Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) of the House Judiciary Committee has indicated that he will not even consider the bill.
Whatever else you might believe, it is indisputable that the current system of prohibition has funneled trillions of dollars into the hands of the most violent criminals and terrorists that our civilization has ever known (creating a situation far worse than the disaster caused by alcohol prohibition). The way to end this is proper regulation of production and distribution in a way that will actually minimize harms to society and not in a way that sweeps the problem under the carpet where it has grown into a terminal cancer.
The roots of Cannabis and drug prohibition are found in racism:
There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.” - Harry J. Anslinger, Federal Bureau of Narcotics, testimony to US Congress supporting Marihuana Tax Act, 1937
"…the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races." - Harry J. Anslinger
"In some districts, inhabited by Latin Americans, Filipinos, Spaniards and Negroes, half the violent crimes are attributed to marijuana craze. Dr. Lee Rice of San Antonio reports that eighty per cent of all the murders committed by Mexicans are done while the killers are drugged by marijuana." - The Christian Century (newspaper) - 1938
These claims were, in fact, flat out lies - and the prohibition act never got a fair hearing - and now you propose to again, sweep it under the carpet and deny it a fair hearing.
This racist system was then used as a political tool:
"You have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this all while not appearing to." - Richard M. Nixon, about the War on Drugs to Chief of Staff, H. R. Haldeman, according to Halderman’s diaries
When President Nixon first heard that the Shafer Commission was going in the decriminalization direction he warned Governor Shafer stating: “ … you’re enough of a ‘pro’ to know that for you to come out with something that would run counter to what the Congress feels and what the country feels and what we’re planning to do, would make your Commission just look bad as hell.”
The day before the Commission released its report President Nixon told Bob Haldeman: “We need, and I use the word ‘all out war,’ or all fronts … have to attack on all fronts.”
I urge you to review the Shafer report:http://www.csdp.org/research/shafernixon.pdf
"The available evidence suggests that removal of the prohibition against possession itself (decriminalization) does not increase cannabis use. … This prohibition inflicts harms directly and is costly. Unless it can be shown that the removal of criminal penalties will increase use of other harmful drugs, … it is difficult to see what society gains."
Haven’t we have run the experiment long enough?
The injustice is that the current system imprisons the non-violent consumers who have done NO actual harm to anyone except perhaps themselves (and cannabis is many times less harmful by all measures than alcohol). It is unconscionable and unconstitutional to convict Americans for thought crimes, which is essentially what the current system is doing in many cases.
And the imprisonment only compounds the problems, it does absolutely nothing to resolve them. You take an honest, hardworking person and make it nearly impossible for them to get treatment or employment - they are likely to turn to even harder drugs. You destroy families that would not otherwise be destroyed.
Substance abusers will use any substance they can to self-medicate, to dull the pain they are suffering - most often from childhood physical, emotional, and sexual abuses. This is the group most at risk at forming unhealthy relationships with ANY substance. They will use alcohol, nicotine, glue, whatever it takes. These are people who are in PAIN and in need of TRUE compassion and help - not incarceration.
Since Cannabis is less harmful than alcohol on every measure, it makes absolutely no sense for alcohol to be legal and cannabis to be illegal.
Sound scientific information on drug harms:http://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/opus1714/Estimating_drug_harms.pdf