Why Congress Might Legalize Marijuana This Time

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  Why Congress Might Legalize Marijuana This Time

Posted by CN Staff on February 10, 2013 at 05:48:06 PT
By Alex Seitz-Wald 
Source: Salon 

USA -- In 1973, Oregon rode the hippie wave to became the first state in the country to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. Within five years, eight other states had followed, but momentum soon lagged, and then reversed in the Reagan era.Lately, however, it’s beginning to feel like the ’70s again, with numerous polls showing a majority of Americans in favor of legalizing marijuana and the recent referenda in Colorado and Washington to do just that.
Earl Blumenauer voted on that first decriminalization bill 40 years ago in Oregon — as a “child legislator,” he jokes — and now that he’s in Congress representing the state, he thinks we’re approaching a moment where things are about to speed up very quickly for drug policy reform advocates.“It’s just come to a head,” he told Salon Thursday afternoon. “This is largely going to be resolved in the next five years.”Blumenauer, along with Colorado Democratic Rep. Jared Polis, introduced legislation this week to make the federal government treat cannabis like alcohol and let states decide whether to keep it illegal. And they think they have a real chance of getting somewhere this time.This is hardly the first time lawmakers have introduced legislation to decriminalize or legalize marijuana in Congress. Massachusetts liberal Democrat Barney Frank and Texas libertarian Republican Ron Paul worked together on a number of legalization bills, but both have now left Congress and passed the torch.“They were very busy people with financial reform and running for president, and I think we have an opportunity this time for some added focus from a number of members of Congress,” he said, noting Frank was a lead author of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill and Paul was busy being Paul.“I think we are in a position now to have a group of members of Congress who are able to spend a little more time and energy in a focused way on this. I think we’ve got a little bit more running room; I think our coalition is broader, and we’ve got people who have not normally been involved in this,” he added, pointing to more conservative members from Colorado who now care about marijuana after the state legalized it in the fall.On top of his and Polis’ bills (which tax marijuana and end the federal prohibition on it, respectively), he said he anticipates “about a dozen” different pieces of legislation dealing with drug policy reform moving forward. With “a number of folks” already working together in an informal working group, he explained, “We’ve got more people working more systematically.” He declined to elaborate on other members, saying they would be making public statements in the coming months.More modest goals include ending the federal prohibition on industrial hemp production (it’s legal to make things out of hemp, but illegal to grow it, so the fiber has to be imported), and changing the federal government’s classification of marijuana as more dangerous than cocaine or meth.The long-term goal, however, is to get the federal government to end the prohibition on marijuana and leave it to states to regulate the drug, just as Congress did when the prohibition on alcohol ended, something that two-thirds of Americans seem to support. “I honestly think that in their heart of hearts, most members of Congress would support that,” Blumenauer said.Note: Rep. Earl Blumenauer explains to Salon why his legalization bill may succeed where others have failed. Alex Seitz-Wald is Salon's political reporter. Source: Salon (US Web)Author: Alex Seitz-WaldPublished: February 8, 2013Copyright: 2013 SalonWebsite: readermail salon.comURL: -- Cannabis Archives 

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Comment #16 posted by FoM on February 13, 2013 at 07:54:54 PT
Storm Crow
That all went over my head but when cannabis is legal everywhere that would be such a good thing to have. Someone could make money on that idea when it's allowed.
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on February 13, 2013 at 05:27:49 PT
Storm Crow
When we got our e-cig I wondered why this wouldn't work with cannabis. I will read the full article. It make so much sense to do the same thing for people who have COPD or any issues like that. I use the Blu e cig which is 2 piece. I haven't seen any other types just the Blu.
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Comment #14 posted by Storm Crow on February 12, 2013 at 21:46:08 PT
THC E-cigs
A gal who calls herself "BadKittySmiles" has a way to make THC E-cigarettes! She also has some great recipes for edibles!E-Cigarettes: A How-To With Canna  (forum post - 2010)
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on February 11, 2013 at 05:33:49 PT
I Never Heard Of This
Wouldn't this be great if it was true?Now You Can Smoke Pot in Restaurants, Part 2: The E-Joint
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on February 11, 2013 at 05:00:28 PT
We are using the Blu E-Cigarette and we have cut our analogs in half. I figured they were too good to last long and have saved us so much money.
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Comment #11 posted by afterburner on February 10, 2013 at 21:07:59 PT
The GCW #7 : It's already started
"Will cigarettes become prohibited?"The Deadly Crusade Against E-Cigarettes.
By Gilbert Ross, M.D. on 11.15.12   6:07AM.
Experts meeting in Seoul this week want to ban a sure-fire way to prevent death from smoking.
Excerpt: "Lethally addictive cigarettes remain available on every street corner in Seoul and Atlanta while authorities denounce e-cigarettes as though the harmless sticks were Satan’s emissaries. (In fact, the product is already banned in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.)"
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Comment #10 posted by Sam Adams on February 10, 2013 at 17:00:07 PT
the next step
Big journeys are taken one step at a time.Let's see a state legislature pass a real legalization bill, THEN we can talk about Congress. Believe me, nothing federal will happen before referendums, then state legislature, then probably Supreme Court, then Congress. That's the way it's going to go. I think it's likely that Congress won't act until forced to by the Supreme Court.Medical MJ is two steps down the road - referendums and state legislatures? Check. Legalization has only taken the first step.Yes, many minds are changing. However, don't forget that naked power comes out to play when all the minds are changed but the last 5 or 10%.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on February 10, 2013 at 16:45:34 PT

NH Bills Would Decriminalize Marijuana
 February 10, 2013 CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire House committee is holding hearings Thursday on three bills to decriminalize marijuana.
 One of the bills also proposes licensing marijuana and taxing its sale. The bill would legalize personal use of the drug of up to one ounce by anyone age 21 and older.
 A second bill would also decriminalize possession of less than one ounce.
 The third bill would remove penalties for possession or use of marijuana.
 Copyright: 2013 Globe Newspaper CompanyURL:
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Comment #8 posted by kaptinemo on February 10, 2013 at 12:28:35 PT:

GCW, I believe you mean this gentleman
The sadly late Professor Whitebread's famous (in reform circles, anyway) Speech to the California Judges Association
1995 annual conference, entitled "The History of the Non-Medical Use of Drugs in the United States." you are referring to is at the very end of his speech, here: after all the harms caused by prohibitions, some Americans never seem to learn that the ostensibly lofty goal is never worth the very real and terrible price paid...and you never get to own what you're paying for, as it slips further and further from your grasp, despite all the efforts applied...and the innocent lives destroyed. 
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Comment #7 posted by The GCW on February 10, 2013 at 11:46:57 PT

Is cigarette prohibition coming?
One of the problems prohibitionists who are facing the music have to face is the loud screams from those in the businesses profiting off the farce of cannabis prohibition and extermination. The prison industry primarily. On one facet, it's a jobs program after all...I remember a few or more years ago reading how (it's thought) Americans can not live with out a prohibition. It has been used as one reason why cannabis prohibition became acceptable. Getting rid of booze prohibition was made easier by replacing it with cannabis prohibition.Now, the question is: Will cigarettes become prohibited?The congressmen et al. keep the jobs program going, so they will hear less screaming. Less people out of work... Bigots will still have someone to beat down... They will just trade in and upgrade...! Lots of things are going on indicating We may be heading toward nicotine prohibition. That's the momentum's direction...Then the next ? is: Who will fight that? To show how crappy of a person I Am, I will not help end cigarette prohibition. But I'm unlikely to call the cops if I see some kids selling it on the corner.Will I support discriminating against cigarette smokers in order to stop discrimination toward cannabis users? Same scumbag, different hat.Some thoughts.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on February 10, 2013 at 11:15:25 PT

Bottom Up
We are doing it like we were told to do it. From the bottom up not the top down.
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Comment #5 posted by The GCW on February 10, 2013 at 11:01:55 PT

prohibitionists, notbeing allowed tobe comfortable
Congress as a whole is pretty crappy but... The point is We are making progress. Changing minds. Remember that video with Polis grating Leonhart (sp) showing how much of a dipsht She is??? People see that and go DUH! -And wake up!. Good congressmen expose the bad. They get replaced for one reason or another and progress resumes, albeit slow. But then the congressional aspect is just one of many.We are also influencing judges, jurors, other politicians, citizens,laws elections etc. Presidents have gotten high. Future presidents are getting high as We speak.We are stronger today than We have been in the past.
Politicians in the staunch south are not going to dictate Colorado, Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii etc. what to do.In the mean time, Polis is not only presenting the case in congress, it appears He is exposing the issue in a manner that indicates those who STILL cling onto cannabis prohibition are BAD PEOPLE & People who are IGNOIDS.Cannabis prohibitionists are not being allowed to be comfortable to so.Momentum is in Our favor, not congress'. 
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on February 10, 2013 at 10:54:35 PT

That was great! I couldn't agree more.
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Comment #3 posted by kaptinemo on February 10, 2013 at 10:45:18 PT:

The pressure is rising from below
And Congress is feeling it.Sure, they're corrupt. But even the corrupt can tell which way the wind is blowing...and when it's reaching dangerous (for them) force levels.Already, Reps and Senators in Congress are meeting with reform groups like MPP to begin crafting the necessary legislation, and the legislators approached the groups, not the other way around.What is going to happen here is a classic case of entrenched special interests (that have had their way for so long they believe it a natural law) coming into conflict with very real and increasing grassroots pressure (like the definition of turgor) to upset that arrangement.This will force the corruption into the open. It will lay bare the reality that reformers have known for years but the general public has been largely oblivious of.I keep harping on about a generational shift, and I have very good reason. Becaue there's something that has not received much discussion in our ranks, and yet is should. That discussion has to do with the fact that the generation for which the DrugWar has supposedly been waged has, almost en masse, turned a thumbs-down on it. Even more importantly, THEY WILL NOT WANT TO PAY FOR IT WITH THEIR TAXES.Push is finally, finally, finally, after all these long, hard years, coming to shove. A major political showdown is in the works. A showdown that threatens to unmask the myriad forces behind the scenes who have so handsomely benefited from drug prohibition. The pols will have only two choices: attempt to maintain the status quo - at the direction of the aforementioned hidden stringpullers - or they can abide by the wishes of the electorate. And there are for more of the electorate than there are of the hidden stringpullers.What this means is this: either the Congress and ultimately the President will abide by the expressed will of the people...or they can face the ultimate horror of having the ENTIRE electorate realize, once and for all, that their vote does not count.And that's how revolutions start. Actually, when you think about it, it has started already. And can you guess who the revolutionaries are? Hint: look in the mirror. Because right now, what we are working so hard for will have a truly revolutionary impact on life in this country. For over 5 decades there has been a steady, slow slide into fascism in this country. That slide was aided and abetted - and in the past 30 years, accelerated - by the DrugWar, and its' odious 'exceptions' to the Bill of Rights, whittling away at it to the point the document has less value than toilet paper.Make no mistake: Relegalized cannabis would strike a blow to the very heart of the crypto-fascist machinery that has been steadily building, like one of Roman General Fabius's walls, seeking to encircle and crush what freedoms we have left. It would force backwards that Juggernaut that has been causing so much pain and misery and death for so long. The ramifications of relegalized cannabis are simply too huge and widespread and deep to recount here, and I certainly don't have all the scope of it. But one thing you can be sure of: we wouldn't need the massive bureaucracies that have been part of that Juggernaut throttling our freedoms.So what do you think will happen when Congress is confronted with a generational ground swell of support for cannabis law reform THAT WILL NOT BE DENIED? If they continue to obey their hidden masters, then they risk the danger of the last bits of legitimacy for keeping the present form of government intact, and they know that. It will either be execute the will of the people...or face the incredible danger denying that will risks. For, at that point, there will be no further sense in the electorate playing the game, any more. And then, all bets are off...and the smarter of them know it. It's why the Administration is walking on egg-shells right now in its' deliberations to stymie our progress. Any move it makes to do so nullifies democracy...and the Gates of Hell await such a move.
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on February 10, 2013 at 09:36:18 PT

thank you
HW, I was thinking the same thing as I read this.  What planet is this guy living on. The new legislation is great progress, yes, but this is a Congress that's been voting in favor of medical MJ raiding by SWAT teams by a wide margin for many years now. Without budging more than a few votes the whole time, despite all sorts of progress at the state level and hundreds of scientific studies.My guess is that the feds will find some way to stall or harass until 2016, when maybe there will be a court judgement allowing legalization within individual states. At this time I can't foresee Congress ever voting for it, but that's just me.
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on February 10, 2013 at 08:02:08 PT

Dream On Folks!
Something the jumps out immediately, i.m.h.o.: "The long-term goal, however, is to get the federal government to end the prohibition on marijuana and leave it to states to regulate the drug, just as Congress did when the prohibition on alcohol ended, something that two-thirds of Americans seem to support. “I honestly think that in their heart of hearts, most members of Congress would support that,” Blumenauer said."What Blumenauer (his last name is German and it literally means 'flower holder or keeper' the irony...) really says is: Congress is (hopelessly) out of step with the American people.And now, he (and we) have to win over congress because they are a bunch of corrupt old folk who are on the take and who get financed by big oil and big tobacco and, not to forget, last but not least, big pharma...So is congres suddenly that important? No! It never was and never will be. The other beef I have with this article is that the author makes it seem as if in the past all was good and dandy and that 'the people' made alcohol illegal and then marijuana. Because 'that's what 'the people' wanted at that time.' Bullcrap! Alcohol prohibition was imposed by Rockefeller (who also funded the temperance movement because he was/is the richest man on earth! Alcohol prohibition was imposed because Ford ran his cars on alcohol! Then Ford wanted to run cars on ethanol made from... hemp and he wanted to make his cars out of hemp... so then Rockefeller made hemp illegal and at the same time made cannabis illegal to protect his pharmaceutical empires!Where was 'congress' then? And, what is left of congress, now? These are the same old folks with the packs of $100 bills in the freezer from all the backroom dealing.Yeah, leave it to congress... ha, ha!
Who is going to win? The people or Rocky?
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