There are plenty of problems that the federal government should focus on fixing. But according to U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., stopping the sale and use of marijuana isn’t one of them. On Tuesday, Frank visited Harvard Law School (HLS) to make his case for legalizing the plant-based drug.
HLS students study dozens of instances where a federal law has conflicted with state statutes, a messy byproduct of the American legal system. Now, as more and more states are loosening their laws to allow for medical prescriptions for marijuana or for carrying small amounts of the drug for personal use, unevenly enforced federal laws against marijuana are even more outdated, Frank said.
Legalizing marijuana is one of very few “issues in America today where the voters are more enlightened than the elected officials,” said Frank, who was invited to campus by the HLS American Constitution Society, where he addressed a packed crowd of law students in Pound Hall.
“Just because the federal government can prosecute constitutionally people who use medical marijuana in accordance with state laws doesn’t mean they have to, or even that they should,” he said.
Read More: Frank look at marijuana laws
Harvard Gazette, October 19, 2011