Barney Frank Sponsors Bill to Protect MMJJune 15th, 2009 by Russ
Civil-libertarian and long-time legislator, Barney Frank, is about to take the medical marijuana debate to the floor of the US Congress. Funny thing is, he may have himself a fighting chance this time around.
HR 2835, known as the Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act, would do a couple very common-sensical things. Firstly, it would alter the schedules set forth by the Controlled Substances Act by moving pot from a Schedule I drug (evil with no redeeming properties) to Schedule II (evil but with potential medical applications). Furthermore, it would prohibit the federal government from interfering with states that approve medical marijuana programs.
Hardly his first foray into drug law legislation, last year, Frank sponsored the “Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults Act,” which would have legalized possession of up to 100 grams of weed (if it hadn’t been buried in subcommittee and scattered to the winds). So, what makes the new bill any more promising?
We know that there is widespread and unprecedented support for saner marijuana law. We know that our administration has expressed interest in protecting state sovereignty from federal encroachment in matters of weed. We know that supporters of progressive drug policy range across the entire conceivable political spectrum. And, since this isn’t Frank’s first time riding the weed regulation rodeo, we know that he has given this bill every chance to succeed. The wording of the bill is very middle-of-the-road and doesn’t smack of any controversy. To oppose it, a rival congressman would have to start spouting quotes from his Reefer Madness Propaganda handbook. And that is becoming a less popular play all the time.
Ever the self-depricator, Representative Frank once said:
I’m used to being in the minority. I’m a left-handed, gay, Jew.
Over the life and career of this prolific legislator, the political landscape has changed so dramatically that on the weed issue, Barney Frank is finally in the majority.