(UPDATED) Colorado rep co-sponsors federal legislation legalizing marijuana




Update, 5:04 p.m.: After reading this post, Tom Angell, a spokesman for the legalization advocacy group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, sent me a statement quoting Neill Franklin, a former Baltimore narcotics officer, and executive director of LEAP:

"Clearly the 'war on drugs' has failed, and nowhere is that more clear than with respect to marijuana. It baffles me that we arrest nearly 800,000 people on marijuana charges in this country each and every year at taxpayer expense, when we could instead be taking in new tax revenue from legal and regulated marijuana sales," Franklin says in the release. "Making marijuana illegal hasn't prevented anyone from using it, but it has created a huge funding source that funnels billions of dollars in tax-free profits to violent drug cartels and gangs. More and more cops now agree: Legalizing marijuana will improve public safety."


In a move the Marijuana Policy Project is calling a first-ever, House of Representatives members Barney Frank, D-Mass., and Ron Paul, R-Texas, will tomorrow introduce a bipartisan bill "ending the federal war on marijuana and letting states legalize, regulate, tax and control marijuana without federal interference," reads a release.

The bill is co-sponsored by Colorado Democratic Rep. Jared Polis; Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich.; Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn.; and Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif.

From the release:

"The legislation also comes on the heels of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, which released a report on June 2 calling for a major paradigm shift in how our society deals with drugs, including calling for legal regulation of marijuana. The report sent a jolt around the world, generating thousands of international media stories. The commission is comprised of international dignitaries including Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations; Richard Branson, entrepreneur, founder of the Virgin Group; and the former Presidents of Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Switzerland. Representing the U.S. on the commission are George P. Shultz, Paul Volcker, and John Whitehead."

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