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New Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Set To Hit Congress

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We've already got medical marijuana vending machines; now a politician is aiming to end prosecution of minor marijuana offenses, in a bill that could have a major impact on the medical marijuana movement in this country. Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank (D) announced on "Real Time With Bill Maher" last week that he will present a bill to Congress that seeks to restrict the federal government's ability to arrest marijuana users:

Frank's pending bill seeks to eliminate all federal penalties prohibiting the personal use and possession of up to 100 grams (3 1/2 ounces) of marijuana. Under this measure, adults who consume cannabis would no longer face arrest, prison, or even the threat of a civil fine. The bill also eliminates all penalties prohibiting the not-for-profit transfers of up to one ounce of pot.

Supporters of this type of legislation argue that millions of federal dollars would be saved if minor offenses were not prosecuted. Opponents of the bill continue to make the same old "gateway drug" argument -- hey, heroin users had to start somewhere! Frank's announcement, which in no way means that his bill will actually ever hit the Congress floor, comes in the wake of an announcement by the American College of Physicians (the second largest medical organization in the country) that calls for support of research into the drug's therapeutic benefits.

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More of LAist's marijuana coverage:
LAist Interviews a Medical Marijuana Patient
DEA Raids Hollywood Medical Marijuana Facility
Anti's Weed Reviews

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