New House Bill Would Create National Commission on Federal Marijuana Policy

Medical Marijuana 411Medical Marijuana 411Another marijuana reform bill has been introduced in the House of Represenatives, this one by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn).

The "National Commission on Federal Marijuana Policy Act" would create a study group much like the Shafer Commission, which Congress created in the early 1970s, and then ignored, after committee members recommended the decriminalization of marijuana.

According to his website, the commission Cohen is proposing would study the following issues: 

  • How federal laws should be reconciled with state marijuana laws;
  • The cost of marijuana prohibition and potential regulation of marijuana, as well as the potential revenue generated by taxation of marijuana;
  • The impact of federal banking and tax laws on businesses operating in compliance with state marijuana laws;
  • The health impacts, both benefits and risks, related to marijuana use, and in comparison to alcohol and tobacco use;
  • The domestic and international public safety effects of marijuana prohibition and potential regulation of marijuana;
  • The impact of marijuana prohibition on criminal justice, including any racial disparities, and the collateral consequences of prosecution for marijuana possession, including lack of access to housing, education, and employment;
  • The appropriate placement of marijuana in the schedule of the Controlled Substances Act; and
  • The effects of marijuana prohibition or future regulation and control of marijuana on international relationships and treaty obligations.

According to the Marijuana Policy Project, "the commission would consist of 13 members: five appointed by the president; two appointed by the Speaker of the House; two appointed by the House minority leader; two appointed by the Senate majority leader; and two appointed by the Senate minority leader." 

Cohen's bill is the fourth piece of marijuana reform legislation introduced in the House since November 2012, when Colorado and Washington legalized recreational marijuana. In order of introduction, the other three bills are the Marijuana Tax Equity Act, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, and the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act.

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  • entropy||

    The "National Commission on Federal Marijuana Policy Act"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5P2jJdrz9bY

  • mr simple||

    The "National Commission on Federal Marijuana Policy Act" would create a study group much like the Shafer Commission

    So it's a jobs bill?

  • $park¥||

    You damn pot smokers just won't let it go will you. You know what? I hope you all die horrible deaths with some kind of rotten black-lung disease. There, I said it.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Hugs not drugs. All in favor? Great! Now, lunch.

  • gaijin||

    ...would study the following issues: How federal laws should be reconciled with state marijuana laws;

    Isn't the a job for the Supremes?

  • $park¥||

    Aren't they all dead? Would make it difficult to reach a consensus.

  • John||

    No. Because the feds still have supremacy. How much of the field if any should the feds occupy?

  • Calidissident||

    "No. Because the feds still have supremacy."

    Well actually, if we had a good Supreme Court, the federal laws would be struck down as unconstitutional. And the supremacy clause does not apply to unconstitutional laws.

  • $park¥||

    "the commission would consist of 13 members: five appointed by the president; two appointed by the Speaker of the House; two appointed by the House minority leader; two appointed by the Senate majority leader; and two appointed by the Senate minority leader."

    Guaranteeing a 9-4 split along party lines. Excellent choice!

  • Brett L||

    I expect it to be 8-5 by Branch lines. Since everyone will report to his masters.

  • Calidissident||

    Maybe not. Drug policy is usually one area where most pols in both parties can agree on (of course by agree I mean uphold the status quo of the WOD that locks up people for harming nobody and wastes taxpayer dollars)

  • Auric Demonocles||

    For some reason I saw all the bullet points and thought this was going to be the PM Links. Even to the point of looking at the time stamp and thinking "4:06, man those are so early PM links".

  • ||

    "Give meh your tax money" - Government

    The Feds have no choice. Either they interject themselves into the fray or they forfeit any relevance to the 10th amendment. If they let the states decide as the people want their power is diminished. And we can't have that can we?

  • db||

    "the commission would consist of 13 members: five appointed by the president; two appointed by the Speaker of the House; two appointed by the House minority leader; two appointed by the Senate majority leader; and two appointed by the Senate minority leader."

    Glad to see that all interested parties will be represented.

  • UnCivilServant||

    I may be dense, but it doesn't look like there's be anyone there to represent the people.

  • ||

    Like the Shafer Commission?

    So if its findings don't match the will of the elites, I'm sure we can expect those findings to be ignored.

  • db||

    Commissions exist to provide income for favored "experts" and cover for politicians.

  • John||

    Yes it will be. But I think the times are a bit different now. In the 70s legalization was just unthinkable. Now it is much more thinkable. So the recommendations will be harder to ignore.

  • Robert||

    No, actually in the 1970s legaliz'n was very thinkable. There may have been less support for it, but also less opposition. It's not just poll numbers that matter (i.e. asking people at random to pick a side), but whether and how much people care about the issue when nobody's trying to pry an answer out of them.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I hope that Cheech and Chong are there to give some respect and dignity to the proceedings.

  • Sigivald||

    A reform bill would have to be one that actually tried to change something, wouldn't it?

    This is like the prequel to a reform bill, that might provide political cover ("Oh, a commission said to do this? All right then!") to actual reform.

    In every other context, "make a commission" is the same as "do nothing, but spend money doing it".

  • Loki||

    create a study group much like the Shafer Commission, which Congress created in the early 1970s, and then ignored after committee members recommended the decriminalization of marijuana

    So they've already done this song and dance once, so what's the point of doing it again, except to maybe give themselves cover to keep pot illegal by focusing on the "health impacts, both benefits and risks, related to marijuana use, and in comparison to alcohol and tobacco use." I guess I don't see the point since most of the areas of study have been studied repeatedly for at least the past 70 years or so.

    On a related note, is it just me or does that picture of the Shafer Comission look awefully... hazy? Like maybe there's some smoke in the air?

  • Kevin47||

    It will give them a chance to introduce sensible reforms to alcohol and tobacco policy.

    Marijuana is less harmful than alcohol or tobacco and we BAN it, so it's time to crack down.

  • SIV||

    potential regulation of marijuana, as well as the potential revenue generated by taxation of marijuana;

    Cosmotarian Worship Words

  • Kevin47||

    So, a majority appointed by Obama and Pelosi? Somehow the group will wind up recommending additional gun regulations.

  • WomSom||

    Sometimes man, you jsut have to roll with it. Wow.

    www.AnonHit.tk

  • DWC||

    The utter absurdity of this is mind boggling. What a joke of a country.

  • Savvy Hydroponics||

    It still seems like a long struggle to get medical marijuana decriminalized, but the introduction of the National Commission on Federal Marijuana Policy Act does seems a much needed step in the right direction. The marathon continues but such breaks help in rejuvenating the souls. Another refreshing bit of news is the opening of GrowMed Valencia 2013, which will continue till April 21, in Spain. Do try to be in contact with evolving MMJ industry, if not at the venue, from online sources like https://www.facebook.com/advancednutrients

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