Marijuana

Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013: Read Jared Polis-sponsored bill

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"This legislation doesn't force any state to legalize marijuana, but Colorado and the eighteen other jurisdictions that have chosen to allow marijuana for medical or recreational use deserve the certainty of knowing that federal agents won't raid state-legal businesses," Polis said about the act, adding, "Congress should simply allow states to regulate marijuana as they see fit and stop wasting federal tax dollars on the failed drug war."

Here's the aforementioned fact sheet:
ENDING FEDERAL MARIJUANA PROHIBITION ACT

The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act seeks to protect the will of voters in Colorado, Washington and the seventeen other jurisdictions that have approved the consumption of marijuana for medical or recreational use by decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level and allowing each state to decide whether to permit marijuana consumption within its borders.

Specifically, this legislation:

• Removes marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act;

• Requires marijuana producers to purchase a permit, as commercial alcohol producers do;

• Ensures that federal law distinguishes between individuals who grow marijuana for personal use and individuals who are involved in commercial sale and distribution; and,

• Reassigns jurisdiction of marijuana regulation from the Drug Enforcement Administration to the newly-renamed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana, Firearms and Explosives.

Under this bill, states could choose to continue to prohibit marijuana consumption or production in their states, and the federal government would continue to work with states to prevent marijuana from being shipped into a state or territory in which it remained illegal. The federal permitting process would be used to protect consumers and offset the cost of establishing and maintaining a federal regulatory system. Any individual or business that produces marijuana in a way that is legal in its state is eligible for a permit.

Leaving the choice to allow or not allow marijuana consumption and prohibition to the states is an interesting move -- one that could potentially help those who back the measure garner additional support even as it complicates possible implementation. It suggests that Polis and company realize that, despite the passage of marijuana measures in Colorado and Washington this past November, getting a law passed at the federal level remains an uphill battle.

Continue to see our original post, including the complete Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts