Today, a press conference will be held by members of Congress from both parties highlighting the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017, HR 1227, introduced by Representatives Thomas Garrett (R-VA) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI).
H.R. 1227 seeks specifically to remove marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinols from the federal schedule of controlled substances, thereby leaving regulation up to the states.
Details for the press conference are as follows:
What: Press Conference on H.R. 1227 to highlight the necessity for federal deregulation of marijuana
When: May 17, 2017 from 2:00-2:45 PM
Where: House Triangle, just outside the U.S. Capitol (back-up rain location Cannon HOB 340)
Speakers: U.S. Congressman Tom Garrett; tentative confirmation from U.S. Congressman Scott Taylor and several other bipartisan members of Congress that have cosponsored this legislation; also in attendance will be representatives from NORML and other advocacy organizations from across the country.
Justin Strekal, Political Director for NORML, released the following statement:
“Never in modern history has there existed greater public support for ending the nation’s nearly century-long experiment with marijuana prohibition and replacing it with regulation. The historic votes on Election Day — when a majority of voters in California, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada decided at the ballot box to regulate the adult use of marijuana, and several other states passed medical marijuana legalization laws — underscore this political reality.”
“The ongoing enforcement of marijuana prohibition financially burdens taxpayers, encroaches upon civil liberties, engenders disrespect for the law, impedes legitimate scientific research into the plant’s medicinal properties, and disproportionately impacts communities of color.”
“According to recently released nationwide survey data from Quinnipiac University, the majority of Americans support the repeal of federal marijuana prohibition. Fifty-nine percent of voters say that the adult use of marijuana should be legal while a whopping 93 percent support the medical use of marijuana. Perhaps most importantly, 71 percent of voters — including strong majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents — say that they “oppose the government enforcing federal laws against marijuana in states that have already legalized medical or recreational marijuana.”
In a February 27 press release introducing the bill, Congressman Thomas Garrett (R-VA) stated:
“I have long believed justice that isn’t blind, isn’t justice. Statistics indicate that minor narcotics crimes disproportionately hurt areas of lower socio-economic status and what I find most troubling is that we continue to keep laws on the books that we do not enforce. Virginia is more than capable of handling its own marijuana policy, as are states such as Colorado or California.”
In a March 21 statement on the floor of the House Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) stated:
“Our outdated policies on marijuana are having devastating ripple effects on individuals and communities across the country. They have turned everyday Americans into criminals, torn apart families, and wasted huge amounts of taxpayer dollars to arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate people for non-violent marijuana charges. Differences in state and federal law have also created confusion and uncertainty for our local businesses, who face contradictory regulations that affect their bottom line and ability to operate. I urge our colleagues to support our bipartisan legislation which would decriminalize marijuana, bringing about long overdue and common sense reform.”
NORML’s mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults, and to serve as an advocate for consumers to assure they have access to high quality marijuana that is safe, convenient and affordable.