Monday, March 24, 2008

Barney Frank will push to legalize marijuana

By Libby

I've been meaning to get to this one all weekend. Nicole Bell flags a story on Barney Frank's excellent intentions.
“I’m going to file a bill as soon as we go back to remove all federal penalties for the possession or use of small amounts of marijuana,” Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat, told Maher.
“I finally got to the point where I think I can get away with it,” he said.

Frank said he thinks “its time for the politicians in this one to catch up to the public. The notion that you lock people up for smoking marijuana is pretty silly.”
Nicole thinks it won't go anywhere.
I am totally for legalization of marijuana, but I have to differ with Frank on this: to think that at this time with this administration that you could get away with a bill legalizing pot actually is what sounds silly.
I'd agree with her that the chances are slim to none of such a bill getting to the floor, much less passing in an election year, but in terms of Frank's personal strategy, it makes complete sense.

Barney is a long time advocate for marijuana policy reform and there is a large constituency in MA that supports legalization, or at least decrim. Further, marijuana reform is a hot issue in the Commonwealth this year. He has nothing to lose by bringing it forward and he will only endear himself further to an active and growing reform movement in the Commonwealth.

I don't know if he's facing any serious competition in a reelection bid, but he's smart to position himself to be able to tap into a well organized community of activists who will surely support his campaign. Besides, he's right. It is silly to be jailing tens of thousands of Americans for ingesting a natural herb.

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