Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Reps. Ron Paul, Barney Frank to unveil bill legalizing marijuana

Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank and Texas Rep. Ron Paul will unveil legislation aimed at legalizing marijuana.

Mr. Frank and Mr. Paul will “bi-partisan legislation tomorrow ending the federal war on marijuana and letting states legalize, regulate, tax, and control marijuana without federal interference,” according to a press release from the Marijuana Policy Project.

Both Mr. Frank and Mr. Paul have long advocated for legalizing marijuana. It remains unclear whether the proposal has the necessary support in the House, however, its introduction comes as a number of states are considering measures to legalize small portions of the narcotic.

Other co-sponsors include Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA).

The news comes as Mr. Paul continues to embark on his campaign for president. The Texas Republican announced his campaign earlier this year, focusing on limited government. Mr. Paul has called for the legalizing of marijuana during his time on the campaign, however, he has yet to make it a key campaign issue. While Mr. Paul has gained national attention in his bid for president, the Texas Republican will not join Mr. Frank at a Thursday press conference.

The bill is the latest attempt to legalize marijuana at the federal level. Both Mr. Frank and Mr. Paul introduced a similar bill last year. The act, titled Act to Remove Federal Penalties for the Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults, would have “eliminates most Federal penalties for possession of marijuana for personal use, and for other purposes.” The bill did not receive a vote, instead it was referred to committee.

The State Column


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