Decriminalizing Marijuana Use One Step At a Time

Decriminalizing Marijuana Use One Step At a Time
Posted by CN Staff on May 06, 2008 at 09:00:52 PT
By Brian Tschiegg, Staff Writer
Source: Retriever Weekly
Washington, D.C. -- Recently, legislation was introduced to the House of Representatives that would completely legalize the possession, use, and not-for-profit transfer of marijuana. The bill, known as the “Act to Remove Federal Penalties for Personal Use of Marijuana” or H.R. 5843, was introduced by Representative Barney Frank (D – MA) and is co-sponsored by Representative Ron Paul (R – TX). This bill is the first decriminalization bill introduced in 24 years.
Twelve states already have decriminalization bills in place that eliminate criminal penalties for minor possession charges. According to federal statistics, the relaxed laws have not led to an increase in marijuana use. Rep. Frank says that its time for our federal government to align its ideas with its constituents. Over 75 percent of American adults are in favor of decriminalization legislation, according to a CNN survey. Rep. Frank says that it's time “for the politicians to catch up with the public on this. The notion that you lock people up for smoking marijuana is pretty silly.”Pretty silly indeed, considering the cost the taxpayers are covering for little to no improvement. Each marijuana related arrest costs the federal government $10,400 on average. For this cost, a decrease in marijuana use would be expected, but instead marijuana use continues to increase. Legislators like Barney Frank and Ron Paul are breaking new ground that could take the drug war in the direction it needs to go. Arresting people for marijuana is a misuse of resources, and the money saved could be used to combat real threats to Americans.The bill would remove any penalties, including civil fines, on adults who consume marijuana responsibly. It would allow adults to possess for personal use up to 100 grams (3 ˝ ounces), and to transfer up to 1 ounce as long as it is not for profit. If the bill passes, then it will be the first time since 1937 that the possession, use, and transfer of marijuana would be completely legal.Besides Representatives Barry Frank and Ron Paul, there were two other major organizations that helped write the bill. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) had a large hand in the formation of bill, working closely with Rep. Frank. The bill also relied heavily on information and advice from the federally-funded National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse.House Bill 5842 is also a very important decriminalization bill that will be voted on during this session. Also introduced by Rep. Frank, this bill would allow the states to choose if they will allow decriminalization and/or medical marijuana. It would prohibit any judicial action by the federal government in states where marijuana is decriminalized. Basically, the bill would make the Controlled Substance Act null and void in certain states because of their medical marijuana laws. It would allow medical professionals to prescribe marijuana; authorized users to grow, transport, and consume marijuana; and it would allow pharmacies to distribute marijuana.Both bills will face harsh criticism because of the stigma in our country that marijuana is evil, but with enough support from voters it will at least raise awareness on the subject. So call or e-mail your representative and tell them to vote Yes on H.R. 5843 and H.R. 5842. If you're too lazy to write a letter, NORML has a pre-written letter and will find your representative -- you have to do is enter your zip code, so break that couch lock and get active.Source: Retriever, The (UMBC, MD Edu)Author: Brian Tschiegg, Staff WriterPublished: May 6, 2008 - Volume 42, Issue 28 Copyright: 2008 The Retriever WeeklyContact: btsch1 umbc.eduWebsite: Articles: Decriminalize Marijuana Rep Backs Bill To Legalize Med Marijuana Frank Wants To Legalize Pot
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Comment #6 posted by mykeyb420 on May 07, 2008 at 07:12:33 PT
No wonder san diego wants to overturn prop 215
we were cutting in on their profits:SAN DIEGO, California (AP) -- San Diego State University has suspended six fraternities after a sweeping drug investigation that landed members of three fraternities in jail on suspicion of openly dealing drugs on campus.Deputy District Attorney Damon Mosler, center, points out guns and drugs seized during the San Diego drug bust.1 of 2 The probe -- prompted by the cocaine overdose death last year of a freshman sorority member -- led to the arrests of 96 people, 75 of them San Diego State students. A second drug death occurred during the investigation.Twenty-nine people were arrested early Tuesday in raids at nine locations including the Theta Chi fraternity, where agents found cocaine, Ecstasy and three guns. Eighteen of those arrested were wanted on warrants for selling to undercover agents.Theta Chi and five other fraternities have been suspended pending a hearing on evidence gathered during the investigation, dubbed Operation Sudden Fall. Watch police escort handcuffed students »Authorities said some fraternity members openly dealt drugs, and that one sent a mass text message advertising special prices on cocaine. Two kilograms of cocaine were seized in all, along with 350 Ecstasy pills, marijuana, psychedelic mushrooms, hashish oil, methamphetamine, illicit prescription drugs, several guns and at least $60,000 in cash, authorities said.Profits may have been used to finance fraternity operations, according to an affidavit.A member of Theta Chi sent out a mass text message to his "faithful customers" stating that he and his "associates" would be unable to sell cocaine while they were in Las Vegas for a fraternity formal, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. The text promoted a cocaine "sale" and listed the reduced prices on bulk quantities.
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Comment #5 posted by dongenero on May 07, 2008 at 06:54:59 PT
My Congressperson is in lock step with the Bush Administration. I've sent so many messages about everything form cannabis law reform to energy policies to environmental policies, none of which we have common ground.It's useless until this dolt is replaced (hopefully), in November.I can't believe how many of my congresspersons ilk survived the 2004 elections! Then again, Bush was voted into a second term! I couldn't believe he was voted in, er...installed the first time!We Americans can be awfully slow to catch on. 
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Comment #4 posted by OverwhelmSam on May 07, 2008 at 04:16:37 PT
Hillary Cancels Appearances
Ding Dong the bitch is dead. Which old bitch? The wicked bitch from New York. The only problem, if Obama takes her on as VP, when he is assasinated, she'll be President anyway. Damnit!
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Comment #3 posted by afterburner on May 06, 2008 at 23:10:07 PT
OT: Heads Up
In case you couldn't stomach this mini-series -- glorifying the DEA -- so far, they are finally getting to the real deal later tonight: Marijuana Grow House!!!! Let's see how they try to spin this episode.{
EPISODE: Marijuana Grow House. 
CATEGORY: Reality. 
SYNOPSIS: DEA Group 14 takes part in a citywide operation to shutdown dope houses near local schools. 
DATE / TIME: May 7: 11:00PM, 
May 9: 11:00PM, 
May 10: 2:00PM, 
May 13: 10:00PM. 
}"near local schools": looks like they're planning to play the kids card again.
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Comment #2 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on May 06, 2008 at 23:02:15 PT
Don't be afraid? That might not be possible.
When you don't trust the fuckers and don't put anything past them, it's pretty much impossible. Nixon kept an enemies list, and I don't think my congressman is any better than Nixon (and he's a Democrat!)."Overcome your fear, PROBABLY nothing will happen to you for contacting Congress", I think would be a more accurate plea for some of us. It might encourage some of us more suspicious types to also mention that it's quite likely they won't even really listen to what you're saying, anyway, lol.
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Comment #1 posted by John Tyler on May 06, 2008 at 19:13:07 PT
contact your Congressperson
Call your Congressperson's office near you. It will be a local call. Ask them to support the proposed legislation mentioned above. Don't be afraid. Nothing will happen to you for asking your Congressperson to do something. That is part of his job to listen to his constituents. Lets make this happen.
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