Barney To Introduce Marijuana Decriminalization Bill. Update: Now With Reparations

I found this at the DU, which points towards Drug Policy Alliance Network, however, I could not find what looks like a legit press release at that site, but did find it at Frank’s congressional site

Wednesday: Press Conference with Rep. Barney Frank to Announce Introduction of First Marijuana Decriminalization Bill in Congress in Decades

Nearly 700,000 Marijuana Possession Arrests per Year in the U.S. (and Climbing) at an Annual Cost of Nearly $7.6 Billion to Taxpayers; Enormous Racial Disparities in Enforcement, Despite Nearly Equal Use Rates

When: Wednesday, July 30, at 10 a.m.

Where: 2220 House Rayburn Office Building, Washington, DC

What: Press conference announcing introduction of HR. 5843, a bi-partisan bill to remove federal penalties for the personal use of marijuana by responsible adults.

Why: Police make more than 1.8 million drug arrests every year (nearly 700,000 for nothing more than marijuana possession). Those arrested are separated from their loved ones, branded criminals, denied jobs, and in some cases prohibited from accessing public assistance for life. The estimated criminal justice costs of marijuana arrests are as much as $7.6 billion a year; an average of over $10,000 per arrest. Despite similar use rates, African Americans are arrested for marijuana possession at a rate almost twice that of white marijuana smokers. Twelve states have decriminalized marijuana, but most states still incarcerate people for possession of marijuana for personal use.

Who: Speakers to include Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), author of the bill; fellow Congressional co-sponsors; and representatives from the Drug Policy Alliance and other organizations working to eliminate criminal penalties for nonviolent marijuana law offenses.

“In both fiscal and human terms, our nation cannot afford to continue arresting and incarcerating hundreds of thousands of people each year for nothing more than possessing small amounts of marijuana for personal use,” said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. “Rep. Barney Frank should be commended for stepping forward with a sensible plan to save taxpayer money, reduce racial disparities in incarceration and focus federal law enforcement agencies on major criminals and drug cartels.”

Interesting. Democrats can’t take the time to deal with the United States’ energy policy, but, can try to decriminalize pot. Granted, I could care less if it is legal or not (it is actually considerably safer then alchohol, and no, I do not smoke it, but, do we not have a free country?) but, as usual, Democrats put the fluff ahead of the substance.

Update: good thing the House dealt with serious issues on Tuesday

The House yesterday apologized to black Americans, more than 140 years after slavery was abolished, for the “fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality and inhumanity of slavery and Jim Crow” segregation.

Hmm, will Democrats apologize for being the Party that was for slavery, and was mostly against the Civil Rights Act? Doubtful. And the Senate might introduce a similar feel good measure. Glad they take things like our national security and energy issues so seriously. Meanwhile, Pelosi refuses to allow the GOP energy plan to come to the floor for a vote, as well as allowing a vote on lifting the offshore oil drilling ban.

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One Response to “Barney To Introduce Marijuana Decriminalization Bill. Update: Now With Reparations”

  1. W says:

    I don’t consider myself a dem or repub and really don’t see this issue as being wrapped up in partisan politics. This issue however is not fluff but lies near the main vain of importatn social issues not only in our country but nations across the world. The inhumane acts of the drug war, especially when it comes to the least harmful “drug” marijuana, has had serious consequences on both citizens of this country and our pocket books. Are you aware of the fiscal obligation we taxpayers have to fund this war on our own citizens? Are you aware of the pain in suffering it has created for millions of individuals and families? Are you aware that this a co-sponsored bill by both dems and repubs? The general public belief that this issue is not important and labled as “fluff” is part of the reason that these immoral crimes against humanity are allowed to persist and the illusion of freedom in this country perpetuated.

    Off shore drilling won’t solve our energy crisis by the way. We need a whole new energy source that isn’t controlled by the oil barrens.

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