Pubdate: Tue, 28 May 2013
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2013 The New York Times Company
Author: Earl Blumenauer


To the Editor:

Bill Keller's May 20 column, "How to Legalize Pot," captures the 
momentum and energy growing around the country to change out-of-date 
drug laws. This reform will come quickly because of major shifts in 
state laws and public opinion, coupled with increasing agreement that 
federal policy is a failure and the success of a new generation of 
reform advocates.

The challenges that Mr. Keller identifies - dealing with long-term 
health issues, public safety, enforcement and regulation - are all 
very real and serious. But legalization of marijuana is coming 
whether we are ready or not, by the will of the people, so we had 
better do our best on the state and federal level to address these 
concerns now.

That's why I introduced H.R. 501, the Marijuana Tax Equity Act of 
2013, which would create a system to tax and regulate marijuana, and 
H.R. 689, the States' Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act, which 
would protect medical marijuana users who are complying with state 
laws from the fear of federal prosecution.

There is a growing, bipartisan group in Congress that is willing to 
fix our failed drug policies, harness a new source of revenue and 
bring marijuana out of the shadows.


Washington, May 21, 2013

The writer, a Democrat, represents Oregon's Third District in the House.

New York, May 21, 2013
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