cannabisnews.com: Missouri Congressman Backs Bill To Decriminalize 





Missouri Congressman Backs Bill To Decriminalize 
Posted by CN Staff on May 05, 2008 at 14:58:36 PT
By Sam Hananel, The Associated Press
Source: Associated Press
Washington, D.C. -- A bill that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana is garnering support from Missouri Rep. William Lacy Clay.Clay, a Democrat from St. Louis, has signed on as a co-sponsor of the measure to eliminate federal penalties for possessing up to 100 grams ó or about 3.5 ounces ó of marijuana for personal use.
The measure also would remove penalties for the not-for-profit transfer of up to 1 ounce of marijuana between adults."I certainly don't approve of drug use, but we need to stop wasting tax dollars on prosecuting small personal marijuana users in federal court," Clay said Monday. "We have wasted billions of dollars on a phony war on drugs that is filling up our prisons and failing to stop the flow of illegal narcotics into this country."Clay is one of only three lawmakers currently supporting the bill, introduced last month by Rep. Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat. Clay called the bill "a reality check" that would allow law enforcement "to fight real threats to public health and national security."The other co-sponsor is Texas Rep. Ron Paul, a former Republican presidential candidate.One hundred grams of marijuana would make about 120 to 130 individual cigarettes, according to Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, a legalization advocacy group. He compared that amount to one person buying a few cases or a keg of beer for personal use.St. Pierre said the measure is the first time in more than 20 years that a federal measure supporting decriminalization has been introduced in Congress."A very large group of people around the country that want to see marijuana laws reformed now have something that you can talk about with your representative at the local level," St. Pierre said.When he introduced the bill, Frank called the prosecution of marijuana smokers a waste of law enforcement resources, particularly the targeting of those who use marijuana as a legal medical treatment under California law."If the law I am proposing passes, states will still be free to treat marijuana as they wish," Frank said. "But I do not believe that the federal government should treat adults who choose to smoke marijuana as criminals."Frank also has offered a separate measure that would grant protection to states that allow medicinal use of marijuana. About a dozen states have legalized medical marijuana use, but federal law considers all forms of marijuana illegal.Tom Riley, a spokesman for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, said the decriminalization bill shows "an embarrassing understanding of the way law enforcement works on this issue" and predicted it would gain very little support."This idea that we're spending scarce law enforcement dollars chasing after college kids with a couple of joints in their pocket is ludicrous," Riley said.He said the average inmate convicted under federal marijuana possession laws had more than 100 pounds of the drug, not just an amount for personal use.Riley also called marijuana "a serious drug of abuse for teens" that is not just a gateway to more potent drugs, but a serious problem on its own.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Sam Hananel, The Associated PressPublished: May 5, 2008Copyright: 2008 The Associated Press Related Articles & Web Site:NORMLhttp://www.norml.org/Local Rep Backs Bill To Legalize Med Marijuanahttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread23849.shtmlRep. Frank Wants To Legalize Pothttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread23845.shtmlBarney Frank: My Pot Bill Liveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread23801.shtml 
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help




Comment #8 posted by potpal on May 07, 2008 at 16:39:24 PT
Ehh...
Be about a carton of smokes. But oh so much better.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #7 posted by John Tyler on May 06, 2008 at 18:10:19 PT
lies and more lies
I think that all governments lie, even about trivial things, unless it suites their purposes to tell the truth. They donít let facts bother them, nor do they seem to care that the public thinks that they are lying.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #6 posted by OverwhelmSam on May 06, 2008 at 11:14:42 PT
These Article Should Have ONDCP Disclaimers
In reference to ONDCP comments, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) has said that Congress authorizes ONDCP to lie. Anyone trusting pahtolocical liar's comments should seek psychiatric counsel.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #5 posted by observer on May 05, 2008 at 20:03:21 PT
Why all the Fuss, Then?
"This idea that we're spending scarce law enforcement dollars chasing after college kids with a couple of joints in their pocket is ludicrous," Riley said. He said the average inmate convicted under federal marijuana possession laws had more than 100 pounds of the drug, not just an amount for personal use.That would be amusing - were not so many people rotting in the federal pen for trivial amounts of pot. If the Feds truly only go after the 100 lb cannabis violators, then why is it a problem to make the law match reality? Why all the fuss? Riley's lying, that's why. Par for the course. 
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #4 posted by John Tyler on May 05, 2008 at 20:00:09 PT
call your Congressperson
Call your representatives ASAP on this issue. Let them hear from you. Just Google your Congressperson and you can have his or her local phone number in seconds. Call his office, someone will be there. Ask them to tell the Congressperson that you would like him or her to support HR 5483 and HR 5482. The staff keeps tally sheets of who calls and what they want. The staffer I spoke to didnít know what these were for, but said they would pass it to the Congressperson. The message will get through. Nothing will happen to you. Just call. This is a big chance to get our voices heard.  
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #3 posted by afterburner on May 05, 2008 at 19:21:12 PT
Keep Dreaming, ezrydn 
Your logic about "hard on crime" appeals to the mind, the emotions and the wallet. Decriminalization is a tiny baby step toward being hard on cartels. Better still, a regulated white market instead of the current unregulated black market.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #2 posted by dongenero on May 05, 2008 at 17:04:03 PT
Riley and ONDCP, we know the system
Tom Riley, a spokesman for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, said the decriminalization bill shows "an embarrassing understanding of the way law enforcement works on this issue" and predicted it would gain very little support.Hey Riley, we ALL know how law enforcement works on this issue......you take billions of taxpayers DOLLARS, arrest a bunch of otherwise law-abiding citizens, make a mess of their life, fine them - where you make more MONEY - seize their assets - where you make more MONEY and then put them in the prison system, -where the prison industry, a subsidiary of the law enforcement industry send the tax payers another bill and you make more MONEY.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #1 posted by ezrydn on May 05, 2008 at 15:29:17 PT
--{The Dream}--
Every Rep/Senator that signs onto this bill is truly considered "hard on crime." By signing on, they are paving the way to steal the "golden goose" from the various cartels. People are beginning to understand. Beginning, I said. Those who have their heads embedded so extraordinarily, where simple extraction is deemed impossible, should be put out to pasture on their next "go around." By restoring the Rights of States, our representatives (all!), make the deepest strike into the cartels that they've ever been able to thus far. Seeing this, could a full understanding develop? ...and then, I woke up. ;)
[ Post Comment ]


Post Comment