Rep. Ron Paul (an M.D.) and Rep. Barney Frank (not an M.D.) – who are as far apart politically as Justin Beiber and Kurt Vile are musically – have teamed up for that little thing that unites everyone from soccer moms to your friends on the Haight: marijuana.
The two have united to introduce the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, which would allow states to create their own marijuana laws and would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level.
“I think the general public is more enlightened on this issue than my colleagues. In state after state referenda have cut back on marijuana restrictions. We have a number of states that allow people to use it for medical purposes. A couple – Massachusetts and Maine – where it’s not a crime. I don’t think the federal government ought to be imposing there. Personally, as a resident of Massachusetts, I also wanted to say that if a 40-year-old wants to smoke marijuana, that’s his or her business.”
Libertarians have been known to be supportive of decriminalizing the drug, and so has Paul, so perhaps it’s not much of a surprise. And Paul and Frank have teamed up together in the past.
WNYC points out: “Proponents of the bill say it’s the first of its kind to be considered at the federal level, and liken it to the 18th Amendment, which repealed alcohol prohibition and gave states regulatory authority.”
Does it stand a chance of passing in this House? Frank says: “If I were only gonna be talking about the things I thought could pass in the current Republican house, I’d take several months off, but the purpose of legislation is begin a dialogue. I think what my colleagues are going to find is there are a larger number of their constituents who support personal freedom. And that’s why Ron Paul and I are together on this.”