Pubdate: Sat, 09 Feb 2013
Source: Tribune Review (Pittsburgh, PA)
Copyright: 2013 Tribune-Review Publishing Co.


The rising tide of common sense regarding marijuana has reached
Capitol Hill, where two new House bills bring America closer than ever
to the flat-out federal legalization, taxation and regulation that
individual liberty and scientific validity dictate.

Colorado Democrat Rep. Jared Polis' Ending Marijuana Prohibition Act
would enable states to set their own marijuana policies without
federal intervention, The Daily Caller reports. The feds'
scientifically bogus classification of marijuana as being as dangerous
as heroin would end; regulation would shift from the Drug Enforcement
Administration to the renamed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana
and Firearms.

Another bill, introduced by Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., calls for a
50-percent excise tax on growers' "first sales" of marijuana to
retailers, plus other taxes like those on alcohol and tobacco -
substances that cause demonstrably more societal harm. He estimates
10-year law-enforcement cost savings of $100 billion.

With 58 percent of Americans favoring legalization in a late-2012
poll, possession decriminalized to the equivalent of a traffic ticket
in 15 states, medical marijuana laws in 18 states and D.C., and
Colorado and Washington state voters legalizing recreational use, the
day when Uncle Sam gets out of the people's way on this issue is long

The groundswell of popular support for sensible marijuana policy makes
clear that federal legalization is a question of "when," not "if" -
and that other bills will succeed should these two fail.
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