A group of Democratic Congressmen, joined by Ron Paul, proposed legislation in the House to end prohibition of marijuana. Politico reports:
Modeled on the 21st Amendment to the Constitution that repealed the prohibition of alcoholic beverages, the legislation is being cast by the Marijuana Policy Project as the “the first bill ever introduced in Congress to end federal marijuana prohibition.”
The bill would let states legalize, regulate and tax marijuana. It would also “reprioritize federal resources” away from the enforcement of anti-marijuana laws, limiting the federal government’s role in combating cross-border and interstate smuggling, as well as in fighting the growth, use and sale of the drug.
Sponsors of the bill include Barney Frank, John Conyers, Steve Cohen, and Barbara Lee. The addition of Ron Paul allows them to frame this as a bipartisan measure, but Ron Paul is hardly likely to obtain very much support from his GOP colleagues on such a measure. I doubt that this will pas now, but sometimes measures which are considered too radical when first proposed do ultimately gain support . Maybe Republicans will ultimately go along with this as a means to get out of the budget crisis they created, preferring taxation of marijuana to raise money over a slight increase in the marginal tax rate of the top two percent. Between saving money on the failed drug war and the increased revenue from taxation of marijuana, this must have some meaningful impact on the budget.