Friday, February 18, 2011

Congressman targets federal funding for the war on drugs


Colorado Congressman Jared Polis has offered two amendments to the House continuing resolution that would eliminate much of the federal funding for the war on drugs in the United States.

The House is currently debating HR 1, the Full Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011. The bill is needed to fund the government for the rest of the current fiscal year.

Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) has offered a number of amendments to the legislation. One of his amendments, No. 501, would eliminate funding for the Office of National Drug Control Policy, commonly known as the drug czar. Another amendment, No. 427, would prohibit funds being made available for the investigation or criminal prosecution of any person for the possession, manufacture or distribution of marijuana.

The Marijuana Policy Project is urging its members to contact their representatives about the amendments.

"The Drug Czar's office is simply not necessary," a pre-written letter by the group said. "Levels of drug use do not change because we have a person of power in Washington going around the country saying, 'Drugs are bad.' Moreover, a case can be made that the Drug Czar's office has done a disservice to our youth by emphasizing the harms associated with marijuana at the expense of educating them about the relative harms of all drugs."

Last week, Rep. Polis said that support for legalizing marijuana at the federal level was steadily increasing in Congress.............................

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