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Federal Bills Could End Prohibition

Bright Green Cannabis Leaves on Black Background
Photo by Carlos Gracia


Federal Bills Could End Prohibition

The snarling beast of prohibition, which has facilitated the enslavement of civil society, cannot be impaled on the White House lawn until soldiers with enough courage to confront the ferocity of over 500 wild-eyed psychopaths come forward and force it to fight. This is the consensus of two federal lawmakers, who recently introduced legislation to the congressional powers aimed at legalizing marijuana on a federal level.

Representatives Jared Polis of Colorado and Earl Blumenauer of Oregon announced last week the filing of two bills that would strip marijuana of its Schedule I classification with the Drug Enforcement Administration, while pushing forth policies that would allow a nationwide cannabis industry to flourish.

The bill introduced by Representative Polis is called the “Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act.” It would eliminate cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, while allowing the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to take the reins and establish rules that would allow pot to be sold across America in a manner similar to alcohol.

Blumenauer’s legislation, aptly titled the “Marijuana Tax Revenue Act,” takes the concept of nationwide legalization a step further by implementing a federal excise tax and other standards that would enable a more concise and integrated industry. Although this legislation serves as an attempt to reform the nation’s antiquated pot policies, which have led to the highest incarceration rate in the world, the law wouldn’t force individual states to participate if they chose to maintain prohibition. The law would simply impose federal regulations, so that state governments could join the circus at some point without concerns over the formulation of regulatory structure.

With that being said, Representative Polis can’t understand why any state would chose to opt out of this estimated multi-billion dollar industry once it has been given the green light by Uncle Sam. He says that in his state of Colorado, legalization has already led to improvements in the economy and overall public safety.

“Over the past year, Colorado has demonstrated that regulating marijuana like alcohol takes money away from criminals and cartels, grows our economy, and keeps marijuana out of the hands of children,” he said.

“While President Obama and the Justice Department have allowed the will of voters in states like Colorado and 22 other jurisdictions to move forward, small business owners, medical marijuana patients, and others who follow state laws still live with the fear that a new administration — or this one — could reverse course and turn them into criminals. It is time for us to replace the failed prohibition with a regulatory system that works and let states and municipalities decide for themselves if they want, or don’t want, to have legal marijuana within their borders,” he added.

Blumenauer’s bill would establish a federal excise tax on sales of non-medical marijuana beginning at 10 percent and increase to 25 percent as the market matured. It would also assist in structuring the cannabis industry with uniformed policies, forcing pot manufacturers and retail outlets to follow guidelines similar to those imposed on the alcohol and tobacco industries.

“Together these bills create a federal framework to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana, much like we treat alcohol and tobacco.” said Blumenauer. “The federal prohibition of marijuana has been a failure, wasting tax dollars and ruining countless lives. As more states move to legalize marijuana as Oregon, Colorado, Washington and Alaska have done, it’s imperative the federal government become a full partner in building a workable and safe framework.”

Yet, while the Obama Administration has done its best over the past few years to create the illusion of marijuana reform, the federal government hasn’t really given us any reason to believe that the end to prohibition is right around the corner. What is interesting, however, is that while cannabis is still considered a product of devil in the eyes of the federal government, the polls consistently indicate that at least 50 percent of the population supports legal marijuana.

Drug policy experts believe the time has come for federal pot laws to catch up with what is happening across the country. After all, Colorado has already proven that legalization is devastating to the black market, with recent reports showing that American grow operations have put Mexican farmers in a position where they must either consider getting involved in heroin production or die out.

“If the U.S. continues to legalize pot, they’ll run us into the ground,” one grower told NPR.

These bills, according to Dan Riffle, director of federal policy for the Marijuana Policy Project, will strip away all of the power from the underground cannabis trade and put it into the hands of legitimate business.

“Marijuana would be grown in licensed facilities instead of national forests and basements in the suburbs,” he told Alternet. “It would be sold in stores that create good jobs and generate tax revenue, instead of on the street where it benefits cartels and criminals.”

Unfortunately, the chances of Congress siding with logic and common sense are not in our favor, as similar measure have failed miserably. In fact, Polis and Blumenauer introduced a bill two years ago called the “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013,” which gain the support of 18 co-sponsors, but it never managed to get a hearing within the committee. And considering the recent underhanded actions of Congress in an attempt to prevent the District of Columbia from enacting legislation to establish retail pot sales, it’s unlikely these bills will receive a hearing again in 2015.

Do you think the federal government should reschedule cannabis? Share your opinion in the comments.



  1. Julien

    April 26, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    I live in Georgia and you can go in any corner store and buy rolling papers and vaporizers. It is just silly. Pot is everywhere and anyone who wants it can easily get it… and it is cheap. Keeping it illegal is a fool’s errand. People need to grow up, the “war on drugs” has done much more harm than drugs ever could do. It is disgusting. All they care about is a vote.

  2. Amber

    March 18, 2015 at 8:02 am

    I have relapsing MS legalization would Help so manylike me. I am 31 & sick of mmedications!

  3. Stan

    March 3, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    Ridiculous, Obama talks about letting the states decide yet he gives $4 billion more dollars to the DEA than last year. That’s right 27 billion dollars to the DEA. When you hear republicans screaming about our debt and how our children will inherit our debt ask them about throwing away 27 billion dollars on the drug war. per year! Over a trillion dollars spent on the drug war since 1972. Ridiculous! Now that states are legalizing medical marijuana and some even legalizing completely. Wouldn’t the cost for enforcement be dropping? Follow the money.

  4. Alan

    February 27, 2015 at 12:49 am

    Yes they should it would really help out here in michigan, with the roads and the schools systems and bring more jobs to the state. It would help bring our economy back also cut the crime rate in half.

  5. Basil

    February 26, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    Think about it… Alcohol is man made & maraijuana was put on earth by GOD and causes almost to no damage compared to alcohol or tobacco. It’s a healing herb that also opens the mind to creative and unique thoughts and ideas that’s why the conservatives in congress don’t want it to be legal,because it causes people to question their beliefs. Seriously we need some more open minded people in the government that aren’t trying to get our country to fight with other countries and have a war on a “drug” that causes more good than bad. Hemp can create so many sustainable resources such as clothing, paper & cheap as [email protected]!: gas!! That would get rid of all the industries destroying our planet by rigging oil & cutting down habitats of animals in forests. What idiots are in the federal government like seriously it’s as easy as 1-2-3 but they want to just want to cause destruction upon our planet. We are all human and we should all be able smoke weed because it doesn’t harm anybody. It’s only makes the economy & society a better more happier place. Sorry for my long ass comment but sombody had to preach this! LEAGALIZE IT NOW

  6. Kevin Dwayne

    February 26, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    Legalize it pot never hurt nobody, there’s been millions of deaths cause of alcohol but I’ve heard of none by weed.

  7. David Guffey

    February 26, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    I have smoked weed for 44 years except for my worn out body, I am in good health. I have seen the underworld, that the government has made good people a part of. If they don’t legalize weed i will still be able to score and the profits go back to below the border, instead of staying here in this country, that I love. Get smart congress what do you think that you can stop it, you have not in the 44 years that I have smoked and this is suppose to be a country of the people and by the people. The people say let our weed go and the thousands of good people in jail, let them go also. Free the weed !!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Linda Rowe

    February 26, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    I totally Agree w this Bill

  9. Jack

    February 26, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    yes, yes, yes. A million times yes. Look at Portugal, it can work. The right measures have to be put in place (more important in Portugal tho cuz they legalized everything) for addiction, tax revenue going to good causes, etc. it’s time that congress and lawmakers listened to the will of the people instead of arguing amongst themselves! There is no time like the present, it’s time to do it already!

  10. alex

    February 26, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    No crime, no time
    If you legalize this dime.

  11. Teri

    February 26, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    OMG just do it already legalize it. It’s just a plant placed on this earth by GOD get over it… LESS PEOPLE HURT BY THIS THEN ALCOHOL. AND THAT’S LEGAL AND IT HELPS PEOPLE IN PAIN THAT NEED IT

  12. ed

    February 26, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    Yes best thing in the world hear

  13. april

    February 26, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    Yea cannabis should be leaglized and regulated like tobacco and alcohol but the medical benifits are absolutely amazing, giving many ppl a better quality of life without a hole lot of side effects like you would have from pharmaceuticals. My mother is on so many pharmaceutical drugs and some of which she takes because of side effects from other pharmaceuticals she takes if cannabis could give my mother, my self or any other american a better quailty of life it should be our own personal choice of how we medicate ourselves.

  14. Carol

    February 26, 2015 at 11:46 am

    I have had 4 back surgeries and i am still on some man made medications that make me loopy. That being said i do prefer medical marijuana because it subsides the pain without the side affects of man made narcotics. I do think that the government should reschedule cannabis because it can help so many people and the best part is that GOD gave us this medication and as usual the government turns a blind eye to it helping sick people and to me that is a shame. No I am not a drug abuser or dealer I was raised to see the difference in what is the right and what is wrong. Its not the drug it’s the person or persons who choose to abuse it.

  15. Tim Scheppard

    February 26, 2015 at 11:20 am

    Reschedule please, it should never had been schedule 1 in the first place. It is basically harmless.

  16. caelcee

    February 26, 2015 at 9:34 am

    I should b legal to all states we are all created equal just because u live in different state shouldn’t change the fact some people should be able to use and others b jailed just because where u live

  17. adam g

    February 26, 2015 at 9:07 am

    AS much as I’d like to see it, this bill won’t pass. The people standing in the way are making too much money from big alcohol, tobacco and pharma.

    We need to address those issues before we have a real chance.

  18. Kit

    February 26, 2015 at 9:07 am

    It’s “take the reins”, not “take the reigns”.

  19. Satori Wolstenholme

    February 26, 2015 at 8:43 am

    Complete legalization is was overdue, for a wonderful, harmless, healing and stress-relieving PLANT that is a God-given gift. Half these guys on Capitol Hill who keeps saying, “no” to legalization are smoking weed themselves every night. The situation is pure hypocrisy. End it all – FREE THE WEED

  20. Freedom is for taking

    February 26, 2015 at 8:17 am

    And now we see the true nature of government, GREED has opened their eyes, just like alchohol tax greed, the creatures of Jackyl Isle still live and leach off others lives for their own swine lives!

  21. Miguel laboy

    February 26, 2015 at 7:48 am

    I am sure, it will bring prosperity to all states, and citizens would be happy to know that they can depend on a miracle medicine, and no prosecution of the use.

  22. Josh F

    February 26, 2015 at 7:18 am

    Of course marijuana should be rescheduled. Over half the country has made it legal in some fashion, and it has proven too do nothing but good for the market and the populace. It’s time we put prohibition behind us and become the U.S. We were meant too be.

  23. Mike l

    February 26, 2015 at 7:15 am

    I’m all for it in pa let’s get this bill rolling so tired of not being aloud to use weed

  24. jimmy delozier

    February 26, 2015 at 6:57 am

    They need to legalize it here in south Dakota i am disable in pain every day and i am here to tell u that smoking pot helps me with the pain i go through every day these people need to stop thinking as it being a drug because its not it is a plant that god put here on the earth for us to use as medicine instead of all. These pills all these people get a hold of them that dont need them that is why so many people overdosing on them thats my comment on all of this

  25. jonny kettle

    February 26, 2015 at 6:40 am

    Im from belfast in ireland. If america passes the use of weed then other power house countries will hv to follow. I despise drink i will always be in favour to make weed legal. Help us help you:)

  26. Brandon Siegel

    February 26, 2015 at 6:18 am

    I truly thinI the find feds should legalize marijuana use. I’m not asking for them to release the people incarcerated over weed because when they we’re arrested it was under old law and they did so knowing they we’re taking the chance of getting arrested. I live in Ohio and I personally can’t wait for the day that I can at least legally go to the doctor to get a prescription. When marijuana was deemed illegal it was deemed under false pretences and it’s bullshit that as citizen’s of the United States we have to fight so hard to enjoy the things we love even in our own homeland

  27. Aimee

    February 26, 2015 at 5:40 am

    Reschedule yes I think they should I got chronic headaches and nerve damage from an accident that happened a long time ago I hate taking pills all the time it’s dangerous and they don’t work I rather smoke and let my body relax and let all the pain I’m in go away

  28. kathy

    February 26, 2015 at 3:40 am

    Should be legal

  29. Dewayne Kelley

    February 26, 2015 at 3:04 am

    YES!!!! It will most certainly save lives so many families. Plus add money to the economy.

  30. Clint

    February 26, 2015 at 12:36 am

    I have nerve damage from my childhood. Can not stand taking pills. Pills have not done anyone in my family any good in the long run. Marijuana helps to subside the pain. Marijuana has many more healthy benefits as well. Some of which I know would help other members of mu family and countless others. Money generated would help out our schools. Could use some of the money to show teachers they are appreciated. Give them tools to better guide our children for the furture.

  31. Clint

    February 26, 2015 at 12:34 am

    I have nerve damage from my childhood. Can not stand taking pills. Pills have not done anyone in my family any good in the long run. Marijuana helps to subside the pain. Marijuana has many more healthy benefits as well. Some of which I know would help other members of mu family and countless others. Money generated would help out our schools. Could use some of the money to show teachers they are appreciated. Give them tools to better guide our

  32. Roxann allen

    February 25, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    Dear congress

    My name is Roxann Allen. I am woman, daughter, sister, niece & wife. Out of all these things that I have named of myself 3 of them have been inflected with a disease. And if it were not for the use of medical marijuana I could of lost one or all three of these people that I love. I am an advocate for the use of medical marijuana & the decriminalization of this plant that grows naturally on our earth. The first of these family members who have greatly benefited from the use of medical marijuana happens to be a War Hero / Veteran that suffers from sever PTSD. I have had to talk this person down from jumping off a ledge & running there car off the road. Once this person decided to try medical marijuana the effects of there PTSD became easier to handle. It also became easier for them to coup with there surrounding. Here is a War Hero that could of become a static without the help of medical marijuana. There are too many War Heros that are not getting enough help. But if they used medical marijuana they could see a better life. These War Heroes need our help. And the benefits of medical marijuana could save our War Heroes from being a statistic. The next person I love was my 35 year old husband that was inflected with cancer. He was not an advocate for the use of medical marijuana. But when he was going though chemo every week and lost over 100 pounds due to the invasive drugs that they use to kill his cancer. And the twice daily wound care that he had to endure. I encouraged him to try the medical marijuana because he was wasting away before my eyes and our children’s too. When he finally agreed to try the medical marijuana. Within the hour he told me that he was hungry. It had been nearly 3 months since I had seen him eat an solid food. After this he became an advocate for the use of medical marijuana for all cancer patients. The last person who needs the use of medical marijuana is myself. Through no fault of my own. I was in a car accident that almost left me paralyzed. Even though I was wearing my seatbelt I crushed a few of my vertebra. This concluded in me having surgery that fused my spine and had Herrington rods place on either side of spine to stabilize me. What means from the middle of my back to my tail bone there are titanium rods holding my spine together. I have tried many different medicine prescribed by doctors. But nothing can compare to the use of medical marijuana. Each of the prescribed drugs made me feel like an addict. But with my use of medical marijuana I did not feel that way. With the use of medical marijuana it was easier for me to walk, bend over like I have not been able to do since this accident. Now I know that the number of people who conceive that medical marijuana is a gate way drug. I’m hear to tell that it is not a gate way drug. They do not know how people feel that have diseases. Let them see a War Hero with PTSD. A young dad trying to fight cancer to see his sons grow up. Or feel what chronic pain in your back and neck feels like. Medical marijuana should be decriminalized to help these people and all others that find that medical marijuana helps them. There would be many benefits to the government to help our country get out of debt. It would also help with the over population of prisons. Free up cops to investigate other crimes. And lessen the burden on tax payers who pay for the judges and juries who need to also be paid. We’re here today because the use of medical marijuana could not only helps suffers but could also help the government with the tax revenue that it would bring in. Now you congress please tell me. Would you deny a War Hero who fought to keep our country free the use of medical marijuana. Or would you rather see him as another dead statistic due to a war you sent them too. Or tell a dad to just waste away in front of his children because the chemo has made him to sick to eat. Medical marijuana could help many people who didn’t have hope before begin to see that there is lots of hope with the use of medical marijuana. Decriminalization of the use of medical marijuana could help thousands peoples. In closing I would just like you to think of what you would do if you saw your wife husband brother sister uncle aunt or any other family member wasting away. And maybe in those last few days the medical marijuana could have given them a few last days of happiness. What Would you want for them. What wouldn’t you do for them. I would want to enjoy every minute I had with them. As they would want to enjoy it minute they had left with me or you. Decriminalization of medical marijuana would not only help the people using it but also the workers, buildings , lights and Tax Revenue it would generate could bring our great country back to greatness.

  33. Ted S.

    February 25, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    Yes, the government should reschedule cannabis. It should of never been scheduled as anything but a god given medicine free to anyone at anytime without the government’s PERMISSION…
    I have CLL.

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