Congressmen Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Justin Amash (R-MI) introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday that would eliminate the Drug Enforcement Administration's Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program.
The DEA program distributes funds to state and local law enforcement agencies for the purpose of locating and destroying marijuana cultivation sites. The proposed bill would prohibit federal funds from being distributed to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies for any purpose pertaining to the program or any substantially similar program.
Statement from Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA):
"As multiple states legalize marijuana across our nation, it is a huge waste of federal resources for the DEA to eradicate marijuana. The federal government should focus its precious resources on other issues and let the states innovate in the cannabis field. I am proud to introduce this bipartisan bill along with Congressman Amash."
Statement from Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI):
"Civil asset forfeiture allows innocent people to have their property taken without sufficient due process, and this program encourages civil asset forfeiture by allowing the DEA to use the proceeds of seized property to fund marijuana prohibition enforcement. This is especially troubling given that the federal government should not be expending resources on marijuana prohibition---enforcement is a state-level issue, and an increasing number of states are deciding to back off from prohibition. I'm pleased to introduce this bipartisan bill with Congressman Lieu to stop the use of civil forfeiture proceeds for this element of the federal government's marijuana enforcement efforts."
Statement from Dan Riffle, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project:
"The solution to marijuana being grown on public lands is to tax and regulate it like alcohol. There's a reason we don't see headlines about cartels growing illicit fields of hops and barley or grapes in our national parks. Under prohibition, drug cartels and criminals control the trade, and they don't obey the law. Law abiding, licensed businesses do. Marijuana is safer than alcohol and should be treated that way.
"Reps. Lieu and Amash should be commended for having the insight to understand the federal government's current approach isn't working and the courage to do something about it. The Marijuana Policy Project wholeheartedly supports this sensible legislation, and we look forward to helping to pass it."
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The Marijuana Policy Project is the nation's largest marijuana policy organization. For more information, visit https://www.MarijuanaPolicy.org.