By Steve Elliott of Toke of the Town
What's that? You're excited about the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, are you? You're invigorated by the idea of saving millions of taxpayer dollars, and finally putting law enforcement priorities where they belong?
Maybe you're pumped about the possibility the these United States could finally end the 74-year-old nightmare of cannabis prohibition, and stop putting people in cages for growing and using a demonstrably harmless plant?
Well, simmer down, weed lover. It seems that the opinion of one good-old-boy Congressman from Texas outweighs yours.
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), also known for his anti-immigrant policies, has said his House Judiciary panel will not consider the Barney Frank/Ron Paul bill. Period.
Smith's opposition to sane marijuana policies shouldn't come as any surprise. After all, back in 2009 when the Obama Administration announced it would no longer prioritize going after medical marijuana patients and providers in states where it is legal, Smith was against that, too, stridently calling for the Justice Department to "enforce federal marijuana laws."
"By directing federal law enforcement officers to ignore federal drug laws, the Administration is tacitly condoning the use of marijuana in the U.S.," Lamar said at the time. "If we want to win the war on drugs, federal prosecutors have a responsibility to investigate and prosecute all medical marijuana dispensaries [italics added] and not just those that are merely fronts for illegal marijuana distribution."
Apparently in Lamar Smith's ugly little redneck world, it's not OK even for seriously ill patients to smoke that marry-ju-wanna stuff.
"Decriminalizing marijuana will only lead to millions more Americans becoming addicted to drugs and greater profits for drug cartels who fund violence along the U.S.-Mexico boarder," Smith said. "Allowing states to determine their own marijuana policy flies in the face of Supreme Court precedent."
Smith's statement ignores the facts from countries like Portugal and the Netherlands which have relaxed their cannabis laws, only to see usage go down, in the general populace and especially among youth.
And the cowboy Congressman also conveniently ignores history. After alcohol Prohibition was repealed, are the bootlegging gangsters the ones who reaped the profits in a regulated system? Of course not, and the drug cartels wouldn't be reaping profits from legal pot, either.
Just to make a clean sweep of it and make his statement entirely fact-free, Smith was also wrong about the Supreme Court, which has never held that the Constitution requires Congress to criminalize cannabis.
As pointed out on the excellent blog Absurd Results, "Smith has the Constitutional issue exactly backwards." Because a Constitutional amendment was required to outlaw alcohol, it follows that Congress is currently violating the Constitution by criminalizing marijuana without an amendment expressly granting the federal government that power, the current Supreme Court's insane interpretation of the Commerce Clause notwithstanding.
Now, we all know that this half-wit Texan already has his mind made up, so maybe there's not much we can do about that. HOWEVER. What we CAN do is to make every single day of the rest of his life an occasion upon which he was reminded of his rank stupidity.
Here's Rep. Lamar Smith's contact info. Let him know what you think of the fact that he is now, by his own choice, the man responsible for continuing marijuana prohibition in the United States.
You can get started by emailing Lamar (click here), but this "man of the people's" website makes you put in your zip code to do so (handy way to reduce citizen input), so you're going to need to be from the 21st Congressional District of Texas to do that.
Meanwhile, you can call and write his offices:
Washington, DC Office
2409 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
8:30 am- 6:00 pm EST
San Antonio District Office
1100 NE Loop 410, Suite 640
San Antonio, TX 78209
8:00 am- 5:00 pm M-F
Kerrville District Office
301 Junction Highway, Suite 346C
Kerrville, TX 78029
8:00 am- 12:00 pm M-Th
Austin District Office
3532 Bee Cave Road, Suite 100
Austin, TX 78746
8:00 am-1:00 pm M-Th
Article From Toke of the Town and republished with special permission.