Moral Low Ground

Civil Liberties

‘The Moral High Ground’: Reps. Barney Frank & Ron Paul Introduce Bill to End Federal Marijuana Prohibition

This week is the 40th anniversary of the failed “War on Drugs,” and two US congressmen will bring forth a bill that, if passed, would be an anniversary gift perfectly befitting this absurd and multi-generational exercise in futility.

(Photo: Jason White)

Reps. Barney Frank (D-MA) and Ron Paul (R-TX) have authored a bill that would end the federal prohibition of marijuana, limiting the federal government to enforcing cross-border or interstate smuggling. The bill would allow people to legally grow, use and/or sell marijuana without worrying about federal prosecution.

According to the Oakland Tribune, co-sponsors of the bill include Reps. John Conyers (D-MI), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Jared Polis (D-CO) and Barbara Lee (D-CA).

“The human cost of the failed drug war has been enormous — egregious racial disparities, shattered families, poverty, public health crises, prohibition-related violence, and the erosion of civil liberties. And of course the cost in dollars and cents has been staggering as well — over a trillion dollars spent to incarcerate tens of millions of young people,” Lee said. “I co-sponsored this bipartisan legislation because I believe it is time to turn the page from this failed drug war.”

Under the proposed legislation, each individual state would be free to draft its own marijuana laws and be solely responsible for enforcing them.

This bill is the first of its kind.

Sixteen states and Washington, DC currently permit the medical use of marijuana.

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