Drug Policy

More on the Frank/Paul Marijuana Legalization Bill


The marijuana legalization bill announced today by Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Ron Paul (R-Texas), H.R. 2306, would repeal federal penalties for production, distribution, and possession of the drug, leaving the states free to address the issue as they see fit. Under the bill (which Mike Riggs anticipated yesterday), the federal government's role would be limited to preventing importation of marijuana into states that continue to ban it. The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011 is consciously modeled after the repeal of the 18th Amendment, which allowed states to establish their own rules governing alcohol. This is the first time such a bill has been introduced.

During a conference call today, Frank suggested what he'd like to see states do with their new autonomy, expressing his view that "prosecuting responsible adults who make the decision that they wish to smoke marijuana interferes with their personal freedom." He said he was "particularly struck by the hypocrisy of public officials who will themselves talk about smoking marijuana, wink at it, and then make it criminal for other people," which results in "a very discriminatory pattern of enforcement." (Ahem, Bloomberg.) Frank conceded the bill "has no chance of passing" anytime soon, but added, "I think we are making progress. I think the public is way ahead of the legislators on this….This is an educational process."

I'll post the bill's text once I have it.

Addendum: Here it is. The bill amends the Controlled Substances Act so that marijuana is no longer a scheduled drug and declares:

This Act [the CSA] shall not apply to marihuana, except that it shall be unlawful only to ship or transport, in any manner or by any means whatsoever, marihuana, from one State, Territory, or District of the United States, or place noncontiguous to but subject to the jurisdiction thereof, into any other State, Territory, or District of the United States, or place noncontiguous to but subject to the jurisdiction thereof, or from any foreign country into any State, Territory, or District of the United States, or place noncontiguous to but subject to the jurisdiction thereof, when such marihuana is intended, by any person interested therein, to be received, possessed, sold, or in any manner used, either in the original package or otherwise, in violation of any law of such State, Territory, or District of the United States, or place noncontiguous to but subject to the jurisdiction thereof. 

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  1. thumbs up

    1. I work my butt off moving furniture every day and anyone that has been there knows how sore you can get because of it. Sometimes its so bad I have trouble sleeping. Instead of taking an aspirin I take a hit on a bowl. It helps me wind down at the end of a day and relax. Now how is it right for the Federal Gov’t to tell me that is wrong? Is it wrong for millions of Americans to drink a cup of Coffee to wake them up. Caffeine is a far more addicting substance then pot and Sugar is as well (to the same extent as Weed). Most of these politicians drink a glass a wine a night. Get off you high horses people and let others enjoy freedom.

      1. Great point… Clearly the only solution is to ban coffee.


  2. Should be interesting to see what comes of that. WOw.


    1. Yeah anonobot real interesting.

      1. I wonder waht it takes to get an Anon-bot high?

        1. Purple A/C current

  3. Please people, stop assuming smoking is the only way to consume cannabis. You’d think a politician trying to advance a bill like that would be smart enough to avoid the loaded(heh) term.

    1. I read “tetrahydrocannabinols” on section 3 line item 9.

      Well butter my biscuts!

      1. Lets pretend the cartels are zerg, the government is protoss, and the people of america are terran. This could be one hell of an expansion.

    2. Smoking has a higher bioavailability then eating it, marijuana smoke also does NOT cause emphysema, COPD or lung cancer. Just bronchitus and there is no damage that compounds itself, you can smoke for half a century 10 joints a day no problem.

      1. You are wrong about that, smoking cannabis with a lighter wastes 45% of the usable THC. Eating cannabis activates THC(A) into ?9THC which makes eating more beneficial except for controlling the dosage becomes more difficult.

  4. “Frank conceded the bill ‘has no chance of passing’ anytime soon, but added, ‘I think we are making progress….'”

    No chance of passing? With that kind of defeatism, why not just rename it *can’t*-a-bis?

    (apologies to Homer Simpson)

    1. They just need to rename it the “End Child Abuse Now Act”, problem solved.

      1. Better yet, name it after some kid who died from lack of marijuana.

        “The Billy Doper Act.”

        1. Dope and Change

          1. It really gives me a warm fuzzy when I have the misfortune of running into idiots who believe that the issues of personal autonomy and freedom are of little to no importance. These people are obviously not blood kin to any of the 56 old white men in Philadelphia in July of 1776. Oh well, their days are numbered. The wall is crumbling, and the idiocy of the epic failure of public policy which we call the war on (some) drugs is coming to an end.

          2. HEYOOOOO!

  5. Frank/Paul Marijuana Legalization Bill

    Best slashfic this year. 5/5.

    1. Please don’t encourage Sugarfree.

  6. “Under the bill (which Mike Riggs anticipated yesterday), the federal government’s role would be limited to preventing importation of marijuana into states that continue to ban it.”

    THAT’S what the Commerce Clause is for, bitches.

    1. Amazing that Frank can understand that for MJ, but not all the other things we votes for…

      1. “prosecuting responsible adults who make the decision that they wish to smoke marijuana interferes with their personal freedom.”

        I was thinking the same thing about that quote. Replace [smoke marijuana] with all kinds of other things as Barney doesnt get it. Especially if its something like [spend money].

  7. Even despite Frank’s admission, it’s still pretty great that this has been introduced. Let your congresspeople know that you support it. http://www.nomoredrugwar.org

  8. A little punctuation and his bill actually has a decent acronym. I wish more congress

    1. (cont.) critters would pay attention to that.

      Ef’m, Pa.


    1. It’s cute that you think this bill will get a vote.

  10. Jacob, part 2 of that NY Review Of Books article on psychopharmacology is now up.

  11. Couldn’t Barney have slipped this into that shitty Dodd-Frank legislation?

  12. ” The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011 is consciously modeled after the repeal of the 18th Amendment, which allowed states to establish their own rules governing alcohol.”

    You mean the 21st Amendment, Jacob, not the 18th. Most assuredly not the 18th!

    1. No, I’m sorry, you had it right. I misread what you said.

  13. You know what else was shitty after Barney slipped it in?

    1. That was in reference to Muddy @ 6.23.11 @ 3:44PM

  14. Fuck Barney Frank. I suspect the whole thing is a head fake to try and make people forget what a shit he is…just change the story.
    He even admits it’s largely symbolic.

    1. Oh we won’t forget. But you gotta get the ball rolling……

    2. It’s not like Mr. Frank’s position has changed or come about suddenly. Messrs Frank and Paul have been working together on this particular issue since at least 1998.

      Some people sure do place a lot of weight on meaningless ad hominem fallacies.

      1. Fuck you and Barney Frank.

        I hope you own a home, and its worth 1/3 what you paid for it.


        1. When did you buy it? I have no sympathy for people who overpay for items. See also: Apple early adopters.

  15. Did the guy who advocated for a single-payer national health insurance system just put forth an argument that embraced federalism? Paul should stick to the federalism argument, and Frank to the matter of personal choice. That will force the members of their respective parties to clarify the hierarchy of values within their own stated platforms, and any charge of hypocrisy directed at either man would be blunted.

    1. When are you guys going to dismantle the public school system in the US? The premise of the argument for providing public schools is exactly the same as for providing universal health care. Well except that universal health care will provide a whole lot more similar benefits to our society.

      1. Public schools are provided by the states (or local governments), not the federal government.

        The exception would be D.C. (where the schools are a disaster).

        1. At least you admit government is shit at what it does, App.

      2. I was jokingly noting the irony of Barney Frank advocating for policies whereby states and localities could determine their own criminal justice system and regulate any intrastate products sold therein.

        Regarding your point, it’s a terrible analogy. A national single-payer health insurance system would look nothing like our current public school system, which uses federal grants, and supplements those grants with state and local taxes (state and local taxes make up the bulk of public school funding, last I checked). Implied in your criticism is that libertarians who want to abolish the DoE (which seems to be how liberals understand the libertarian “platform”) would also want to get rid of all public education. In doing so, you’re assuming that in order for something to be public, it must be national, which is incorrect. Public services can be provided by state or local governments.

        Are you sure you know what point you’re trying to make in relation to my comment, or did you just see “single-payer” and flip your lid?

  16. I am against marijuana use. However I support the decriminalization of marijuana. The war on drugs has lead to the militarization of police. There has been a proliferation of SWAT teams throughout all levels of law enforcement. SWAT teams are now being routinely used to serve warrants of all types with disastrous consequences for many law abiding people. Ask Cheye Calvo. Ask the folks who recently had a SWAT team break down their door because the wife was delinquent on her student loans. The militarization of the police is more of a threat to citizens than marijuana ever was. There is no common sense anymore.

    1. I am against marijuana use.

      For yourself, or for others? Legality aside, if you really think society is better off if less people consume cannabis, then you probably don’t have an accurate idea of the effects, along with the alternatives which take its place.

      1. Don’t bother with this argument. Marijuana isn’t for some people and others like it. But if somebody thinks it’s bad for you, there’s no particular reason to convince them otherwise (I think it probably is.)

      2. It depends on whether causation exists in the correlation between marijuana and schizophrenia. If it exists, and goes from marijuana to schizophrenia, then it’s probably bad for everyone (especially teens).

        1. Considering that epidemiological surveys of the incidence of schizophrenia do not match changes in usage patterns of cannabis it is unlikely that a causative link exists. Countries that boast relatively low cannabis use do not boast lower than average rates of schizophrenia, and countries that see significant changes in cannabis use do not see over time a concomitant change in occurrence of schizophrenia.

          Not much is known about the effects of cannabinoids on the development of the especially plastic youth/adolescent brain, so if you did want a cautionary, it would be that it’s probably best done after one reaches adulthood.

        2. The schizophrenia nonsense is so easy to disprove that it’s appropriately filed under the “are these people really thinking that people are stupid enough to fall for this con game?” category. With approaching 100 million Americans having enjoyed cannabis, we’d have jibbering lunatics on every street corner in the country if cannabis caused schizophrenia.

          The reality is that the bean counters have been keeping a record of the rate of schizophrenia to the population for a number of decades. This rate has been consistent, and there’s no corresponding increase in the rate during times which have seen the number of people who enjoy cannabis skyrocket, e.g. in the 1960s by more than a thousand percent. One simply does not increase the incidence of a causal factor for anything in a given population without seeing a corresponding increase of that which it allegedly causes.

          At some point people are going to have to come to grips with the fact that the public authorities are quite simply lying in order to promote their own self serving political agenda.


          quoted from link above:
          “The Royal College of Australian and New Zealand Psychiatrists noted that there is no convincing evidence that cannabis use causes schizophrenia. There appears to be only limited evidence that leads to the hypothesis that cannabis abuse and dependence may increase the risk of schizophrenia. The college notes that the possibility that cannabis is an independent cause of schizophrenia cannot be disproven, but the absence of an increased incidence of schizophrenia over the past 30 years, during which time cannabis use has become much more prevalent, is strongly against such a possibility.”

          1. we’d have jibbering lunatics on every street corner

            We would, but they keep entering politics and end up in D.C.

            Seriously though, I’d expect the link between schizophrenia and MJ is the same as the link between schizophrenia and LSD – you’re either destined to develop it or you’re not. The drug can provide the trigger, but if the drug wasn’t there it just would’ve been something else.

            1. Eh, I’m gonna say that pot has negative side effects. Just based on the basic principle that fun stuff has negative side effects. Seems to hold true for booze, drugs, unprotected sex, red meat, sugar, etc. The fact that these are some of the things that make life worth living in the first place is lost on the ninnies and nannies of the world.

              1. The side effects of cannabis are far less than pharmaceuticals, alcohol, & tobacco. It’s been dubbed the safest drug in the pharmacopeia and has never caused a fatality.

    2. I am against marijuana use. However …


      1. Smoking is safer than drinking

  17. Actually, it’s for PREVENTING states from INTERFERING with interstate trade…not for helping them interfere.

    Some of the same people who pretend to understand the meaning of “well-regulated militia” also pretend to misunderstand the meaning of “regulating trade.” Regulating is, in fact, to “make regular,” in 18th century legal language.

    1. And Gibbons v Ogden was, what, Marshall having a brainfart? It’s pretty damn clear that “regulating” meant “to make regulation”, even then.

  18. The above was (somewhat obviously, though it got posted in the wrong place) in response to the person spreading his misunderstanding of the interstate trade clause of the US Constitution.

  19. Some pot legalization group should raid a Christian right/social conservative anti-drugs rally or something with this on the loudest, most powerful b-boxes they can find:



    It would also work for crashing a Romney/Obama campaign rally or whatever during their next campaign

    1. The ban-marijuana types aren’t just the religious right (and Paul is a religious conservative).

      Many folks want to ban marijuana based on purely secular reasoning, viz:

      PREMISE 1: I hate those dirty hippies; they are so evil.

      PREMISE 2: Hippies smoke dope.

      CONCLUSION: THEREFORE, it should be a federal crime to possess marijuana regardless of whether there is a plausible link to interstate commerce.

      No religion necessary.

      1. There is also a huge industry – law enforcement – that does not want to see one of its gold mines – pot possession – go away. And those in the law enforcement / nanny-state camp range from way-far left to super-far right and everything inbetween, which is why this legislation won’t pass.

        1. Law enforcement an industry? Thats laughable at best. Show me a police force that turns a profit and I will eat my shoe.
          If anything, prohibition is an enormous fiscal strain on law enforcement agencies. It detracts their resources from fighting actual crime…

          1. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/13/us/13judge.html
            Its not the cops, but the judge. Half of the people in prison are non-violent drug offenders of which 2/3 are people of color. Not an industry, guess you don’t watch the stock market. Private prisons exist, make a profit, and pay dividends. Prison workers unions influence elections.

      2. I was making a jab at ultra-religious, quasi-fanatical neoconservatives, and I’m aware of that. Although you’re also probably right for the purposes of my mockery — playing it to statist dipshits that have “reasoned” it to be worthy of prohibition would probably be even funnier.

        1. Charlie Rangel is one of the most virulent liberal anti-pot fucktards in government, so it definitely isn’t just The Right.

        2. ultra-religious, quasi-fanatical neoconservatives

          So, some sort of jewish gathering?

          Either that, or you have no clue about neoconservatism.

          1. That is probably unfair on my part, if I had to describe neoconservatism with one religious description it would be judeo-atheism.

  20. I think any document that spells it “marihuana” should also use ? instead of s. That’? the be?t way to a?sure that the bill pa?se?.

    1. Oops… I guess you’re not supposed to use ? at the end of the word. Meh… clo?e enough.

      1. Of cour?e. That would ju?t look ?illy.

  21. I think Paul played a brilliant move here with regards to the presidential campaign. By putting this legislation out there, he will certainly generate a buzz and probably elicit a question or two about it at a GOP debate. This is going to force either one other candidate or all of them to stake out there position on this issue.

    If Paul can wrap up legalization is strictly Federalist terms, he is going to put Bachman, Romney, et al. all on the spot. My guess is that Romney might even say he supports it, since a) that’s his argument against Obamacare, and b) MA decriminalized pot, and he is going to have to say why he disagrees with his former electorate on that.

    1. He’s been backing this for years, it isn’t specifically for his 2012 run at the WhiteHouse, but I’ll take him over anyone, including Obama the war monger! Thought Bush was bad, Obama is Cheney in disguise.

  22. Until folks realize it’s the War on Drugs, not the drugs doing the harm, this is the wrong–ass-backward–approach. The most dangerous drugs should be legalized first.
    Oh, and there’s the trivial matter of whether we own our own bodies. Still don’t, obviously.
    So, in contradiction to what lame stream media may say, there is no joy in my Mudville yet.

  23. Could they add a section to the bill so that all references to the substance that remain in the CSA are spelled correctly?

  24. On June 17, 1971, President Nixon told Congress that “if we cannot destroy the drug menace in America, then it will surely destroy us.” However, after forty years of trying to destroy “the drug menace in America” we still *haven’t* been able to destroy it and it still *hasn’t* destroyed us. Four decades is ample enough time to realize that on this important issue President Nixon wrong! All actions taken as a result of his invalid and paranoid assumptions (e.g. the federal marijuana prohibition) should be ended immediately!

    It makes no sense for taxpayers to fund the federal marijuana prohibition when it *doesn’t* prevent people from using marijuana and it *does* make criminals incredibly wealthy and incite the Mexican drug cartels to murder thousands of people every year.

    We need legal adult marijuana sales in supermarkets, gas stations and pharmacies for exactly the same reason that we need legal alcohol and tobacco sales – to keep unscrupulous black-market criminals out of our neighborhoods and away from our children. Marijuana must be made legal to sell to adults everywhere that alcohol and tobacco are sold.

    1. How about parents take responsibility for keeping their children away from alcohol and tobacco? Why do we need regulation for this?

      1. Ahem – to limit the intrusion of government into our lives.

        It will be ignored by armed agencies any way. But its at least something families can point at as your corpse is disposed of.

  25. Congresscreatures should be required to publicly state under oath what mind-altering substances they have ever used.

    1. Under oath…HAHAHA
      Shall make no law…HAHAHA

      Sorry really couldnt help myself there

  26. Finally… Barney Frank does something worthwhile.

  27. Help the bill pass – Sign the petition to “Change the Schedule of Cannabis, Cannabis Laws, and Drug Czar Laws”.

    Read and sign the petition at

    Each signature sends an email petition letter to both Senators and the House Representative of the signer. After you sign send an email invite, share on facebook or twitter from the petition page.

    Be sure your Representatives know you want change!

  28. How would this affect hemp products?

    1. hemp products are already legal. It wouldn’t affect it at all until a state passes a law allowing industrial hemp growth. Then this law should technically apply as well, although I haven’t read it, but its along the same principal and it is the same plant.

    2. hemp products are already legal. It wouldn’t affect it at all until a state passes a law allowing industrial hemp growth. Then this law should technically apply as well, although I haven’t read it, but its along the same principal and it is the same plant.

  29. Ron Paul = Awesome
    Barney Frank = Pretending he knows what he’s doing

  30. the war on some drugs was a total success. It was intended to build up the police force with stolen money & land …and that’s exactly what it did.

    1. WorldWide: South America, Central America, Mexico, Afghanistan’s poppy production is through the roof since we’ve occupied.

  31. hell ya for the law but who the fuck writes this shit, the most confusing, one sentenced, million comma’d, state or district territory therein hereafter of non contiguous to but subject to the jurisdiction thereof bullshit. just write it like u cant take bud out of any state that does allow it into another state that doesn’t allow it. there that saved a few months of planning and thousands of dollars to pay people to carefully word this shit.
    people are retarded

  32. gettin high on the yaht, call it sea weed.



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