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Rob Kampia: Barney Frank and Ron Paul Introduce Bill to End Federal Marijuana Prohibition

Rob Kampia: Barney Frank and Ron Paul Introduce Bill to End Federal Marijuana Prohibition.

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Marijuana Bill In Congress: Barney Frank, Ron Paul Legislation Would End Federal Ban On Pot

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) will introduce legislation on Thursday to end the federal ban on marijuana and let the states decide whether to legalize it.

“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,” according to the Marijuana Policy Project, which advocates for pot legalization. “The legislation is the first bill ever introduced in Congress to end federal marijuana prohibition.”

More than a dozen states allow the sale of medical marijuana, but the practice is not legal under federal law, leading to confusion and clashes between local and federal authorities.

In March, for example, DEA agents raided two medical marijuana dispensaries in West Hollywood, California, and 26 dispensaries in 13 cities across Montana.

This despite the Obama administration’s announcement two years ago that it would not arrest or prosecute medical marijuana users or suppliers who are not violating local laws — a reversal of the Bush administration’s policy that federal drug laws should be enforced even in states that had legalized medical marijuana. Attorney General Eric Holder has said he will clarify the Justice Department’s position.

The bill by Frank and Paul comes 40 years after President Richard Nixon first declared a war on drugs. Last week, to commemorate the anniversary, a group of former law enforcement officials unveiled a new report detailing the failures of the government’s long battle against illegal drugs and denounces the Obama administration’s current drug policies.

“Since President Nixon declared ‘war on drugs’ four decades ago, this failed policy has led to millions of arrests, a trillion dollars spent and countless lives lost, yet drugs today are more available than ever,” said Norm Stamper, former chief of police in Seattle and a speaker for legalization-advocacy group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

“President Obama’s drug officials keep saying they’ve ended the ‘drug war,'” the LEAP member said. “But our report shows that’s just not true.”

via Marijuana Bill In Congress: Barney Frank, Ron Paul Legislation Would End Federal Ban On Pot.

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Marijuana Bill In Congress: Barney Frank, Ron Paul Legislation Would End Federal Ban On Pot

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) will introduce legislation on Thursday to end the federal ban on marijuana and let the states decide whether to legalize it.

“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,” according to the Marijuana Policy Project, which advocates for pot legalization. “The legislation is the first bill ever introduced in Congress to end federal marijuana prohibition.”

More than a dozen states allow the sale of medical marijuana, but the practice is not legal under federal law, leading to confusion and clashes between local and federal authorities.

In March, for example, DEA agents raided two medical marijuana dispensaries in West Hollywood, California, and 26 dispensaries in 13 cities across Montana.

This despite the Obama administration’s announcement two years ago that it would not arrest or prosecute medical marijuana users or suppliers who are not violating local laws — a reversal of the Bush administration’s policy that federal drug laws should be enforced even in states that had legalized medical marijuana. Attorney General Eric Holder has said he will clarify the Justice Department’s position.

The bill by Frank and Paul comes 40 years after President Richard Nixon first declared a war on drugs. Last week, to commemorate the anniversary, a group of former law enforcement officials unveiled a new report detailing the failures of the government’s long battle against illegal drugs and denounces the Obama administration’s current drug policies.

“Since President Nixon declared ‘war on drugs’ four decades ago, this failed policy has led to millions of arrests, a trillion dollars spent and countless lives lost, yet drugs today are more available than ever,” said Norm Stamper, former chief of police in Seattle and a speaker for legalization-advocacy group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

“President Obama’s drug officials keep saying they’ve ended the ‘drug war,'” the LEAP member said. “But our report shows that’s just not true.”

via Marijuana Bill In Congress: Barney Frank, Ron Paul Legislation Would End Federal Ban On Pot.

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Holder Promises To Clarify Medical Pot Position

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder promised Thursday to clarify the Justice Department’s position on state medical marijuana laws after federal prosecutors warned they might prosecute everyone from licensed growers to regulators.
“We’re going to bring clarity so that people understand what this policy means and how this policy will be implemented,” Holder said during a visit to a Providence, R.I., institute that specializes in nonviolence.
Holder didn’t go into detail about plans for clarification. But he said the department was wary of medical marijuana dispensaries being seen as a form of de facto marijuana legalization.
Several U.S. states have started reassessing their medical marijuana laws after U.S. attorneys recently sent stern warnings that everyone from licensed medical marijuana growers to regulators could be subjected to prosecution. The cautions were sent to officials in California, Colorado, Montana and Rhode Island. Federal authorities also recently conducted a series of raids at grow operations in Montana and at dispensaries in Washington.
More than a dozen states have approved the medical use of marijuana, which is not legal under federal law. About half of those states regulate medical marijuana dispensaries.
In Rhode Island, Gov. Lincoln Chafee suspended plans last month to license three such dispensaries after U.S Attorney Peter Neronha sent him a letter warning that they could lead to prosecutions.

Source: Associated Press (Wire)
Author: Laura Crimaldi, Associated Press
Published: June 2, 2011
Copyright: 2011 The Associated Press

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