Congressmen from Colorado and Oregon have proposed legislation that would weaken federal restrictions on marijuana, The Wall Street Journal reports. The proposals, which are likely to face stiff opposition, would begin to address the disparity between federal and state marijuana laws.
Legalizing marijuana sends the wrong message to young people, R. Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, said this week. “We are certainly not sending a very good message when we call it medicine and legalize it,” he told The Oregonian.
A group opposing marijuana legalization, called Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), is launching Thursday, according to the Associated Press. Former U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy, who has struggled with alcohol and drug addiction, chairs the organization.
The presidents of four Latin American countries have called for an international debate on drug legalization, following the passage of laws that legalize recreational marijuana use in Colorado and Washington state.
A Justice Department official says the federal government will not change its position on the legalization of marijuana, even if voters in Colorado, Washington state or Oregon approve measures to legalize recreational use of the drug.
Parents are finding it more difficult to have discussions with their children about why they shouldn’t use drugs, as a growing number of states are allowing medical marijuana, or considering legalizing recreational use of the drug, the Associated Press reports.
A growing number of state legislatures are debating marijuana policy, according to the Associated Press. The discussions are being fueled by an increasingly open-minded public, as well as an enthusiastic base of voters who support legalization.
Before voters cast their ballots to legalize marijuana, or their elected officials decide, think about what will happen to children if marijuana becomes accessible to adults, much like alcohol, advises National Families in Action’s Sue Ruche.
A new report by a group of current and former world leaders recommends that the United States and other governments end the criminalization of drug use. The group urges governments to experiment with new ways to legalize and regulate marijuana to cut drug cartel profits. The report comes from the Global Commission on Drug Policy, which includes past presidents of Mexico, Brazil and Colombia, the current prime minister of Greece and former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.