This past Thursday, congressman Barney Frank and Ron Paul took a bipartisan stance on ending marijuana prohibition on the federal level by introducing H.R. 2306, entitled the 'Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011.' The proposal "prohibits the federal government from prosecuting adults who use or possess marijuana by removing the plant, and its primary psychoactive constituent, THC, from the five schedules of the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970."
In an interview with Barney Frank by MSNBC, when asked whether he felt this bill was a waste of time in a Republican owned house, he stressed the importance of beginning a dialogue on the subject since this effected people across party affiliations. The act "marks the first time that members of Congress have introduced legislation to eliminate the federal criminalization of marijuana since the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937," showing that the time to start discussing this subject on the legislative floor is well overdue.
One of the main arguements for ending marijuana prohibition ties into depressing matters of the economy. The marjority of Republicans look to tighten the budget by cutting lavish spending, while continuing the Bush tax cuts for the ultra wealthy. Documented marijuana profits are stated at $77 billion dollars. Once the plant is legalized, its non-THC forming and highly versitile sibling, hemp, would fuel more industry with its use as an oil and a textile.
Legalization would also cut the costs needed for law enforcement, trials, and the imprisonment from the drug war.
You can take action by emailing your representative now.
Image: ""Green leaf of marijuana..." by kinokim on Flickr courtesy of Creative Commons Licensing.