Another Democrat, another effort being made to address marijuana prohibition as well as taking aim at the high cost of a failed policy..
I, of course, believe this is very smart politics as well as very stylish.
Colorado Congressman Jared Polis has offered two amendments to the House continuing resolution that would eliminate much of the federal funding for the war on drugs in the United States.
The House is currently debating HR 1, the Full Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011. The bill is needed to fund the government for the rest of the current fiscal year.
Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) has offered a number of amendments to the legislation. One of his amendments, No. 501, would eliminate funding for the Office of National Drug Control Policy, commonly known as the drug czar. Another amendment, No. 427, would prohibit funds being made available for the investigation or criminal prosecution of any person for the possession, manufacture or distribution of marijuana.
The Drug Czar, by the way
By law, the drug czar must oppose any attempt to legalize the use (in any form) of illicit drugs. According to the "Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 1998" the director of the ONDCPThe entire job of the Drug Czar is to prevent reform of cannabis laws.(12) shall ensure that no Federal funds appropriated to the Office of National Drug Control Policy shall be expended for any study or contract relating to the legalization (for a medical use or any other use) of a substance listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812) and take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance (in any form) that-- 1. is listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812); and 2. has not been approved for use for medical purposes by the Food and Drug Administration;
Cannabis is 'scheduled' in Schedule 1 via the Controlled Substances Act. Everybody - but the US Federal Government and a handful of naysayers - knows cannabis doesn't belong there. It's really there out of spite.
But despite all that expensive effort, cannabis reform gains momentum. Colorado has, in places, heavily decriminalized marijuana possession and these laws targeting the funding for enforcing marijuana laws are becoming more frequent.
It is now safer than ever for Democratic politicians to suggest that reform may be open for discussion. This is leadership on this issue. It will not come from a republican (other than Ron Paul or maybe Dana Rohrbacher). It really should come from Democrats.
You know... this 'particular demographic' is also a giant group of voters, nudge, nudge.. I may be silly, but I think Dems should maybe re-evaluate their historical timidity in at least mentioning reorm in a favorable tone.
Last week, Rep. Polis said that support for legalizing marijuana at the federal level was steadily increasing in Congress.Bingo.
"I find that a lot of members of Congress privately agree that we need to change our drug policy, they’re just still too timid or scared to come public with it," he said.
In a nutshell.
This is why I say all that Democrats have to do on this issue is just talk about reform. Lots of people are starting to have legislation about reform, which means it's OK to talk positively about it. Obama is reportedly opposed to relegalization but he's all for the national discourse.
The more politicians speak positively the more the climate will begin to thaw.
And talking about it would be 'leadership'.