The initiative would put Washington squarely at odds with federal law.

It would set limits on how much cannabis people can have: an ounce of dried bud, 16 ounces of marijuana-infused foods in solid form, and 72 ounces of marijuana-infused liquids, or all three, Holcomb said. Limits are necessary to help make sure that people don’t buy large amounts for resale in other states, she said.

Holmes called the measure the “first comprehensive legalization, regulation and taxation initiative. It addresses every concern that has been voiced in the debate over the last several decades.”

California voters last year rejected Proposition 19, which would have allowed for personal possession and growing of limited amounts of marijuana, 54 percent to 46 percent.

Steves, a longtime critic of the nation’s marijuana laws, said he supports the Washington state initiative because “I just care about our community, and I think the war on marijuana is hurting people. … I think it’s flat out good citizenship to discuss a problem that needs to be tackled in a more thoughtful way.”

McKay said he long has considered marijuana prohibition a failed policy, but that his job as U.S. attorney was to enforce federal law, and he had no problem doing so.

But now, he said, “I can say the law is stupid.”

McKay added that he does not use marijuana and that his position is based on a belief that marijuana prohibition has failed.

“When you look at alcohol prohibition, it took the states to say, ‘This policy is wrong,’ ” he said. “This bill might not be perfect, but it’s a good step forward. I think it will eventually shame Congress into action.”

Another group, Sensible Washington, already is pushing a legalization initiative that would remove all state criminal and civil penalties for marijuana use, possession and cultivation in any amount. Their effort is an initiative directly to the voters, meaning that, if it qualifies for the November ballot and passes, it would become law without input from the Legislature.

The Associated Press and Seattle Times reporters Andrew Garber and Steve Miletich contributed
to this report.

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Run From The Cure (Rick Simpson)

This is a great movie done by Rick Simpson about him curing himself. He started to realize the power of hemp oil and supplying it to others with great results. See for yourself what this amazing plant can really do.

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Cigarette Warning Labels From Around The World

Here is a follow up to FDA introducing new cigarette warning labels.  This shows some of the warning labels from around the world.
U.S. (Proposed)
United Kingdom

The Philippines
Uruguay
Hong Kong
Brazil
Australia (Proposed)
Canada
Canada
Canada

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