Here’s an interesting (if seemingly symbolic, and therefore futile) development in the War on Drugs:
Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) will introduce "bi-partisan legislation tomorrow ending the federal war on marijuana and letting states legalize, regulate, tax, and control marijuana without federal interference," according to a press release from the Marijuana Policy Project that just hit my inbox. More from that email:
Other co-sponsors include Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA). The legislation would limit the federal government’s role in marijuana enforcement to cross-border or inter-state smuggling, allowing people to legally grow, use or sell marijuana in states where it is legal. The legislation is the first bill ever introduced in Congress to end federal marijuana prohibition.
Rep. Frank’s legislation would end state/federal conflicts over marijuana policy, reprioritize federal resources, and provide more room for states to do what is best for their own citizens.
The bill is expected to provoke “a serious debate”, presumably harsher in the mainstream media than what will occur on the House floor. Personally, I’m firmly in the camp of thought that this is a mostly symbolic act that doesn’t stand much of a chance of passing the GOP-controlled House floor; after all, all of the bill’s supporters but one are Democrats, and the one Republican advocate is the one who’s consistently ranked highest in terms of GOPers who are actually trying to follow the whole “smaller government” credo, at least in general.
I’d say one should remain cautiously optimistic at best, though not to expect anything revolutionary.