Today a small bipartisan group of House members lead by Ron Paul (R-TX) and Barney Frank (D-MA) introduced the “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011.”
The bill would have the federal government treat marijuana in a manner similar to the way it currently treats alcohol, by giving the individual states the right to decide how to treat cannabis. Each state would be free to regulate, legalize or outlaw marijuana as each sees fit.
The act’s other current co-sponsors include John Conyers (D-MI), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Jared Polis (D-CO), and Barbara Lee (D-CA).
While this bill is not likely to pass Congress this year, it does start building a foundation for reforming our outdated marijuana laws at the federal level. Currently, almost half the country supports marijuana legalization but only a handful of our representatives are prepared to publicly back such a change by endorsing legislation like this.
Hopefully, by seeing several other members of Congressional come out in support of reform, politicians and future candidates will feel more comfortable and less isolated about publicly endorsing an end to our federal government’s war on marijuana.