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Pending Legislation Would End Federal Pot Prohibition—What Do You Think?

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are working on bills that would allow the federal government to regulate and tax pot in states that have allowed legalization.

As Washington state begins to implement a historic marijuana legalization initiative, some members of Congress are drafting bills that would end the federal government's 75-year prohibition on pot.

Do you think the federal government should legalize recreational marijuana use? Why or why not? Tell us in the comments section.

The Associated Press reports that U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Jared Polis of Colorado, both Democrats, are working on bills that would direct the federal government to regulate marijuana similar to the way it handles alcohol.

Blumenauer's bill would also establish a 50-percent federal tax on the first point of sale for marijuana and tax producers and importers $1,000 each year.

"You folks in Washington and my friends in Colorado really upset the apple cart," Blumenauer told the AP. "We're still arresting two-thirds of a million people for use of a substance that a majority feel should be legal. ... It's past time for us to step in and try to sort this stuff out."

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Justice has largely remained silent on how it plans to respond to Washington's new marijuana law. Gov. Jay Inslee met last month with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and said he was encouraged by the discussion.

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Joe M February 07, 2013 at 06:53 PM
Good point, it's not a fair comparison. One of these products is far more dangerous - the one that's legal. Oh, and apples are much better as a portable snack, but oranges make better juice.
Joe M February 07, 2013 at 07:00 PM
After your brilliant analysis: Marijuana legalization won't bring in tax revenue or reduce prison populations because ... it won't. Most of us stopped trying to rebut that level of logic at age 4.
Christopher Plambeck February 07, 2013 at 09:46 PM
Yes, it is high time (pun intended) that we legalize. We spend far too much money and effort on criminalizing a recreational activity that is no worse than alchohol, and, if legal, would be a victimless crime. Not to mention the huge tax windfalls the state and federal government would receive. It is what I term the Prison-Industrial Complex that has a vested interest in keeping it illegal, massive funds pouring into public and private coffers to fund the War On Drugs, so there are many people who want it continued, so they can reap the financial benefits. FYI, no, I don't smoke pot, and I don't mind if you do. Christopher Plambeck
dexterjibs February 07, 2013 at 09:56 PM
So, what would you do with Willy the local weed dealer that still sells to his high school buddies from the 1960's? Afterall, Willy won't charge sales tax that goes to big government and he sells his weed for a lower price than the government pot shop. Do we keep his and his buddies activity criminal? Because he is denying the big government of their precious tax dollars. Educate me on how you would handle this.
employee February 08, 2013 at 04:41 AM
I think that the majority of the "Willy's" are good enough at their trade to be competitive in the market. I also think these folks would be glad to pay taxes like any other small business, knowing that they would be treated like any other person that creates something of value. There are always going to be "Bootleggers", but how much have those guys hurt the alcohol business?

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