Online Staff Report
U.S. Reps. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Barney Frank (D-Mass.) were to introduce a bill June 23 that would eliminate the federal prohibition of marijuana. The bill would instead allow states to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana.
Using as a blueprint the 21st Amendment to the Constitution, which repealed the prohibition of alcoholic beverages, the legislation is being described by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) as “the first bill ever introduced in Congress to end federal marijuana prohibition.”
The bill would “end state/federal conflicts over marijuana policy, re-prioritize federal resources and provide more room for states to do what is best for their own citizens,” according to MPP.
Priority would shift away from the enforcement of anti-marijuana laws, “limiting the federal government’s role in combating cross-border and interstate smuggling, as well as in fighting the growth, use and sale of the drug,” Politico reported.
A USA Today report added: “The Marijuana Policy Project highlights that 46.5 percent of Californians voted for Proposition 19. It also cites a report released this month by the Global Commission on Drug Policy that slammed the decades-old war on drugs and called on governments to take a look at decriminalizing marijuana and other drugs.”
CNN Money termed the bill a long shot, but said it could be the start of a conversation.
Joining Paul and Frank as co-sponsors of the bill are U.S. Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.).
Paul, a candidate for the Republican nomination for president in the 2012 election, is the only Republican sponsor of the bill, which is being presented as bipartisan.