Pubdate: Mon, 24 Aug 2009
Source: Albany Herald, The (GA)
Copyright: 2009 The Albany Herald Publishing Company, Inc.
Author: Buster Jones


Lest there be any confusion, NORML strongly favors marijuana 
legalization over decriminalization. period.

Instructively, an eye-popping 73 percent of Americans surveyed 
support decriminalizing cannabis, while only 42 percent support 
outright legalization. So while we build support for the ultimate 
goal of legalization, it's also important to support efforts at 
decriminalization, like HR 2943, the act to remove federal penalties 
for the personal use of marijuana by responsible adults, reintroduced 
in Congress this June by co-sponsors Barney Frank, D-Mass., and Ron 
Paul, R-Texas.

If passed, HR 2943 would eliminate federal penalties for personal 
possession of up to 100 grams (over 3.5 ounces) of cannabis, as well 
as for the nonprofit transfer of up to one ounce, making prosecution 
(if any) for these acts strictly a state matter.

Currently, 13 states with a combined population of over 115 million 
citizens have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of 
cannabis. In 2007, over 872,000 citizens nationwide were arrested on 
cannabis-related charges, 90 percent for possession only.

Thankfully, many hundreds of thousands of our brethren who live in 
decriminalized states face a fine-only citation and are usually on 
their way after their police encounter, rather than being dragged off 
to America's drug gulags. For more information about state cannabis 
laws and lobbying Congress in favor of HR 2943, go to 
or call (202) 483-5500.

Buster Jones

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