Time for Federal Government to Get Off the Pot | Editorial | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
The Source Weekly’s reporting is made possible by the power of your support. Be a part of it!
Pin It

Time for Federal Government to Get Off the Pot 

When the history of marijuana prohibition in America is updated in a few decades, this will be recounted as its awkward age, when some states allowed the production and dissemination of medical cannabis, some didn't, and the federal government made delicate—and sometimes seemingly arbitrary—decisions about raiding grow sites and co-ops.

The residents of Washington and Colorado stepped up the conflict last November, when they authorized the use of recreational marijuana. As those states prepare to carry out the voters' will, the Justice Department breathes down their backs, issuing reminders that the Controlled Substances Act prohibits marijuana outright. The stage is set for years of prosecutions and jurisdictional wrangling in the courts.

It doesn't have to be that way. A couple of forward-thinking representatives want Congress to honor the states' decisions on this controversial question, and it should do exactly that. Colorado Rep. Jared Polis last week introduced the Ending Marijuana Prohibition Act, which would grant states the option of regulating marijuana as they do alcohol and tobacco. It would remove cannabis from the list of drugs the DEA seeks to eradicate and charge a renamed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana, Firearms and Explosives with enforcing nationwide restrictions on the marijuana trade. Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer, wisely sweetening the proposed transition with billions of dollars in annual revenue, introduced a companion bill that would establish a 50 percent federal excise tax on marijuana.

Oregon, a major player in the liberalization of marijuana laws, has much at stake in this legislation. The first state to decriminalize marijuana possession and one of the first four to permit medical marijuana, Oregon likely will be among the next states to permit nonmedical use of the drug. Oregonians in November passed on Measure 80, which was scarcely promoted, but they'll be more inclined to favor legalization come 2014 or 2016. By then, Washington and Colorado are projected to collect hundreds of millions of dollars in marijuana tax revenue annually—while Oregon spends ever more to suppress the black market spinning off from Washington's booming marijuana industry.

With respect and appreciation, we award a glass slipper to Blumenauer and Polis for proposing a peaceful end to the most pointless battle in the Drug War.

Pin It

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

Today | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue
Prineville Pride

Prineville Pride - Pioneer Park, Prineville

Sun., June 27, 12-5 p.m.
Submitting an event is free and easy.

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

Get Social

Latest in Editorial

More by The Source Staff

  • Water Issue 2021

    Water Issue 2021

    From droughts to dams to glaciers and canoeing, there's lots to explore with water in Central Oregon
    • Jun 9, 2021
  • 2021 Summer Music Guide

    2021 Summer Music Guide

    Get your dancing shoes out from the back of the closet. These are all the shows we know about in Central Oregon this summer.
    • May 26, 2021
  • May 2021 Election Results

    May 2021 Election Results

    The latest election returns see conservative school board candidates in Bend-La Pine trounced by a 2-1 margin
    • May 18, 2021
  • More »

Want to advertise with us?

For info on print and digital advertising, >> Click Here

© 2021 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation