Decriminalize Marijuana

Decriminalize Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on May 06, 2008 at 04:09:06 PT
Source: Capital Times
Wisconsin -- U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin has long been a leader in the fight for sane drug policies. So we hope that she will sign on to legislation proposed by Rep. Barney Frank, the Massachusetts Democrat who has emerged as a key member of the House Democratic leadership team, that would decriminalize marijuana.With backing from Texas Republican Ron Paul, a 2008 presidential candidate, Frank's HR 5843 seeks to eliminate all federal penalties, including arrest, jail time and civil fines, prohibiting the personal use and possession of up to 100 grams of marijuana.
This initiative should not be confused with efforts to remove restrictions on the medicinal use of marijuana, which have met with even more success at the state level.Decriminalization of marijuana accepts that millions of Americans are going to grow or purchase small amounts of the substance for personal use and makes the determination that this ought not be a concern of the criminal justice system."It is poor law enforcement to keep on the books legislation that establishes as a crime something which in fact society does not seriously wish to prosecute," says Frank, who has long been one of the leading civil libertarians in Congress. "Having federal law enforcement agents engaged in the prosecution of people who are personally using marijuana is a waste of scarce resources better used for serious crimes."The American people are way ahead of their government when it comes to recognizing that the government should not be arresting and jailing people for simple marijuana possession.Seventy-two percent of Americans surveyed for a Time/CNN poll several years ago said that adults who use marijuana for recreational purposes should be fined but not jailed, while 40 percent favored the legalization of a small amount of pot.Twelve states -- Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Oregon -- have passed laws decriminalizing marijuana for personal consumption.Legislators in New Hampshire and Vermont are considering doing so, while voters in Massachusetts will this fall decide by referendum whether they want their state to decriminalization marijuana possession.Wisconsin should do the same.And Wisconsin's representatives in Washington should back Barney Frank's bill.Learn more about Frank's proposal by visiting the congressman's Web site at: Capital Times, The (WI)Published: May 6, 2008Copyright: 2008 The Capital TimesContact: tctvoice madison.comWebsite: Articles:Local Rep Backs Bill To Legalize Med Marijuana Frank Wants To Legalize Pot Frank: My Pot Bill Lives 
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Comment #1 posted by SamFox on May 08, 2008 at 21:20:22 PT:
Progress is slow, but coming on!
Been waiting for this a while. Glad to have these guys finally getting the right idea. To bad so many have not heard of or have ignored Ron Paul. He is still in the running but MSM has him on the back burner & even said Dr. Paul quit of the race.I bring up the good Dr. because as Prez. he would do what he can to end the drug war, for one of the many ideas he has to trim the fat Fed. gov. You should check out his books on economics. He has a group of economists who endorse him as well. 
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