Marijuana advocates, rejoice! You’re getting some much-needed support today by big-name lawmakers.
Today, Congressmen Ron Paul and Barney Frank plan to introduce legislation calling for the federal government to let states “legalize, regulate, tax, and control marijuana without federal interference.”
No, this is not a victory in the making. In fact, I’m extremely doubtful that this bill will gain much traction with lawmakers, though stranger things have happened.
The real importance of this bill is that two federal lawmakers – one from each party – came together to spearhead such legislation in the first place. At the same time, co-sponsors of the bill include lawmakers representing states spanning the U.S., including Rep. Barbara Lee (D-California), Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and Rep. Steve Cohn (D-Tenn.).
The medical marijuana momentum is building, and it will be hard to stop despite a slew of challenges facing the industry. Here is the most important piece to this, courtesy the L.A. Times: “The legislation… is the first of its kind to be proposed in Congress that would end the 73-year-old federal marijuana prohibition that began with the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937.”
Don’t misunderstand the bill: It wouldn’t legalize marijuana. Rather, the legislation would let states decided what to do when it comes to this controversial issue.
I truly think that this represents another move to chip away at the long-held stigma surrounding marijuana in general and could pave the way for greater acceptance down the road.