I Pledge Allegiance to The Candidate, Who Will Effectively Legalize Pot
And to the Republic, for which it stood (and hopefully still stands), to represent the People within the Federal government offices.
Ron Paul and Barney Frank. Maybe you know Dr. Paul in passing. Maybe you’re a diehard fan. Barney Frank is a Democrat from Massachusetts but he shares something with the Libertarian-leaning Rep from Texas: they both want weed legalized on a Federal level.
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Today is a historic moment in the House. The HR2306 bill titled “Ending Federal Prohibition of Marijuana Act of 2011″ has been sponsored by Paul and Frank and introduced to the House today. In addition to these two forerunning sponsors, co-sponsors of this bill include John Conyers of Michigan, Steven Cohen from Tennessee, Jared Polis from Colorado and Barbara Lee from California. All four co-sponsors are Democrats and they’re doing everything in their power to support the Republican candidate for the Presidency in ending marijuana Prohibition.
To provide a more thorough understanding of how this bill may or may not come to fruitition, these are the steps that a bill takes before it is enacted as law.
1) HR 2306 has just passed through the first stage of of a bill by being introduced to the House of Representatives.
2) The bill will be reffered to a committee directly by the House Speaker, John Boehner.
3) The committee most closely related to the subject matter of the bill will consider the contents of the bill and deliberate whether the bill should go to the next stage. This step is the one where bills most often lose their steam: committees don’t review all bills and if no action is taken on the bill, it dies in committee.
4) If the committee reviews the bill and decides to bring it to the floor, being on the floor for deliberation among all House Representatives is the next step.
5) The bill is read over once, amended by Congresspeople, then re-read.
6) The bill is read a third and final time and members of the House then debate again and will vote for or against the bill.
7) If the bill is passed, it is sent to the Senate where the steps 1 through 6 are repeated.
If passed by the Senate, the President reserves the authority to veto the bill.
9) If the bill is not vetoed, it is put in process to take effect as active legislation.
Depending on how motivated the Legislative Branch is to pass a bill and the President’s willingness not to veto it, this process can take anywhere from days to years. Given the nature of this bill in particular, without drastic support from the Public being voiced to Representatives of the House, it may wind up sitting in committee until it dies. If, however, Representatives are flooded with support for a particular bill, they know that they will lose the support of their constituency without representing their interests in Congress. This leads even unmotivated Representatives and Senators to consider bills that they otherwise would not.
If you support marijuana reform laws and want to see a day where marijuana can be cultivated, sold, purchased, smoked, baked with and basically legalized for any purpose, the best thing you can do is contact your district Representative and voice your support for HR2306. By going to the site www.house.gov, you can click the “Representatives” tab and sort through all of the House Reps by State. Contacting all State Representatives is ideal but your individual voice will have the most power over your local district’s Representative as they represent the district in which you live.
With enough public outpouring over this bill it’s also possible to stir up a media circus. When the media covers something excessively, (like Anthony Weiner’s penis, for example) the effects are well documented. Drastic change is possible within hours to days regarding the direction of a bill, scandal or government action. As more people become aware of the bill, more people will naturally contact their representatives in support of it. If you support marijuana reform and you play a role in the media, cover the introduction of this bill as it will drastically increase the chances of it getting to the House floor and even getting a majority vote of “YEA”.