Move to undo marijuana prohibition in Congress

Kyle Potter

U.S. Reps. Ron Paul, R-Texas, and Barney Frank, DFL-Massachusetts, will introduce a bill today that aims to get the remove the federal government’s role in regulating marijuana sale and use, according to CNN Money.

If passed, the bill would leave that responsibility up to the states who would set laws on the legality of marijuana within their own borders. But considering pot is illegal in all 50 states, the bill seems doomed to fail.

California came reasonably close to making marijuana legal with Proposition 19 in November 2010, but its voters voted down the measure – 53.8 percent voted against it, while 46.2 percent voted in favor. The Golden State became the first of 15 states (not including Washington, D.C.) to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes in 1996. State legislators in Minnesota have fought to join that list, most recently in 2009, but have not succeeded.

But proponents of the bill are less concerned with passing the bill than about starting a conversation.

“A bill like this is going to get talked about quite a bit,” said Morgan Fox, a spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project. “I think it will spark a strong debate in the media, and we hope to get some [House] floor time for it.”