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New bill would actually end the federal marijuana prohibition

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There's are some strange places in the political continuum where the far Left and the far Right go so far right and left that they actually meet. Apparently, legalizing pot is one of those places. Rep. Ron Paul and Rep. Barney Frank are co-sponsoring a bill that would end the federal prohibition of marijuana, in what might be the strangest political union in recent memory. Since I'm pretty sure the libertarian from Texas and the gay comedian from Massachusetts agree on little else.

According to the press release:

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) will introduce bi-partisan legislation tomorrow, June 23, ending the federal war on marijuana and letting states legalize, regulate, tax, and control marijuana without federal interference. Other co-sponsors include Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA). The legislation would limit the federal government's role in marijuana enforcement to cross-border or inter-state smuggling, allowing people to legally grow, use or sell marijuana in states where it is legal. The legislation is the first bill ever introduced in Congress to end federal marijuana prohibition.

Will this bill pass? Absolutely not. But it's still kind of gratifying that it exists, since it's the single most sensible piece of legislation that we could pass. (I mean that. The War on Drugs costs something like a trillion dollars a year and has not been able to reduce — at all — the number of people who smoke pot.) 

There is, however, a little bit of a shifting tide. California's most recent effort to legalize pot failed, but it seemed to come closer than before, and the state of Connecticut just joined twelve other states in decriminalizing pot. (Possession of half an ounce or less will now get you a $150 fine.) However, actually talking about legalizing pot nationally is still considered political suicide; Barack Obama won't even touch it.