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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

God Bless Barney Frank

posted by on July 30 at 10:19 AM


The U.S. should stop arresting responsible marijuana users, Rep. Barney Frank said Wednesday, announcing a proposal to end federal penalties for Americans carrying fewer than 100 grams, almost a quarter-pound, of the substance.

Rep. Barney Frank’s bill would radically curb federal penalties for personal marijuana use.

Current laws targeting marijuana users place undue burdens on law enforcement resources, punish ill Americans whose doctors have prescribed the substance and unfairly affect African-Americans, Frank said, flanked by legislators and representatives from advocacy groups.

“The vast amount of human activity ought to be none of the government’s business,” Frank said during a Capitol Hill news conference. “I don’t think it is the government’s business to tell you how to spend your leisure time.”

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Great. Now if I could just afford a quarter pound I'd be all set.

Posted by Skip | July 30, 2008 10:23 AM

I'm still miffed the CBC cancelled jPod.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 30, 2008 10:35 AM

That's right breeders- just remember the gays got your back.

Posted by Pink Mafioso | July 30, 2008 10:35 AM

“The vast amount of human activity ought to be none of the government’s business,”

That is a great quote. It should be engraved on the front of the White House.

Posted by DanFan | July 30, 2008 10:36 AM

100 grams! Don't worry, skip. If this ever comes to pass, raising enough cash for 100 grams will be a great problem to have.

Posted by Mike in MO | July 30, 2008 10:42 AM

“The vast amount of human activity ought to be none of the government’s business,” Frank said during a Capitol Hill news conference.

Frank has also been at the forefront of criticizing the government's War on Online Gambling, good for him, but his overall record (and the record of just about everyone in Congress) shows that they indeed consider most parts of human activity to be the government's business.

Posted by jmr | July 30, 2008 10:46 AM

More proof the Red Bushies are the Nanny State Government.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 30, 2008 10:49 AM

All right, Rep. Frank, that's wonderful. So can we agree that some of the things that are none of the government's business include my emails and phone records?

Posted by Greg | July 30, 2008 11:06 AM

"“The vast amount of human activity ought to be none of the government’s business,”

Amen, Mr. Frank. Tonight, I will spark one up in your honor.

Posted by Hernandez | July 30, 2008 11:07 AM

Too bad it will be a cold day in hell before government drug policy is driven by rational thought.

Posted by Westside forever | July 30, 2008 11:11 AM

Thank you, Rep. Frank!! Keeping pot illegal is a horrible waste of our tax dollars.

Posted by Barbara | July 30, 2008 11:26 AM

This could be interesting. If you were to see if Hemp Oil could be an alternative to fossil fuel & ethanol? You could field of Hemp plants growing underneath the thousands of wind mills. Hemp Oil could be the ultimate alternative energy. It would create an opportunity for Hemp to become traded as a commodity - like Corn, Soybeans..etc. That would create an economic boost to all the worlds markets.Think of it, a brand new commodity on the open financial markets that could be traded & is the ultimate - re-usable green product in the world. If done properly, this could be huge! Please think about this or pass this idea around please.

Posted by ryno | July 30, 2008 11:33 AM

Maybe not @10. With marijuana now estimated to generate more revenue than corn nationally, and with this year's estimated budget deficit approaching a half TRILLION dollars, at some point the government is going have no choice but to start viewing this as an economic, rather than as a law enforcement issue.

The deciding factor will eventually become one of how much money is SPENT trying to prevent people from growing, harvesting, distributing, purchasing, and consuming marijuana versus how much much money can be EARNED from the licensed cultivation, distribution, and purchase of it.

Posted by COMTE | July 30, 2008 11:48 AM

After reading the latest New Yorker, I'm wondering how much revenue Cali gets from medical marijuana licenses ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 30, 2008 12:05 PM

Kudos to Frank!

Now I'm just waiting for him to say "The vast amount of human activity ought to be none of the government’s business" in relation to sub-minimum-wage employment, and for the Stranger to bless that position, too. If it's not okay to nanny people's drug consumption, why is it okay to nanny their wage negotiations?

Posted by David Wright | July 30, 2008 12:10 PM

legalize it all the way or don't. making it legal to posess, but illegal to grow or distribute is fucking retarded.

Posted by max solomon | July 30, 2008 12:30 PM

Max @ 16: Agreed. That New Yorker article mentioned by Will @ 14 makes an interesting proint in this regard. The current quasi-legal regieme has kept costs high and networks relatively small-scale. It allows the aging boomers who participate in the market to make a good living and feel like they are still rebels. Under a fully legalized regieme, more efficient large-scale operations would quickly develop, and pot would loose much of its counter-cultural cache.

Posted by David Wright | July 30, 2008 12:57 PM

Interesting point COMTE. After all, marijuana may be one of the last truly valuable commodities produced domestically in the good ole U.S. of A. Even the meth is imported now that the ephedrine is a controlled substance. Legalizing marijuana could become a patriotic act! Get us off of those damn foreign imports!

Posted by Westside forever | July 30, 2008 12:58 PM

The U.S. should stop arresting responsible marijuana users but...

Might this not have a negative effect on the number of mean people with big guns that hand around the international borders?

And, of course the government should stay out of our business -- unless that business concerns plastic grocery bags.

Posted by jebus h. xst | July 30, 2008 1:13 PM

@15: There is a difference. Staying out of people's lives, when there is no benefit for society and government and when there is.

Wage increases (and minimums) have positive effects on society, and increase tax-revenue. (obviously you can't increase it too much, but it needs to happen). The need to protect low-wage workers from expolitation is important and beneficial.

Using scarce police resources to police minor activity is not benefial to anyone. It also adds even more costs the govenment in jail, trials, etc. That is the difference.

Posted by Original Monique | July 30, 2008 1:19 PM

Does Frank's bill allow for placing casino bets with marijuana instead of cash?? Then we'll know the nanny state is banished.

Posted by jmr | July 30, 2008 1:57 PM

@20 - but, Original Monique, the Republicans want us all to live in a Nanny State and need an excuse to lock up black people ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 30, 2008 2:05 PM

Couldn't we legalize it in the state of Washington for possession, production, and sale on the private level?

I don't really want to see Camel "Greens" marketed by corporations. But what a great legal boost to the economy if you could grow and sell pot yourself.

No middle men allowed. Not available in stores.

Posted by Entropy | July 30, 2008 5:46 PM

Props as well goes to Ron Paul, the co-sponsor.

One of many reasons he had a following for his Primary campaign.

Posted by Ben W. | July 30, 2008 5:48 PM

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