Pubdate: Sat, 20 Jun 2009
Source: Seattle Times (WA)
Copyright: 2009 The Seattle Times Company
Author: Paul Armentano


Leave Decisions to States

Editor, The Times:

The Seattle Times is correct ["Let states handle the marijuana
muddle," Opinion, editorial, June 18]: America's ideal marijuana
policy is one that allows "the states, and cities like Seattle, [to]
discover what works."

Legislation just reintroduced in Congress this week seeks to make this
ideal a reality. The Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults
Act of 2009, introduced by Reps. Barney Frank, Ron Paul, Maurice
Hinchey and Dana Rohrabacher, would eliminate federal penalties for
the personal possession of up to 100 grams (more than three and a half
ounces) of cannabis and for the not-for-profit transfer of up to one
ounce of pot -- making the prosecutions of these offenses strictly a
state matter.

Passage of this act would provide state lawmakers the choice to
maintain their current penalties for minor marijuana offenses or
eliminate them completely. Lawmakers would also have the option to
explore legal alternatives to tax and regulate the adult use and
distribution of cannabis free from federal interference.

The federal government has much more important business to attend to
than targeting, arresting and prosecuting adults who use marijuana

Paul Armentano, NORML Foundation deputy director, Washington, D.C.
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