Pingree Co-Sponsoring Bill to Legalize Marijuana
function share_this(num) {
 tit=encodeURIComponent('Pingree Co-Sponsoring Bill to Legalize Marijuana');
 site = new Array(5);
 return false;

Pingree Co-Sponsoring Bill to Legalize Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on March 21, 2013 at 19:03:01 PT
By Seth Koenig, BDN Staff
Source: Bangor Daily News
Portland, Maine -- U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine is one of 13 co-sponsors of a bill that supporters say would end marijuana prohibition at the federal level.News of the proposed legislation came on the same day that a petition drive seeking to legalize pot possession began in Portland, the largest city in Pingree’s home state. The effort to decriminalize marijuana at a federal level also comes as state Rep. Diane Russell, D-Portland, is pursuing a bill in Augusta to do so at the state level.
Robert Schwartz, executive director of the Maine Chiefs of Police Association, said Thursday afternoon his group remains adamantly against the legalization of marijuana at any level.Pingree, a Democrat representing Maine’s 1st District, is currently the only member of Congress from New England to sign on in support of H.R. 499, titled the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013. The only Republican co-sponsor is U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California.According to the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project, the bill would establish a system in which marijuana is regulated similarly to alcohol at the federal level, placing the drug under the jurisdiction of a renamed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana, Firearms and Explosives.Currently, regulation of pot as an illegal substance is under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.“Congresswoman Pingree supports the bill because it is patterned after successful bills in Washington and Colorado, and she feels it’s a common-sense approach to regulation at the federal level,” Willy Ritch, a spokesman for Pingree’s office, told the BDN on Thursday afternoon.The proposed legislation, which was introduced by Colorado Democrat Rep. Jared Polis, would likely clear up what has become legal gray area in enforcement of marijuana laws across the country. While the substance is still outlawed by the federal government, 18 states — including Maine — have legalized its use as a doctor-prescribed medical treatment. At least two other states, Washington and Polis’ home state of Colorado, have passed laws decriminalizing its recreational use.In Maine, efforts are under way to make possession of 2.5 ounces or less of the drug legal, first through a citywide petition in Portland and then through state legislation.“We need the federal government to lower marijuana on the scheduled drug list and essentially treat it like alcohol,” said Portland City Councilor David Marshall, who attended the city petition drive launch Thursday morning. “We should have federal licenses for production and distribution.”While federal agents have largely allowed state-approved medical marijuana dispensaries operate without intervention, discrepancies between federal, state and sometimes local laws on the issue of pot legality have been a subject of nationwide debate.“It makes no sense to punish individuals for using a substance less harmful than alcohol,” David Boyer, Maine political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement Thursday. “Instead, we should allow adults to use marijuana legally while regulating the production and sale of the substance. We will not only better control production and sales, but we will also create new jobs and generate tax revenue.”Marshall echoed those comments Thursday afternoon, saying the end of the prohibition of marijuana could be similar to the end of the prohibition of alcohol in 1933 after 13 years in which spirits were disallowed and became the focus of black market trade and organized crime.“The alcohol industry has become manageable. We’ve been able to reduce the amount of alcohol being consumed by teenagers and we’ve been able to hold people responsible for their actions, and that’s what we’d want to do with marijuana,” Marshall said. “Marijuana is undoubtedly America’s No. 1 cash crop, and all that [money is] going untaxed and it’s going to people who are not running legitimate businesses in the eyes of the law.”Some researchers have estimated the U.S. marijuana market to be valued at as much as $100 billion annually, about the same as the market for brewed beverages.But Schwartz argued that the legalization of alcohol has not come without repercussions over the decades, and said it’s bad logic to add more legal drugs to the landscape because another legal substance is arguably more harmful. He also reiterated concerns that marijuana is a “gateway drug” that people often use while working their way up to more dangerous illegal drugs.“We’re opposed to legalizing it. It causes other problems. We don’t support it,” Schwartz said. “They throw a lot of money at alcohol problems and substance abuse problems, and this would only add to it.”Source: Bangor Daily News (ME)Author: Seth Koenig, BDN Staff Published: March 21, 2013Copyright: 2013 Bangor Daily News Inc.Website: -- Cannabis Archives 
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help 

Comment #4 posted by mexweed on March 23, 2013 at 14:00:49 PT:
Legal cannabis will doom binge-drinking profits
“They throw a lot of money at alcohol problems and substance abuse problems, and this (one more drug) would only add to it."Note that Mr. Marshall here sidesteps the issue of whether legalizing cannabis as a preferred euphoriant would bring about a massive DECREASE IN BINGE-DRINKING and its expensive after-effects. (Not chronic alcoholism, but that one fateful party which does to some kid what a concussion does to a football quarterback.)"Tobacco" (meaning almost entirely the high-profit inhalant monoxide $igarettes) is estimated by the CDC to cost the US economy $193-bil. a year-- $96-bil. for health care expenses and $97-bil. lost productivity (not to mention all that death). Legalizing cannabis will bring with it LEGALIZED VAPORIZERS AND ONE-HITTERS, quickly eliminating most of the market for the "EASY-TO-HIDE" hot-burning overdose roll-up paper format both in cannabis and tobacco user populations-- how do you like those savings, Mr. Marshall? 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by The GCW on March 22, 2013 at 04:50:03 PT
Let cannabis police itself.
Want implementation tips for 64? Ask someone who's been doing it for 30 yrs.'s like this author states "... crowd source policy on this one and let it police itself. The foregone taxes will be made up in the reduction in spending on enforcement and the formation of “joint” committees."Rational people realize the economy (remember: "it's the economy, stupid") is down. They'd like to allot less to policing but the system doesn't allow for giving law enforcement agencies less money and then see cannabis prohibition disappear. The self-servers (and their unions) cut corners elsewhere because cannabis prohibition is a money maker... So smart / rational people (the author as an example) realize as voters (etc.) they can control the law enforcement agencies (which We've seem to lost) by pulling cannabis prohibition from under them (like a rug) and at the same time lower their allotment of the pie.And the feds would be shooting themselves in both feet by attempting to nullify CO's 64 and Washington's equivalent. Because it's no longer just CO & WA. It's Maine, Cali, Oregon, Mass, Maryland, etc. etc. It's citizens in every state. -Getting WISE.And the amount of bombardment the feds are receiving, screaming to RE-legalize cannabis on a federal level is getting ear deafening. Nullify in CO & WA and the fed's eardrums will explode.Let cannabis police itself.It's the king of the plant kingdom -on a Biblical scale. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by The GCW on March 21, 2013 at 22:06:21 PT
Caution: IGNOIDS at work.
Maine Chiefs of Police Association are self-serving people indeed. Their associations and UNIONS know exactly how RE-legalizing the plant cannabis will effect their job security.And the politicians against this elementary need to RE-legalize cannabis on a federal level, call to perpetuate it and then after perpetuating it, state that they are hesitant to change laws because it's against the federal laws.Vile people sums it up.It seems incredibly logical at every facet to a rational clear thinking society that it's overdue to end cannabis prohibition on a federal level. I have a difficult time understanding how moronic a human must be that DOES NOT GET THIS.This really is a litmus test issue which exposes various bad people for who they are.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on March 21, 2013 at 21:22:17 PT
Yeah, listen to Schwartz!
Because he is a COP!If you want to live in a police state, you listen and do as the police wants you to!Why is the police even in this 'debate'?Who do they represent?This is why we never get nowhere by listening to the cops.The police should not be involved in making laws, only in enforcing them. Why is this so difficult in the US?Mr. Schwartz you are doing what is good for your own benefit, not that of the community at large. Prohibition is a form of fascism.The laws and the cops want you to consume lots of alcohol, which is good for nothing, except a hangover and an atrofied brain! More DUIs for them and maybe a promotion!
Pot Law
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment