Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Heads to the House

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Supporters of legalization and decriminalization of marijuana received a boost from Capitol Hill Tuesday, as Massachusetts Congressman, Barney Frank introduced a bill to the House of Representatives, which, if passed, would decriminalize marijuana on the federal level.

The bill, labeled H.R. 2493, the Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults Act of 2009, would remove federal penalties for personal possession of up to 100 grams of marijuana (roughly 3.5 ounces), and would reduce the penalty for smoking pot in public to a mere $100, echoing Massachusetts’s similar (though controversial) marijuana law, which passed last November.

“I think John Stuart Mill had it right in the 1850s,” said Congressman Frank, “when he argued that individuals should have the right to do what they want in private, so long as they don’t hurt anyone else. It’s a matter of personal liberty. Moreover, our courts are already stressed and our prisons are over-crowded. We don’t need to spend our scarce resources prosecuting people who are doing no harm to others.” [via: WBZ]

On top of explicitly (re-)granting citizens the right to marijuana possession, the bill would give states legal breathing room to draft less insane, life-crushing drug laws without having to contradict federal law in the process.

But don’t get your bongs out yet – Frank introduced a similar bill last year, which failed miserably. So if you want to help push this bill through congress, visit MPP.org, here to sign their petition to congress. It’s called being active, people. Which, if you smoke enough pot, you probably know nothing about.

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