Author Topic: Effort building to change US pot laws  (Read 3684 times)

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BT

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Effort building to change US pot laws
« on: February 04, 2013, 09:52:50 PM »
The GOP should lead this movement
*****************************

 Effort building to change US pot laws


Feb 4, 4:26 PM (ET)

By GENE JOHNSON

Effort building to change US pot laws
 

SEATTLE (AP) - An effort is building in Congress to change U.S. marijuana laws, including moves to legalize the industrial production of hemp and establish a hefty federal pot tax.

While passage this year could be a longshot, lawmakers from both parties have been quietly working on several bills, the first of which Democratic Reps. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Jared Polis of Colorado plan to introduce Tuesday, Blumenauer told The Associated Press.

Polis' measure would regulate marijuana the way the federal government handles alcohol: In states that legalize pot, growers would have to obtain a federal permit. Oversight of marijuana would be removed from the Drug Enforcement Administration and given to the newly renamed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana and Firearms, and it would remain illegal to bring marijuana from a state where it's legal to one where it isn't.

The bill is based on a legalization measure previously pushed by former Reps. Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Ron Paul of Texas.

Blumenauer's bill would create a federal marijuana excise tax of 50 percent on the "first sale" of marijuana - typically, from a grower to a processor or retailer. It also would tax pot producers or importers $1,000 annually and other marijuana businesses $500.

His office said Monday it doesn't yet have an estimate of how much the taxes might bring in. But a policy paper Blumenauer and Polis are releasing this week suggests, based on admittedly vague estimates, that a federal tax of $50 per ounce could raise $20 billion a year. They call for directing the money to law enforcement, substance abuse treatment and the national debt.

Last fall's votes in Colorado and Washington state to legalize recreational marijuana should push Congress to end the 75-year federal pot prohibition, Blumenauer said.

Washington state officials have estimated that its legal marijuana market could bring in about half a billion dollars a year in state taxes.

"You folks in Washington and my friends in Colorado really upset the apple cart," Blumenauer said. "We're still arresting two-thirds of a million people for use of a substance that a majority feel should be legal. ... It's past time for us to step in and try to sort this stuff out."

Advocates who are working with the lawmakers acknowledge it could take years for any changes to get through Congress, but they're encouraged by recent developments. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell last week came out in support of efforts to legalize hemp in his home state of Kentucky, and U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., is expected to introduce legislation allowing states to set their own policy on marijuana.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., has indicated he plans to hold a hearing on the conflict between state and federal marijuana laws and has urged an end to federal "mandatory minimum" sentences that lead to long prison stints for drug crimes.

"We're seeing enormous political momentum to undo the drug war failings of the past 40 years," said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, who has been working with lawmakers on marijuana-related bills. "For the first time, the wind is behind our back."

The Justice Department hasn't said how it plans to respond to the votes in Washington and Colorado. It could sue to block the states from issuing licenses to marijuana growers, processors and retail stores, on the grounds that doing so would conflict with federal drug law.

Blumenauer and Polis' paper urges a number of changes, including altering tax codes to let marijuana dispensaries deduct business expenses on federal taxes, and making it easier for marijuana-related businesses to get bank accounts. Many operate on a cash basis because federally insured banks won't work with them, they noted.

Blumenauer said he expects to introduce the tax-code legislation as well as a bill that would reschedule marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act, allowing states to enact medical marijuana laws without fear that federal authorities will continue raiding dispensaries or prosecuting providers. It makes no sense that marijuana is a Schedule I drug, in the same category as heroin and a more restrictive category than cocaine, Blumenauer said.

The measures have little chance of passing, said Kevin Sabet, a former White House drug policy adviser. Sabet recently joined former Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy and former President George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum in forming a group called Project SAM - for "smart approaches to marijuana" - to counter the growing legalization movement. Sabet noted that previous federal legalization measures have always failed.

"These are really extreme solutions to the marijuana problem we have in this country," Sabet said. "The marijuana problem we have is a problem of addiction among kids, and stigma of people who have a criminal record for marijuana crimes.

"There are a lot more people in Congress who think that marijuana should be illegal but treated as a public health problem, than think it should be legal."

Project SAM suggests people shouldn't get criminal records for small-time marijuana offenses, but instead could face probation or treatment.

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20130204/DA482F300.html

Xavier_Onassis

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Re: Effort building to change US pot laws
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2013, 12:17:08 AM »
The Republicans are not bright enough to see that ending the war on drugs and admitting that pot is here to stay is a solid idea whose time has come.

"Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana."

BT

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Re: Effort building to change US pot laws
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2013, 12:35:36 AM »
And yet i just advocated it.

Xavier_Onassis

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Re: Effort building to change US pot laws
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2013, 01:30:40 AM »
But you do not control the GOP, now, do you?
"Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana."

BT

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Re: Effort building to change US pot laws
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2013, 07:17:19 AM »
No one controls the GOP.

But they are influenced by the libertarians amongst us.

Plane

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Re: Effort building to change US pot laws
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2013, 07:17:33 AM »
  I like the idea.

Drug policy needs a general rework.

Only drugs that have truly proven harmfull should be against any law, and the proof should be scientific.

Republicans can be persuaded, but it is important to start at the bottom with the persuasion.

Christians4LessGvt

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Re: Effort building to change US pot laws
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2013, 08:05:47 AM »
I like the idea.

Me too Plane....but it is funny that many liberals want to legalize pot,
yet they also want to regulate soft drinks, sugar and trans fats..

Just like they pressure the Boy Scouts to admit homos,
but when will they pressure CAIR & other Muslim groups to accept homos too?
Ha Ha....dont hold your breath!






« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 08:19:00 AM by Christians4LessGvt »
"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" - Ronald Reagan - June 12, 1987

BSB

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Re: Effort building to change US pot laws
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2013, 09:26:12 AM »
C_Only steers and queers come from Texas_U "Just like they pressure the Boy Scouts to admit homos"

No one is pressuring the Boy Scouts to do anything. They're just catching up with the times so they don't become as irrelevant as Sarah Palin.

BSB

Christians4LessGvt

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Re: Effort building to change US pot laws
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2013, 10:58:23 AM »
No one is pressuring the Boy Scouts to do anything.

"President Obama has put additional pressure on the Boy Scouts of America, the day before the organization's national board meets to discuss rescinding its ban on gay scouts"
http://atlantablackstar.com/2013/02/04/obama-says-scouts-should-allow-gay-members/


This Wednesday, the Boy Scouts of America's (BSA) Executive Board will consider removing the controversial ban on gay members and allow each individual troop to adopt its own policy on gay scouts. The board publicly reaffirmed the anti-gay policy just last summer, but recent pressure from gay rights groups, corporate sponsors, and Bay Area troops has forced the governing body to revisit the blanket prohibition on gay members.
http://www.sfbg.com/politics/2013/02/04/trail-historic-gay-boy-scouts-vote-started-bay-area


Under pressure, Boy Scouts may ease no-gays policy
AP National Writer, By DAVID CRARY - January 29, 2013
http://www.chron.com/news/texas/article/Under-pressure-Boy-Scouts-may-ease-no-gays-policy-4230852.php


"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" - Ronald Reagan - June 12, 1987

Xavier_Onassis

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Re: Effort building to change US pot laws
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2013, 11:49:17 AM »
Simply stating that the Boy Scouts should accept gays is not pressuring them, it is just stating an opinion,

For example, if I tell "Christians" to go suck an egg, is that pressuring him to suck an egg?

I think not.

As an Eagle Scout, I think that the Boy Scouts should accept gays.

Again, it would be great to end the war on pot smokers. It is not the same as limiting the amount of sweetened soft drinks to one pint containers. Those who are really all that thirsty can buy two, or buy no calorie drinks. They can take that same cup and refill it with water.

No one is going to be thrown in prison for years for buying sweetened drinks or even selling them. The comparison is bogus.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 11:54:32 AM by Xavier_Onassis »
"Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana."

Christians4LessGvt

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Re: Effort building to change US pot laws
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2013, 12:28:44 PM »
Simply stating that the Boy Scouts should accept gays is not pressuring them, it is just stating an opinion

Yeah the AP writer and other news outlets need to consult with you before writing that
the BSA are being "pressured" to allow homos to go on weekend camping trips with young boys.
"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" - Ronald Reagan - June 12, 1987

Xavier_Onassis

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Re: Effort building to change US pot laws
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2013, 01:19:07 PM »
It is clearly NOT being pressured unless some threat or sanction is made.

It is not a matter of my opinion, it is clearly not a case of anyone being pressured.

"Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana."

BSB

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Re: Effort building to change US pot laws
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2013, 04:29:51 PM »
Wait a minute here. The Boy Scouts of America has Rick Perry on their side. If Rick Perry is on their side then God must be on their side. With Perry and God on their side you mean to tell me a few comments by a bunch of demented homos is pressure? They just buckle under and allow the devil to waltz right in because of a couple articles by the queer loving liberal press? Geez, I hate to see what the Boys Scouts of America does if they're ever under real pressure. It makes you wonder who's the real fag here? Those who are attracted to people of their own sex, or the Boy Scouts of America who drop their pants and bend over anytime someone hints at a contrary position?


BSB


Xavier_Onassis

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Re: Effort building to change US pot laws
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2013, 04:43:40 PM »
I question that God is on Rick Perry's side, ever.
"Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana."

BSB

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Re: Effort building to change US pot laws
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2013, 04:48:44 PM »
It was all tongue in check XO.


BSB