Pending Legislation Would End Federal Pot Prohibition—What Do You Think?

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are working on bills that would allow the federal government to regulate and tax pot in states that have allowed legalization.

As Washington state begins to implement a historic marijuana legalization initiative, some members of Congress are drafting bills that would end the federal government's 75-year prohibition on pot.

Do you think the federal government should legalize recreational marijuana use? Why or why not? Tell us in the comments section.

The Associated Press reports that U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Jared Polis of Colorado, both Democrats, are working on bills that would direct the federal government to regulate marijuana similar to the way it handles alcohol.

Blumenauer's bill would also establish a 50-percent federal tax on the first point of sale for marijuana and tax producers and importers $1,000 each year.

"You folks in Washington and my friends in Colorado really upset the apple cart," Blumenauer told the AP. "We're still arresting two-thirds of a million people for use of a substance that a majority feel should be legal. ... It's past time for us to step in and try to sort this stuff out."

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Justice has largely remained silent on how it plans to respond to Washington's new marijuana law. Gov. Jay Inslee met last month with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and said he was encouraged by the discussion.



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FlyingTooLow February 05, 2013 at 02:06 PM
We all know that someday, soon, this prohibition will end. I spent 5 years in Federal Prison for a marijuana offense. The memorable day that I met with the parole panel, I asked, "When pot becomes legal, what will my 5 years spent in prison have meant?" Their response, "That is a very philosophical question. We don't deal with philosophy in this office." Case closed...go back to your cell. When the 5 years were gone, I walked out and never looked back. But, I know to this day, there are thousands of Americans still rotting in jail over a plant. I wrote about the escapades that led to my imprisonment...my book: Shoulda Robbed a Bank I would be honored by your review.
FlyingTooLow February 05, 2013 at 02:07 PM
I am not here to regulate other people's lives...nor do I need other people trying to regulate my time here on earth...so long as I bring no harm to my fellow man or his property With all of the rhetoric surrounding the marijuana debate, the concept most overlooked: Freedom of the individual. “…over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign”.” — from the essay On Liberty by John Stuart Mill What happened to, "This is a FREE country"? That is what we have been telling the rest of the world for decades. Please, let us live up to it. Lead by example.
Herman Goetjen February 05, 2013 at 06:44 PM
I have never used MJ, or have I ever been in any knid of legal trouble for any reason, but I agree totally, there is no reason that this prohibition should go on. The results have been exactly the same as the original prohibition, 2 bit crooks are becoming wealthy, gangs are well funded, many people who would not be criminals without this prohibition have had their useful lives interupted...for a natural substance God gave us to use responsibly?
Patrick Shane February 05, 2013 at 07:35 PM
Estimates show that marijuana is America’s number one cash crop. However, marijuana remains untaxed. This is a new source of income for our nation, an income we desperately need. Over 500 of the nation’s top economic professors have shared their opinion in supporting the removal of prohibition and imposing the taxation and regulation of marijuana as a way to slow the federal deficit. Marijuana prohibition is costing America upwards of $20 billion annually. The hemp industry would not only create jobs, it would free up court time and jail space for real criminals among many other benefits. The list could go on. Sign the petition in the video description. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_tUy6fylQs
John C February 05, 2013 at 09:40 PM
I like the dea of a tax, but if you tax items too much then you create another black market.
John C February 05, 2013 at 09:41 PM
good post
Marcia HD February 05, 2013 at 09:58 PM
I would like to know who has been supplying r selling my TEENAGE GRANDDAUGHTER marijuana? Concerned grandma
John C February 05, 2013 at 10:02 PM
Perhaps you should ask her? I don't mean to be flippant. Sometimes young people respond to their respected elders..........
over50voter February 05, 2013 at 10:48 PM
Under King obama, there are good jobs for the under 30 and over 50 crowd. Legal weed gives a chance to esrn our own living if the fascists in govt allow us. And I mean local city govts particularly. If we can make beer and wine at home, we should be able to grow weed
over50voter February 05, 2013 at 10:49 PM
Amended, I meant to say No good paying jobs
FlyingTooLow February 05, 2013 at 11:52 PM
Absolutely! That may be one of the reasons 'moonshine' is still made today. I have had a few opportunities to try 'shine,'....and everytime it was very good. But, it's still not Jack Daniel's Old Number 7.
Peter by Denney Park February 06, 2013 at 06:56 AM
Maybe the same person that sells her booze?
Generation Xcellent February 06, 2013 at 08:21 PM
I have no strong feelings either way, but I think it's naive to believe that pot legalization will bolster the economy and eliminate crime, black markets, and gang activity.
WestEast2015 February 06, 2013 at 09:19 PM
Don't make any plans or investments based on this bill passing. It has only two co-sponsors, both Democrats, and has been referred to the Ways and Means Committee. Ways and Means has a few other things on the go -- passing the budget, dealing with the debt ceiling and sequestration, to think of just a few -- so the chances of this bill even getting a hearing, let alone coming to the floor for a vote, is slim to nil.
Cliff Elfstrom February 06, 2013 at 10:34 PM
In this time of government overspending we should not be wasting our money on suppressing the use of a weed that is less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco. Our politicians are chomping at the bits to tax the hell out of another item so let them introduce another legal revenue source to exploit. The new bill will offer similar protections against abuse by our youth that alcohol and tobacco have in place.
dexterjibs February 07, 2013 at 04:10 AM
5 years in fed prison? So, it wasn't just "over a plant"? Manufacture, cultivate, distribution or all 3? Over 1000 plants or under? How many kids received "God's herb" as a result of your actions?
dexterjibs February 07, 2013 at 04:17 AM
If pot heads would come at me with the argument of "it is none of the government's business if I get higher than a kite and fry my brain my smoking dope whenever I want", instead of the lame arguments of tax revenue, or crime will go down or prison populations will go down etc, I could buy into maihuana legalization. Because all you low information voters that voted yes, here is the dirty little secret; tax revenues will not go up in any consequential amountl crime will not go down and prison populations will continue to rise.
Joe M February 07, 2013 at 05:36 PM
If you are going to hold a marijuana producer responsible when kids get some of it, I assume you would hold gun manufacturers responsible when kids get their product.
Brad H. February 07, 2013 at 06:27 PM
-says the guy with a profile pic of a well-known prescription drug addict smoking a cigar.
dexterjibs February 07, 2013 at 06:33 PM
Geez brad H, great rebuttal, I can't argue those points. I bet you were a master debater in school?
dexterjibs February 07, 2013 at 06:34 PM
Compare apples and oranges much, Joe?
Brad H. February 07, 2013 at 06:34 PM
Yep, and a cunning linguist.
Joe M February 07, 2013 at 06:53 PM
Good point, it's not a fair comparison. One of these products is far more dangerous - the one that's legal. Oh, and apples are much better as a portable snack, but oranges make better juice.
Joe M February 07, 2013 at 07:00 PM
After your brilliant analysis: Marijuana legalization won't bring in tax revenue or reduce prison populations because ... it won't. Most of us stopped trying to rebut that level of logic at age 4.
Christopher Plambeck February 07, 2013 at 09:46 PM
Yes, it is high time (pun intended) that we legalize. We spend far too much money and effort on criminalizing a recreational activity that is no worse than alchohol, and, if legal, would be a victimless crime. Not to mention the huge tax windfalls the state and federal government would receive. It is what I term the Prison-Industrial Complex that has a vested interest in keeping it illegal, massive funds pouring into public and private coffers to fund the War On Drugs, so there are many people who want it continued, so they can reap the financial benefits. FYI, no, I don't smoke pot, and I don't mind if you do. Christopher Plambeck
dexterjibs February 07, 2013 at 09:56 PM
So, what would you do with Willy the local weed dealer that still sells to his high school buddies from the 1960's? Afterall, Willy won't charge sales tax that goes to big government and he sells his weed for a lower price than the government pot shop. Do we keep his and his buddies activity criminal? Because he is denying the big government of their precious tax dollars. Educate me on how you would handle this.
employee February 08, 2013 at 04:41 AM
I think that the majority of the "Willy's" are good enough at their trade to be competitive in the market. I also think these folks would be glad to pay taxes like any other small business, knowing that they would be treated like any other person that creates something of value. There are always going to be "Bootleggers", but how much have those guys hurt the alcohol business?


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