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house Bill H.R. 499

Legalizing Marijuana Nationally

Argument in favor

The majority of U.S. states have already legalized marijuana in some form. This bill offers massive potential tax revenues from those sales.

Spider-Man's Opinion
···
05/16/2015
Who would object to this? Several doctors have concluded the weed is less dangerous than alcohol, Colorado has an influx of revenue from the legalization and to the people who say, "it'll only drive the stoners to smoke here and that's it." No it'll also bring in tourism revenue because they'd need a hotel and definitely aren't gonna smoke all day so people will explore and see that it's not just a "stoner state" Like when I went to Boulder, I spent more time outside and hiking than I did smoking weed.
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Thomas's Opinion
···
05/15/2015
Alcohol kills thousands of people each year Both directly and indirectly. If you purchase a bottle of everclear and drink the entire bottle, you will stop breathing forever yet it's available everywhere. How much pot can you smoke before you die? No one knows because it's never happened
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Dom's Opinion
···
05/05/2015
It's brought billions of dollars of state government revenue. Colorado surpassed their tax revenue three times! The federal government ended up giving some of the money back for the state to appropriate! It's a great economic tool to utilize on the national scale.
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Argument opposed

Increased tax revenue would be offset by increased public costs in health care, criminal justice, and lost workplace productivity. Concerns about minors having increased access to the drug.

Loraki's Opinion
···
04/16/2017
1.) THC produces alterations in motor behavior, perception, cognition, memory, learning, endocrine function, food intake, and regulation of body temperature. 2.) Plasma THC concentrations generally fall below 5 ng/mL less than 3 hours after smoking. THC is highly lipid soluble, and plasma and urinary elimination half-lives are best estimated at 3-4 days, where the rate-limiting step is the slow redistribution to plasma of THC sequestered in the tissues. Shorter half-lives are generally reported due to limited collection intervals and less sensitive analytical methods. Plasma THC concentrations in occasional users rapidly fall below limits of quantitation within 8 to 12 h. 3.) Mathematical models have been developed to estimate the time of marijuana exposure within a 95% confidence interval. Knowing the elapsed time from marijuana exposure can then be used to predict impairment in concurrent cognitive and psychomotor effects based on data in the published literature. 4.) Detection of total THC metabolites in urine, primarily THC-COOH-glucuronide, only indicates prior THC exposure. Detection time is well past the window of intoxication and impairment. 5.) Following single doses of Marinol®, low levels of dronabinol metabolites have been detected for more than 5 weeks in urine. Low concentrations of THC have also been measured in over-the-counter hemp oil products – consumption of these products may produce positive urine cannabinoid test results. 6.) Effects: Pharmacological effects of marijuana vary with dose, route of administration, experience of user, vulnerability to psychoactive effects, and setting of use. Psychological: At recreational doses, effects include relaxation, euphoria, relaxed inhibitions, sense of well-being, disorientation, altered time and space perception, lack of concentration, impaired learning and memory, alterations in thought formation and expression, drowsiness, sedation, mood changes such as panic reactions and paranoia, and a more vivid sense of taste, sight, smell, and hearing. Stronger doses intensify reactions and may cause fluctuating emotions, flights of fragmentary thoughts with disturbed associations, a dulling of attention despite an illusion of heightened insight, image distortion, and psychosis. Physiological: The most frequent effects include increased heart rate, reddening of the eyes, dry mouth and throat, increased appetite, and vasodilatation. 7.) Side Effect Profile: Fatigue, paranoia, possible psychosis, memory problems, depersonalization, mood alterations, urinary retention, constipation, decreased motor coordination, lethargy, slurred speech, and dizziness. Impaired health including lung damage, behavioral changes, and reproductive, cardiovascular and immunological effects have been associated with regular marijuana use. Regular and chronic marijuana smokers may have many of the same respiratory problems that tobacco smokers have (daily cough and phlegm, symptoms of chronic bronchitis), as the amount of tar inhaled and the level of carbon monoxide absorbed by marijuana smokers is 3 to 5 times greater than among tobacco smokers. Smoking marijuana while shooting up cocaine has the potential to cause severe increases in heart rate and blood pressure. 8.) Duration of Effects: Effects from smoking cannabis products are felt within minutes and reach their peak in 10-30 minutes. Typical marijuana smokers experience a high that lasts approximately 2 hours. Most behavioral and physiological effects return to baseline levels within 3-5 hours after drug use, although some investigators have demonstrated residual effects in specific behaviors up to 24 hours, such as complex divided attention tasks. Psychomotor impairment can persist after the perceived high has dissipated. In long term users, even after periods of abstinence, selective attention (ability to filter out irrelevant information) has been shown to be adversely affected with increasing duration of use, and speed of information processing has been shown to be impaired with increasing frequency of use. Dronabinol has an onset of 30-60 minutes, peak effects occur at 2-4 hours, and it can stimulate the appetite for up to 24 hours. 9.) Tolerance, Dependence and Withdrawal Effect: Tolerance may develop to some pharmacological effects of dronabinol. Tolerance to many of the effects of marijuana may develop rapidly after only a few doses, but also disappears rapidly. Marijuana is addicting as it causes compulsive drug craving, seeking, and use, even in the face of negative health and social consequences. Additionally, animal studies suggests marijuana causes physical dependence. A withdrawal syndrome is commonly seen in chronic marijuana users following abrupt discontinuation. Symptoms include restlessness, irritability, mild agitation, hyperactivity, insomnia, nausea, cramping, decreased appetite, sweating, and increased dreaming. When taken concurrently with alcohol, marijuana is more likely to be a traffic safety risk factor than when consumed alone. 10.) Performance Effects: The short term effects of marijuana use include problems with memory and learning, distorted perception, difficultly in thinking and problem-solving, and loss of coordination. Heavy users may have increased difficulty sustaining attention, shifting attention to meet the demands of changes in the environment, and in registering, processing and using information. In general, laboratory performance studies indicate that sensory functions are not highly impaired, but perceptual functions are significantly affected. The ability to concentrate and maintain attention are decreased during marijuana use, and impairment of hand-eye coordination is dose-related over a wide range of dosages.Impairment in retention time and tracking, subjective sleepiness, distortion of time and distance, vigilance, and loss of coordination in divided attention tasks have been reported. Note however, that subjects can often “pull themselves together” to concentrate on simple tasks for brief periods of time. Significant performance impairments are usually observed for at least 1-2 hours following marijuana use, and residual effects have been reported up to 24 hours. 11.) Effects on Driving: The drug manufacturer suggests that patients receiving treatment with Marinol® should be specifically warned not to drive until it is established that they are able to tolerate the drug and perform such tasks safely. Epidemiology data from road traffic arrests and fatalities indicate that after alcohol, marijuana is the most frequently detected psychoactive substance among driving populations. Marijuana has been shown to impair performance on driving simulator tasks and on open and closed driving courses for up to approximately 3 hours. Decreased car handling performance, increased reaction times, impaired time and distance estimation, inability to maintain headway, lateral travel, subjective sleepiness, motor incoordination, and impaired sustained vigilance have all been reported. Some drivers may actually be able to improve performance for brief periods by overcompensating for self-perceived impairment. The greater the demands placed on the driver, however, the more critical the likely impairment. Marijuana may particularly impair monotonous and prolonged driving. Decision times to evaluate situations and determine appropriate responses increase. Mixing alcohol and marijuana may dramatically produce effects greater than either drug on its own. DEC Profile: Horizontal gaze nystagmus not present; vertical gaze nystagmus not present; lack of convergence present; pupil size normal to dilated; reaction to light normal to slow; pulse rate elevated; blood pressure elevated; body temperature normal to elevated. Other characteristic indicators may include odor of marijuana in car or on subject’s breath, marijuana debris in mouth, green coating of tongue, bloodshot eyes, body and eyelid tremors, relaxed inhibitions, incomplete thought process, and poor performance on field sobriety tests. Panel’s Assessment of Driving Risks: Low doses of THC moderately impair cognitive and psychomotor tasks associated with driving, while severe driving impairment is observed with high doses, chronic use and in combination with low doses of alcohol The more difficult and unpredictable the task, the more likely marijuana will impair performance. https://one.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/research/job185drugs/cannabis.htm ************************** Personally, I think that unless you're taking medicinal marijuana under the supervision of a doctor, you're nuts to risk becoming addicted to this drug (and a lot of others, as well!). I think that if it's legalized, it should be a CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE that is only legal when used for medicinal purposes under the supervision of a physician. No other use should be tolerated!
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Jorge's Opinion
···
04/16/2017
Hell no. My wife and daughter get coughing fits when neighbors smoke it. They do not need more places they cannot go to.
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brandonr87's Opinion
···
05/19/2015
Seriously, get that wacky weed out of here. How are we having his conversation? Less dangerous than alcohol? Alcohol can be consumed within reason without causing drunkenness, but weed is always smoked to get high. You can't not get high based on the potency of weed that is intended for smoking or consumption.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Agriculture
      Conservation and Forestry
      National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
      Health
      Committee on Natural Resources
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Committee on Ways and Means
      Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
    IntroducedFebruary 5th, 2013

What is House Bill H.R. 499?

This bill would remove marijuana from the list of federally controlled substances, leaving regulation to the states.


Specifically, the bill would reclassify marijuana on the level of alcohol. This transfers regulation control from the DEA to the newly renamed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana and Firearms, thereby removes pot from the list of felony drug offenses. The bill would also require any growers, sellers, or importers of marijuana to obtain a permit for any of these marijuana-related activities.

Impact

Anyone who uses marijuana products, marijuana dispensaries and producers, local law enforcement, the DEA, other federal regulators.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 499

A CBO cost estimate is currently unavailable.

More Information

Media:

New York Times

Huffington Post

Of Note:

  • The federal government has stated that it would not challenge a state’s legalization of the drug if they obey certain guidelines, even though federal law does not allow the use of marijuana in any form. This inherent conflict has caused controversy and confusion.
  • Marijuana businesses have difficulties finding banks that will work with them for fear of violating money laundering regulations. In response, on Feb 14, 2014 the US Dept of Treasury issued guidelines for how financial institutions can serve marijuana business regardless of the fact that it is still technically illegal for banks to work with marijuana sale proceeds under federal law.  
  • Some studies indicate growing support for federal legalization. A poll conducted in Jan, 2014 indicated that “Fifty-five percent of those questioned nationally said marijuana should be made legal, with 44% disagreeing.”
  • At the same time, large segments of the population are not in support of legalization. According to a recent New York Times/CBS poll, “while 72 percent of people under 30 favored legalization, only 29 percent of those over 65 agreed.” 

(Photo Credit: io9.com)

AKA

Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013

Official Title

To decriminalize marijuana at the Federal level, to leave to the States a power to regulate marijuana that is similar to the power they have to regulate alcohol, and for other purposes.

    Who would object to this? Several doctors have concluded the weed is less dangerous than alcohol, Colorado has an influx of revenue from the legalization and to the people who say, "it'll only drive the stoners to smoke here and that's it." No it'll also bring in tourism revenue because they'd need a hotel and definitely aren't gonna smoke all day so people will explore and see that it's not just a "stoner state" Like when I went to Boulder, I spent more time outside and hiking than I did smoking weed.
    Like (27)
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    1.) THC produces alterations in motor behavior, perception, cognition, memory, learning, endocrine function, food intake, and regulation of body temperature. 2.) Plasma THC concentrations generally fall below 5 ng/mL less than 3 hours after smoking. THC is highly lipid soluble, and plasma and urinary elimination half-lives are best estimated at 3-4 days, where the rate-limiting step is the slow redistribution to plasma of THC sequestered in the tissues. Shorter half-lives are generally reported due to limited collection intervals and less sensitive analytical methods. Plasma THC concentrations in occasional users rapidly fall below limits of quantitation within 8 to 12 h. 3.) Mathematical models have been developed to estimate the time of marijuana exposure within a 95% confidence interval. Knowing the elapsed time from marijuana exposure can then be used to predict impairment in concurrent cognitive and psychomotor effects based on data in the published literature. 4.) Detection of total THC metabolites in urine, primarily THC-COOH-glucuronide, only indicates prior THC exposure. Detection time is well past the window of intoxication and impairment. 5.) Following single doses of Marinol®, low levels of dronabinol metabolites have been detected for more than 5 weeks in urine. Low concentrations of THC have also been measured in over-the-counter hemp oil products – consumption of these products may produce positive urine cannabinoid test results. 6.) Effects: Pharmacological effects of marijuana vary with dose, route of administration, experience of user, vulnerability to psychoactive effects, and setting of use. Psychological: At recreational doses, effects include relaxation, euphoria, relaxed inhibitions, sense of well-being, disorientation, altered time and space perception, lack of concentration, impaired learning and memory, alterations in thought formation and expression, drowsiness, sedation, mood changes such as panic reactions and paranoia, and a more vivid sense of taste, sight, smell, and hearing. Stronger doses intensify reactions and may cause fluctuating emotions, flights of fragmentary thoughts with disturbed associations, a dulling of attention despite an illusion of heightened insight, image distortion, and psychosis. Physiological: The most frequent effects include increased heart rate, reddening of the eyes, dry mouth and throat, increased appetite, and vasodilatation. 7.) Side Effect Profile: Fatigue, paranoia, possible psychosis, memory problems, depersonalization, mood alterations, urinary retention, constipation, decreased motor coordination, lethargy, slurred speech, and dizziness. Impaired health including lung damage, behavioral changes, and reproductive, cardiovascular and immunological effects have been associated with regular marijuana use. Regular and chronic marijuana smokers may have many of the same respiratory problems that tobacco smokers have (daily cough and phlegm, symptoms of chronic bronchitis), as the amount of tar inhaled and the level of carbon monoxide absorbed by marijuana smokers is 3 to 5 times greater than among tobacco smokers. Smoking marijuana while shooting up cocaine has the potential to cause severe increases in heart rate and blood pressure. 8.) Duration of Effects: Effects from smoking cannabis products are felt within minutes and reach their peak in 10-30 minutes. Typical marijuana smokers experience a high that lasts approximately 2 hours. Most behavioral and physiological effects return to baseline levels within 3-5 hours after drug use, although some investigators have demonstrated residual effects in specific behaviors up to 24 hours, such as complex divided attention tasks. Psychomotor impairment can persist after the perceived high has dissipated. In long term users, even after periods of abstinence, selective attention (ability to filter out irrelevant information) has been shown to be adversely affected with increasing duration of use, and speed of information processing has been shown to be impaired with increasing frequency of use. Dronabinol has an onset of 30-60 minutes, peak effects occur at 2-4 hours, and it can stimulate the appetite for up to 24 hours. 9.) Tolerance, Dependence and Withdrawal Effect: Tolerance may develop to some pharmacological effects of dronabinol. Tolerance to many of the effects of marijuana may develop rapidly after only a few doses, but also disappears rapidly. Marijuana is addicting as it causes compulsive drug craving, seeking, and use, even in the face of negative health and social consequences. Additionally, animal studies suggests marijuana causes physical dependence. A withdrawal syndrome is commonly seen in chronic marijuana users following abrupt discontinuation. Symptoms include restlessness, irritability, mild agitation, hyperactivity, insomnia, nausea, cramping, decreased appetite, sweating, and increased dreaming. When taken concurrently with alcohol, marijuana is more likely to be a traffic safety risk factor than when consumed alone. 10.) Performance Effects: The short term effects of marijuana use include problems with memory and learning, distorted perception, difficultly in thinking and problem-solving, and loss of coordination. Heavy users may have increased difficulty sustaining attention, shifting attention to meet the demands of changes in the environment, and in registering, processing and using information. In general, laboratory performance studies indicate that sensory functions are not highly impaired, but perceptual functions are significantly affected. The ability to concentrate and maintain attention are decreased during marijuana use, and impairment of hand-eye coordination is dose-related over a wide range of dosages.Impairment in retention time and tracking, subjective sleepiness, distortion of time and distance, vigilance, and loss of coordination in divided attention tasks have been reported. Note however, that subjects can often “pull themselves together” to concentrate on simple tasks for brief periods of time. Significant performance impairments are usually observed for at least 1-2 hours following marijuana use, and residual effects have been reported up to 24 hours. 11.) Effects on Driving: The drug manufacturer suggests that patients receiving treatment with Marinol® should be specifically warned not to drive until it is established that they are able to tolerate the drug and perform such tasks safely. Epidemiology data from road traffic arrests and fatalities indicate that after alcohol, marijuana is the most frequently detected psychoactive substance among driving populations. Marijuana has been shown to impair performance on driving simulator tasks and on open and closed driving courses for up to approximately 3 hours. Decreased car handling performance, increased reaction times, impaired time and distance estimation, inability to maintain headway, lateral travel, subjective sleepiness, motor incoordination, and impaired sustained vigilance have all been reported. Some drivers may actually be able to improve performance for brief periods by overcompensating for self-perceived impairment. The greater the demands placed on the driver, however, the more critical the likely impairment. Marijuana may particularly impair monotonous and prolonged driving. Decision times to evaluate situations and determine appropriate responses increase. Mixing alcohol and marijuana may dramatically produce effects greater than either drug on its own. DEC Profile: Horizontal gaze nystagmus not present; vertical gaze nystagmus not present; lack of convergence present; pupil size normal to dilated; reaction to light normal to slow; pulse rate elevated; blood pressure elevated; body temperature normal to elevated. Other characteristic indicators may include odor of marijuana in car or on subject’s breath, marijuana debris in mouth, green coating of tongue, bloodshot eyes, body and eyelid tremors, relaxed inhibitions, incomplete thought process, and poor performance on field sobriety tests. Panel’s Assessment of Driving Risks: Low doses of THC moderately impair cognitive and psychomotor tasks associated with driving, while severe driving impairment is observed with high doses, chronic use and in combination with low doses of alcohol The more difficult and unpredictable the task, the more likely marijuana will impair performance. https://one.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/research/job185drugs/cannabis.htm ************************** Personally, I think that unless you're taking medicinal marijuana under the supervision of a doctor, you're nuts to risk becoming addicted to this drug (and a lot of others, as well!). I think that if it's legalized, it should be a CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE that is only legal when used for medicinal purposes under the supervision of a physician. No other use should be tolerated!
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    Alcohol kills thousands of people each year Both directly and indirectly. If you purchase a bottle of everclear and drink the entire bottle, you will stop breathing forever yet it's available everywhere. How much pot can you smoke before you die? No one knows because it's never happened
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    It's brought billions of dollars of state government revenue. Colorado surpassed their tax revenue three times! The federal government ended up giving some of the money back for the state to appropriate! It's a great economic tool to utilize on the national scale.
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    It's just a plant.
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    Times change, marijuana is not a crazy unknown drug that has severe effects on people such as bath salts, acid, "shrooms". This drug has been researched thoroughly and some states already have it legalized. Recreational marijuana will be legal one day. Wether it is sooner or later depends on how fast it is adopted by communities, it may take as much as one or two generations who grew up with the debate to solve.
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    Marijuana should be legal everywhere, it's helps so many things and we can make things out of it. Do you people understand that the alcohol rate will probably drop way down if you legalize marijuana everywhere. Less drunk driving less violence. It can save so many life's if you would just legalize it. It helps with anxiety depression anger cancer segurs and so much more. JUST LEGALIZE IT FOR WORLD PEACE.
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    I believe that the legalization of marijuana would provide immediate boost to our economy. Over the past year the marijuana industry in Colorado has accrued 70 millions dollars. Now imagine this happening over 50 states. Allow our economy to boost and propel our civilization.
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    Hell no. My wife and daughter get coughing fits when neighbors smoke it. They do not need more places they cannot go to.
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    I support legalization through states rights'. A federal legalization is too drastic and would take too long. Certain people believe it would be harmful for the nation and others believe it would be beneficial. If we allow states to decide for themselves, then the first ones to legalize can be a 'guinea pig'. We can take a look at these states that have decided yes, after a few years, look at the effects this has had on the state. Now the rest of the nation can decide if it would be right for them based on these pioneering states.
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    Its from the earth what does it hurt
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    Marijuana is very much less harmful than alcohol and tobacco. There are actual health benefits from it, and it's 100% natural.
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    Seriously, get that wacky weed out of here. How are we having his conversation? Less dangerous than alcohol? Alcohol can be consumed within reason without causing drunkenness, but weed is always smoked to get high. You can't not get high based on the potency of weed that is intended for smoking or consumption.
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    No deaths have been recorded from weed...
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    No!! Bc if that happened, when people had to take a drug test and they're tested positive for stuff like that, they can't get the job or their LOSING that job. And then that would mean that our economy would go down, just Bc people want to smoke weed.
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    There are far more reasons why legalizing marihuana is a terrible idea than reasons why it is good. This is a danger for public health. There is no sobriety test for marihuana. Many will argue "it's less harmful than alcohol" but are too ignorant to realize that it is awful for you. It greatly impairs your driving and has caused psychosis resulting in death. As much as users like to say it has caused 0 deaths, people have died while high from car accidents, psychosis, and the use of marijuana has been linked to chronic bronchitis and lung cancer.
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    It is criminal to control a God given plant. No man or government has a right to control what God has given us. It is already ours!
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    What is this still sitting in the committee dealing with Terror? When did weed become a terrorist cash cow? Never. That's when.
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    Legalization would stop unnecessary money spent on incarceration and with that saving of funding and the taxes collected from the legalization we would be a prospering nation once again.
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    By legalizing marijuana, we would be taking a huge chunk of profit out of crime organizations. Which would in turn get rid of a lot of violence related to crime and drug sales.
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