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United States Politics

Politics: Paul-Barney Bill Would Legalize Marijuana Federally 688

Posted by timothy
from the states-left-holding-the-nanny-hammer dept.
shafty023 writes "It would appear Ron Paul (R-TX) and Barney Frank (D-MA) are going to be presenting a bill to legalize marijuana and thus end the failed war on drugs finally if it gets passed. What chances do you all think this bill has in the Senate and House or even surviving the president's veto pen?" Note that there would still be plenty of drug war left to go around, even if (as this bill sets out to accomplish) the Federal government stops chasing marijuana.
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Politics: Paul-Barney Bill Would Legalize Marijuana Federally

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  • by DogDude (805747) on Thursday June 23, 2011 @04:34PM (#36546580) Homepage
    Obama's simply too conservative to sign a bill like this. He should, but he won't. The fact that marijuana is 100% safe isn't enough to sway the screaming, mindless Christians, and Obama needs at least some of their votes.
    • by Radres (776901)

      I doubt it would even get to the President.

    • by operagost (62405)
      Besides the fact that you're an ignorant troll, it isn't "100% safe". Maybe 90%... you wouldn't want to operate machinery, and I'm sure there are impurities in the smoke that would be harmful to a lesser extent than tobacco.
      • by mistiry (1845474) on Thursday June 23, 2011 @05:45PM (#36547514)

        Additionally, legalization will allow users to know exactly WHAT is in the pot their buying.

        Why would Joe Potsmoker want to go buy from some random dealer down the street and have to guess to the quality and contents, whereas if it were legal nobody would pick a dealer over going down to the store and picking some up that you know for sure is good quality and has met the regulations laid out by the authoritative body assigned to do so.

        I am a daily smoker. I have graduated college, I have a great job, I support my family. I pay taxes, I donate to charities. I help others when I am able. Yet, in the eyes of Uncle Sam, I am a horrible person that deserves incarceration for my unspeakable acts against my country and people. It is a fucking joke. Anslinger drug (pun intended) MJ through the mud with scare tactics and blatant lies. Not one justification for making it illegal given by Anslinger or the government at that time held any water.

        There is no logical, scientific, or rational reason to maintain the illegal, SCHEDULE 1 (same as the hard drugs, i.e. heroin, crack cocaine, etc.) classification that the government has on MJ.

    • by causality (777677) on Thursday June 23, 2011 @04:53PM (#36546838)

      Obama's simply too conservative to sign a bill like this. He should, but he won't. The fact that marijuana is 100% safe isn't enough to sway the screaming, mindless Christians, and Obama needs at least some of their votes.

      Take a hard honest look at the world and you'll find that those who wish to control others come in all stripes and operate under all banners. Every person who ever gets offended at anything and responds not by no longer watching/viewing/reading/listening to that thing, but by seeking to have it banned, is also part of the problem. Every person who thinks they know what is best for you and that their recommendations for how you live should have the force of law behind them are also part of the problem.

      Anyone who would ever tell consenting adults what they may do with their bodies, in the privacy of their homes, with their money, or what they may read, watch, and think is quite plainly an abomination. So long as force or fraud is not used to harm an unwilling participant, we are and should be free to live our lives as we see fit and then bear the consequences.

      If some Christians were the only ones who failed to understand that, it would be a drastic improvement. You have to get over your religious bigotry if you are to actually understand the scope of the problem. No, I'm not offended by it -- why would I bother handling it in such an immature and cowardly fashion when I can meet it head-on and explain exactly what is wrong with it, secure that my reason is sound? I have no reason to get offended and look for a way to punish you for engaging in this kind of bigotry. The fact that you will never understand the nature of the problem until you get over that means you're doing a great job of punishing yourself.

      Wallowing in the darkness of ignorance and feeling powerless to effect any meaningful change is worse than anything I would hypothetically do to you (emphasis on hypothetically, just to be clear). That's something the childish people who scream about how offended they are will never understand: the built-in justice of being harmed or edified not for what you do, but by it. They haven't the understanding or the dispassion. They're too busy serving an impulse to control that will never be satisfied.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      He won't have to. There is no chance of this ever getting to the president.

    • by jgtg32a (1173373) on Thursday June 23, 2011 @04:57PM (#36546894)

      The fact that marijuana is 100% safe

      100% safe, huh? Not if you have a genetic predisposition to schizophrenia, it can increase your chances of developing it by 10x. There are also some other correlations, but then again correlation != causation. Really all I'm getting at is lets not call it a wonder drug with no downsides.
      http://www.schizophrenia.com/prevention/streetdrugs.html [schizophrenia.com]

      BTW I am in favor of legalizing it

    • by jcr (53032) <[jcr] [at] [mac.com]> on Thursday June 23, 2011 @05:07PM (#36547032) Journal

      The reason that Obama reneged on his promises w/r/t the drug war, is that the drug war is an enormous pork-barrel scheme. It provides a pretext for billions of dollars of spending, as well as providing bribe money at all levels of local and state government, from cops on the beat to mayors, to state legislators.

      Besides that, the drug war amounts to universal criminalization: cops can get away with breaking into anyone's home and killing them if they pretend to have done so on the basis of an anonymous tip that there were drugs in the house in question.

      I'm not surprised that Dr. Paul is in favor of ending the drug war, but I didn't think Barney Frank had the guts. Good for them.

      -jcr

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tinkerghost (944862)

      The fact that marijuana is 100% safe

      I think you need to re-evaluate your information. Pot smoke contains most of the same carcinogens as regular tobacco smoke. Likewise, THC does have some CNS depressant characteristics.

      You would be much more accurate to say that: "Marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol or tobacco." Otherwise, you're basing your argument on a fallacy, which allows opponents to discount the entire argument.

      • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Thursday June 23, 2011 @07:06PM (#36548574)

        Pot smoke contains most of the same carcinogens as regular tobacco smoke.

        Except that marijuana smoke does not contain any Tobacco-specific nitrosamines, and the evidence so far is that marijuana smokers are not more likely to develop cancer than non-smokers. That aside, smoking is not the only means by which marijuana is consumed, and non-smoking methods of use appear to have no permanent effects (as opposed to non-smoking methods of using tobacco, which still increase the risk of cancer).

        You would be much more accurate to say that: "Marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol or tobacco."

        Actually, it is significantly less dangerous, to the point where we can only guess at what the lethal dosage is (since there are no recorded cases of someone overdosing). There is scant evidence of long term health effects following the cessation of marijuana use. THC and CBD also have neuroprotective properties, which may actually make marijuana use somewhat beneficial (more research needs to be done here).

        100% safe? Nothing is 100% safe. You could have an unknown allergy to marijuana, or there may be some kind of mutation in a particular crop that causes a danger. Or your government might have laced your marijuana with poison:

        http://www.cannabisculture.com/v2/articles/1767.html [cannabisculture.com]

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I think you need to re-evaluate your information. Study after study have consistently shown that there is no evidence that marijuana is carcinogenic.

        The only known case of ANY ANIMAL dying as a direct result of marijuana is a monkey that was exposed to so much marijuana smoke that it died from the LACK OF OXYGEN. They kept on giving the monkeys more and more smoke until eventually one of them died, because Reagan wanted a study to back up his anti-marijuana stance.

        http://www.electricemperor.com/eecdrom/HTML [electricemperor.com]

      • by macs4all (973270)

        The fact that marijuana is 100% safe

        I think you need to re-evaluate your information. Pot smoke contains most of the same carcinogens as regular tobacco smoke. Likewise, THC does have some CNS depressant characteristics.

        You would be much more accurate to say that: "Marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol or tobacco." Otherwise, you're basing your argument on a fallacy, which allows opponents to discount the entire argument.

        Actually, you are incorrect.

        A not well-publicized fact about marijuana smokers is that, unlike cigarette smokers, pot smokers have no greater chance of getting lung cancer or even COPD [showmethefacts.org] than people who smoke NOTHING. In fact, there is evidence that it may even help COPD patients.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Legalization will take all the fun out of it. I'll have to just start using more LSD I guess.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 23, 2011 @04:35PM (#36546590)

    The chances of this bill passing are fairly remote, but it's still important to contact your senator and express your support if you think this is a good idea. Congress should hear that punishing people for marijuana use is a waste of time and money.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    But rather decriminalize at the Federal Level.

    Distinct difference.

    Still up to the states to act.

    Also, hope we free the thousands of prisoners.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by aitikin (909209)
      Legalizing it at the federal level allows the states to make it illegal within the state. For example, it is illegal to brew your own beer in Alabama, but the federal government legalized production "for personal or family use," however the great state of Alabama (read as sarcastically as possible) considers this to be dangerous and unhealthy. If you really doubt that, there's a great video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVqnUf8NH6g&feature=player_embedded [youtube.com] highlighting some of their debate over a bil
  • by bigjarom (950328) on Thursday June 23, 2011 @04:36PM (#36546624) Journal
    Shouldn't the heading read Paul-Frank? Or is Barney just that much more fun to say?
  • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Thursday June 23, 2011 @04:37PM (#36546632) Homepage
    This would NOT legalize marijuana. It would allow states to determine if marijuana COULD be legalized or controlled (as in medical marijuana).

    This bill, the "Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011," is broader and bolder than the medical marijuana bills that Congressman Frank has introduced in every Congress since 1995. The bill introduced today would allow states to determine their own marijuana laws -- not just medical marijuana laws -- without federal interference.

    Source [alternet.org] (and others).

    Let's try for some accuracy here. It's not all that hard. You'd think the editors were stoned or something.

  • by daedae (1089329) on Thursday June 23, 2011 @04:38PM (#36546652)
    I guess it depends on what the states do, then. Removing it from federal schedules just pushes down to the states. Some states will probably legalize it, but some states that were relying on the federal categorization will probably locally criminalize it. (This is based on the fact that salvia is currently not listed on any federal schedule but has been individually criminalized in several states.)
    • This is based on the fact that salvia is currently not listed on any federal schedule but has been individually criminalized in several states.

      I'm curious. Which states have criminalized saliva?

      And, do you smoke it or what?

    • by StikyPad (445176) on Thursday June 23, 2011 @05:02PM (#36546956) Homepage

      And if this passed, everything would go swimmingly until someone inserted a provision in the next budget denying highway funding to states that allow recreational marijuana.

      This is why we can't have nice things, America.

  • by hsjserver (1826682) on Thursday June 23, 2011 @04:40PM (#36546666)
    This one will die before it leaves committee.
    • by Nikkos (544004)
      It's going to be a tough election cycle. The politicians are looking to find ways to make the public like them. While 10 (or even 5) years ago they wouldn't have even dreamed about supporting something like this, groups like LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) are making their voice heard about the ongoing problems with the "War on Drugs."

      It may not ever pass through committee, however if you take just 5 minutes to send a message to your Senators and Representatives telling them to support this b
  • by dicobalt (1536225) on Thursday June 23, 2011 @04:47PM (#36546754)
    Not a high enough cancer rate to be illegal?
    • by blair1q (305137)

      Cigarettes are legal for the same reason Marijuana is illegal.

      Tobacco farmers and cigarette-company executives aren't Mexican.

  • Let's not forget that our illustrious leader had admitted to partaking in such forbiden activity as a youth (tongue in cheek). Seriously, I would like to see something legal go head to head with alchohol as a recreational substance and judge then whether it is a positive or not.
  • Here in California, we just voted on a referendum to legalize pot.

    It failed. I didn't bother to look at the breakdown of the votes, but I do know that some in the stoner community were dead set against it. Why? Because laws against pot weren't enforced where they were, so they weren't seeing any direct benefit, while legalizing it would make it taxable and open up competition. Nevermind that people elsewhere in the state were being arrested for it, nevermind that kids were losing their ability to g
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Way to completely miss the point. It failed because the people running the medicinal marijuana stores (and their associated pet doctors) are making WAY too much money from it to allow it to be legalized. They spent a metric fuckton of money to make sure it got defeated so they could keep their monopoly.
    • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Thursday June 23, 2011 @05:29PM (#36547338)

      I can only conclude that pot smokers are too dumb to get pot legalized.

      It is not just about pot smokers. Anyone who does not want to live in a society where law enforcement agencies are paramilitary forces, where property is appraised before the property owner is arrested, and where the government is using popular TV shows as a means of spreading propaganda should support ending the war on drugs. Anyone who thinks that it is a problem for the DEA to have the power to declare a drug illegal without congressional action, or for our nuclear command and control system to be used to track drug smugglers should support ending the war on drugs.

      Unfortunately, we have been engaged in the war on drugs for so long that nobody can even remember that there was a time when things were not this way.

  • Too many out there that have demonized it and more still that have bought in to that propaganda.

    If passed, it could very well see an increase in tax revenue and a decrease in crime.

    If passed, it would no longer be as expensive, there by reducing some of the crime that is said to be from people committing the crimes to pay for their pot. The states would get a revenue boost as it would likely be taxed like tobacco.

    We'll see.

  • This wont go anywhere even though the wording of the Bill should actually be attractive to states like Texas, Missouri, etc that are decidedly conservative but are currently suing over "obamacare" on the basis of states rights. This simply lifts federal law and puts the issue in the states hands as it should be...but there is far too much money in the "war on drugs". The prison industry and law enforcement agencies at both the state and federal level rely on the war on drugs far to heavily to just let it go without a major fight. People tend to forget that the US has the largest prison population per capita of any country in the world (including all the govt's considered oppressive and anti-human rights) that simply isn't sustainable without the endless war going on.

  • The ratio of pro-legalizers under the voting age is high, and number of people against legalization who are over 80 (with high voting participation) is high. Once the Viet Nam vets are retired and the WW2 vets have passed on, marijuana will be legalized, probably in combination with a bill to tax it to raise money for something specific. My bet is on 2018, but it won't be more than 20 years. Having a black president seemed kind of a remote possibility less than ten years ago, I frankly would have bet legal pot would have come first. Then we will all get high.
  • by WindBourne (631190) on Thursday June 23, 2011 @05:46PM (#36547532) Journal
    It should legalize all drugs, but then allow ZERO IMPORTS AND ZERO EXPORTS. If we do that, we can stop the gangs and drug lords. More importantly, we can cut way back on prison, and spend money (from taxes) on taking care of addicts and chasing the remaining gangs/drug lords.
    • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday June 23, 2011 @06:22PM (#36547998) Homepage Journal

      AS soon as all drugs where legalized, the gang problem will go away. Large corporations will grow it, makes in, manufactures cheaper, faster and with precise dosage. Gangs can even hope to keep up.

      Tax it, put money into rehap, stop putting non violent offenders in prison.

    • FYI what you describe is very close to the situation in the Netherlands. It is "legal" in the sense that the official policy is not to enforce anti-drug laws for up to five plants for personal use or the purchase of five grams from a licensed coffee shop. In turn, the coffee shops can only have something like 200 grams at any given time. The rub is that import and export are illegal and to discourage export, they made growing large quantities illegal, thus the backend of the coffee shops is technically ille
  • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Thursday June 23, 2011 @06:33PM (#36548162)

    Drug laws have always been used as a quick method of imprisoning undesirables like black people, poor people, Hispanics, and people who break their eggs a the small end. While we now have much more sophisticated methods (e.g. the patriot act), drug laws still give law enforcement a tool\excuse to keep down those annoying [Fill in the blank] people. While our "leadership" won't want to give that up, imprisonment is expensive, and pot keeps the [Fill in the blank] people passive, so there's at least a better chance of decriminalization than there used to be.

  • by dindi (78034) on Thursday June 23, 2011 @08:57PM (#36549762) Homepage

    Every time this subject comes up I am just shaking my head and do not understand: how can any government make a plant illegal? This includes mushrooms, cacti, salvia divinorum (still not illegal at most places), and other psychoactive substances.

    I am even more shocked when I see religious groups (Christians) going again an in fact rather useful plant. Why? Well, if these plants are the forbidden fruit, please revise your book. If not, live with the fact that your God put it on the planet so you can some it, eat it or make clothes from it.

    I am strongly pro marijuana, especially for medical use. It is a lot safer pain medication that most pills/shots that you can take.

    I also believe, that it is a lot better recreational drug than alcohol. It turns people into Earth loving peaceful hippies, while alcohol makes people aggressive. But government and big business does not like these properties: they want people sick, fighting and in jail, because there is more money in these things. Pot makes you sit home, watch movies, eat cookies and love. This is somehow something they should be banning.

    Is there any logic in this?

    Additionally: when people buy their drugs on the street, they tend to buy larger quantities, so they end up with drugs at home. When you have it, you use it. As opposed to this, when you can get a joint legally at any time, you do not have to stack up, you can buy one on Friday night, go out (or stay in), and you do not end up with any storage.

    With pot legal, you could openly buy a high quality vaporizer, that eliminates a lot of the carcinogens compared to smoking, that relies on combustion. This would make pot even safer, more suitable for medical use as well. The last thing you want to introduce into a cancerous body is more carcinogens to kill pain.

    Just my 2c :)

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