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|Gay congressman pushes marijuana legalization|
|Written by Ryan Watkins|
|Monday, 04 February 2013 17:37|
U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) plans to introduce a measure that would legalize the production and sale of marijuana while creating a new federal tax in jurisdictions that have made the drug legal, according to the Associated Press.
U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) is also spearheading the effort, which has seen renewed interest in recent years. Polis is one of a handful of openly gay members of Congress and hails from a state that recently passed marijuana legalization.
The proposal would allow the government to treat marijuana similarly to how it deals with alcohol.
"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."
Recent studies suggest that Americans are becoming more supportive of the legalization effort. Polis and Blumenauer are building on momentum created by former U.S. Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Ron Paul (R-Texas.). Both Paul and Frank retired at the end of the last congressional session after introducing a legalization effort.
President Barack Obama has signaled a willingness to relax federal penalties on marijuana growers and sellers in states that have pushed legalization efforts. The president, however, has resisted a call for across the board legalization.
Where do you stand on marijuana reform?
Top photo: U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) (official photo)
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