News » Ron Paul and Barney Frank Plan to End Marijuana Prohibition
June 24, 2011 by justin
Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) and Barney Frank (D-MA) plan to introduce bold legislation that would end the federal prohibition on marijuana, allowing states to decide for themselves if marijuana should be legalized in their state.
For some of the states who’s budgets were hardest hit by the recession, this may be an attractive source of revenue to add to the coffers. A CATO study found that nearly $17 billion dollars per year could be saved it marijuana were legalized, based on the savings in law enforcement as well as tax revenues.
Social attitudes towards drugs have changed as well, with 15 states and the District of Columbia having passed laws allowing for the medical use of marijuana – and it is nearly 16 states with Maryland making the maximum penalty for medical use a $100 fine, although it is still technically illegal. Many studies have shown that marijuana is not has harmful as tobacco and alcohol, let prohibition has led to a black market overflowing with violent crime.
Even former President Jimmy Carter recently stated that the penalties for using a drug should not worse for the user than the drug itself. The use of marijuana should not be reason to lock someone in prison, much less spend the effort in terms of both time and money to apprehend and prosecute our fellow citizens.
While this bill will likely fail to pass, it does set the state for a national discussion on the matter of marijuana prohibition.
Speaking at an event for the Global Commission on Drug Policy, former Colombian President Cesar Gaviria summed it up.
“When you have 40 years of a policy that is not bringing results, you have to ask if it’s time to change it.”
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