Members of Congress will bring forth a bill Thursday that supporters say is the first ever introduced to end federal law’s blanket prohibition of marijuana.
The legislation — authored by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas — would limit the federal government’s role in marijuana enforcement to cross-border or interstate smuggling, letting people legally grow, use or sell marijuana in states that allow it without fear of federal prosecution.
The bill’s original co-sponsors include Reps. John Conyers, D-Mich.; Steve Cohen, D-Tenn.; Jared Polis, D-Colo.; and Barbara Lee, D-Oakland.
“The human cost of the failed drug war has been enormous — egregious racial disparities, shattered families, poverty, public health crises, prohibition-related violence, and the erosion of civil liberties. And of course the cost in dollars and cents has been staggering as well — over a trillion dollars spent to incarcerate tens of millions of young people,” Lee said Wednesday. “I co-sponsored this bipartisan legislation because I believe it is time to turn the page from this failed drug war.”