With all of the hoopla surrounding the repeal and replacement of Obama Care and the eccentric Twitter feeds coming out of the White House, I was surprised to learn about new piece of Legislation which has been flying under the radar. Late in February 2017, along side a team of 7 bi-partisan cosponsors, Republican Congressmen Thomas Garrett officially introduced legislation calling for the rescheduling of marijuana off the controlled substance list.
House Bill H.R.1227 or the “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017” calls on Congress to decriminalize marijuana on the Federal level, eliminating the need for individual state Governments to write their own laws on matter. From medical use to recreational use, to date, 26 states have already legalized marijuana in one form or another.
Read The Official Bill Here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1227/text
Sponsors of the bill, including Congresswomen Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, argue that the bill is necessary because our current laws are turning average Americans into criminals, unnecessarily destroying peoples lives and the lives of their families in the process. She points out the fact that the US public has collectively spent hundreds of billions of dollars fighting marijuana and incarcerating its users, even though medical doctors across the country overwhelmingly agree that marijuana is a far safer product than alcohol.
Despite optimism, critics of the bill maintain that it will be a tough sell at this moment in time. As it stands today, the majority of all states in the United States still criminalize marijuana use/possession and only a slight majority have even passed medical marijuana laws – let alone full blown legalization. Additionally, the active Attorney General of the United States, Jeff Sessions, is on public record in 2017 as saying that “good people don’t smoke marijuana” and our Nations President, Donald Trump, is adamantly opposed to drug use of any kind.
Even White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has recently told reporters that “recreational marijuana may come under legal fire” in the coming months, adding that the Trump Administration will implement “greater enforcement” of Federal marijuana laws in the future – hinting towards perhaps striping funding from states violating Federal Laws on this issue.
Moreover, just 8 months ago the US Drug Enforcement Agency rejected a formal petition to reschedule marijuana, instead choosing to open up the door for future research on the drug – something it had previously banned.
House Bill H.R.1227 was officially introduced on February 27th 2017 and so far, the bill has made it through the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Judiciary. On March 16th the bill was referred to subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations, where it is expected to meet a strong level of resistance.
As this bill is still up for debate and has yet to be voted on, now is the time for you to show your support. Below you will find a full directory to the United States House of Representatives, if you would like to see an end to marijuana prohibition on the Federal level then you are urged to reach out to your representatives, tell them how you feel, that you support the “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017” and you would like to see them vote accordingly.
Directory of Representatives: http://www.house.gov/representatives/