Two congressmen are behind a new bill that would regulate marijuana nationwide in the same way as alcohol and cigarettes.
"It would change the status of marijuana under federal regulation," said Joe Conason, editor-in-chief of The National Memo, on Jansing & Co. Friday about the bill authored by Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Oreg.). "It would allow any state that wanted to legalize it, for medicinal or recreational use, to do so and not have the federal government try to stop that."
Voters in 18 states and the District of Columbia have voted for at least partial legalization of marijuana, specifically for medicinal use. Although Michigan's Supreme Court ruled Friday that dispensaries in the state can no longer sell medical marijuana. Voters in Colorado and Washington voted in November to legalize the drug for recreational use.
A Quinnipiac University poll taken in December shows 51% of Americans support legalizing marijuana.
"I think people have come to realize that prohibition of marijuana doesn't make any sense if you're not going to prohibit alcohol or tobacco, which I think most people now agree are more harmful than pot," said Conason. "I think people realize you're better off trying to regulate and tax a substance like this than trying to prohibit it and sending people to prison for this kind of offense."