According to Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) ’77, there are two issues in America about which the voters are wiser than public officials – military spending and legalizing marijuana. He spoke about the latter at an event sponsored by the Harvard Law School American Constitution Society on October 18, discussing proposed legislation that would end the federal ban on marijuana, as well as the need for drug policy reform at the federal level and why marijuana policy is an issue better handled by the states.
He is the co-sponsor, along with Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), of the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011, which would remove marijuana from the list of federally controlled substances in order to permit states to decide how to regulate it. It would remove all federal criminal penalties for the use of marijuana and possession of amounts for personal use in states where medical marijuana is permitted, and would thus reduce the number of prosecutions that occurred under the Bush administration and continue under the Obama administration. Frank explained how the issue encapsulates the debate about the proper role of government in regulating human behavior.
Read More: Current marijuana policy encourages discrimination, says Congressman Barney Frank at HLS (video)
Harvard Law School, October 21, 2011