Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act: Sponsor Jared Polis claims bipartisan support

Jared Polis.
As Colorado lawmakers attempt to figure out the federal government's stance on Amendment 64, a potential light at the end of the tunnel popped up on Tuesday. Representatives Jared Polis and Earl Blumenauer unveiled the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013, a measure that would effectively decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. The bill is being introduced in response to what Polis called the "enormous evolution of American opinion."

According to Polis, who joined Oregon rep Blumenauer for a teleconference yesterday afternoon, "Americans have increasingly come to the conclusion that the drug war is a failed policy. We need to address it as a public health issue rather than a security issue."

earl blumenauer.jpg
Oregon Representative Earl Blumenauer.
The bill would not affect the current legal status of marijuana in any jurisdiction. Rather, it would allow states that have voted to legalize medical or recreational marijuana to implement regulations without fear of prosecution from any part of the federal government, including the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Blumenauer echoed Polis' statements, agreeing that states should be allowed to regulate marijuana how they please without having to worry about the federal government. He referenced President Obama's statement that he had "bigger fish to fry."

"Point in fact, down the federal drug enforcement food chain, there are still people who are frying those fish," Blumenauer said. "This is the Congress that we need to step up and tackle these problems head-on."

Though both Polis and Blumenauer stressed that there is bipartisan backing for the bill, they were unwilling to reveal any specific names. Instead, they referenced "growing support for the bill," adding that there are "about twenty people who are going to play a more active role" as the proposed bill moves forward.

Continue to read more comments from Jared Polis about the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013, including a fact sheet about the measure and the complete bill.

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