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senate Bill S. 2237

Letting States Decide on Marijuana Legalization

Argument in favor

This bill lets states decide if they want to legalize marijuana, while protecting those states that want to keep it illegal. The current federal ban on weed is a waste of taxpayer dollars and puts an undue burden on our criminal justice system.

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12/01/2015
"I suspect I would vote yes. And I would vote yes because I am seeing in this country too many lives being destroyed for non-violent offenses. We have a criminal justice system that lets CEOs on Wall Street walk away and yet we are imprisoning or giving jail sentences to young people who are smoking marijuana,...I think we have to think through this war on drugs, which has done an enormous amount of damage. We need to rethink our criminal justice system and we've got a lot of work to do in that area." [huffingtonpost.com]
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DonaldTrump's Opinion
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11/30/2015
"In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state-by-state." [washingtonpost.com]
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AndrewGVN's Opinion
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11/16/2015
Marijuana is destroying so many future potentials of young people, due to criminal charges for using a small amount of marijuana for recreation use.
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Argument opposed

The normalization, expanded use, and increased availability of marijuana across the U.S. does not detract from the fact that it is a dangerous substance. It is classified as a Schedule I drug for a reason, and it should stay that way.

Elinor's Opinion
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11/07/2015
Now that THC is considered suitable for medical use, where is the FDA?
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chicagoan's Opinion
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11/18/2015
I'm against marijuana for recreational use, but I'm for marijuana for medical use (with a doctor's prescription).
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Bilal 's Opinion
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02/23/2016
Legalize Marijuana at the national Level! Please!
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedNovember 4th, 2015

What is Senate Bill S. 2237?

This bill would remove marijuana from the list of federally controlled Schedule I drugs (a list that includes acid, coke, ecstasy, PCP, and heroin) and give control of legalization to individual states. 

So if a state wants to regulate marijuana like alcohol (like four states and the District of Columbia have already done), or legalize medical marijuana (like 23 states and D.C., have) — people in those states don't have to worry about federal penalties for marijuana possession. That said, states who don't want recreational or medical marijuana can maintain marijuana's illegal status. 

Transporting marijuana across state lines and to and from U.S. territories would still be illegal. The bill would also require any growers, sellers, or importers of marijuana to obtain a permit for any of these marijuana-related activities.

Impact

People who use (or would like to use) marijuana for medical or recreational purposes, voters in the U.S., businesses and producers in the marijuana industry, Bernie Sanders' presidential bid, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, other related federal agencies, and local/state law enforcement.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 2237

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

Of Note: A 2014 survey conducted by Pew Research, found that 69 percent of those interviewed think alcohol is worse for your health than weed. Sponsoring Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) isn't necessarily pushing for looser marijuana laws because he believes in health benefits resulting from weed use. He noted in the first Democratic debate:

"I am seeing in this country too many lives being destroyed for non-violent offenses. We have a criminal justice system that lets CEOs on Wall Street walk away, and yet we are imprisoning or giving jail sentences to young people who are smoking marijuana. We need to rethink our criminal justice system, we we've got a lot of work to do in that area."

Media: 

AKA

Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2015

Official Title

A bill to limit the application of Federal laws to the distribution and consumption of marihuana, and for other purposes.

    "I suspect I would vote yes. And I would vote yes because I am seeing in this country too many lives being destroyed for non-violent offenses. We have a criminal justice system that lets CEOs on Wall Street walk away and yet we are imprisoning or giving jail sentences to young people who are smoking marijuana,...I think we have to think through this war on drugs, which has done an enormous amount of damage. We need to rethink our criminal justice system and we've got a lot of work to do in that area." [huffingtonpost.com]
    Like (310)
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    I'm against marijuana for recreational use, but I'm for marijuana for medical use (with a doctor's prescription).
    Like (8)
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    "In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state-by-state." [washingtonpost.com]
    Like (181)
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    Marijuana is destroying so many future potentials of young people, due to criminal charges for using a small amount of marijuana for recreation use.
    Like (19)
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    Get the Government out of the states problems and issues. Let them decide not the Government
    Like (17)
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    States ratification of their 10th amendment right.
    Like (10)
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    Now that THC is considered suitable for medical use, where is the FDA?
    Like (8)
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    Tax marijuana heavily, allocate the money to schools, infrastructure, etc.
    Like (7)
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    It should be regulated by State, just as Alcohol is regulated.
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    States deserve as much autonomy as possible. It's their state let them decide.
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    Even though I would not support any form of street drugs, marijuana is a gateway to "heavier" drugs leading to addiction and the ruin of many lives. BUT, States are the true forges of democracy where ideas are born and tried. Successful ideas can then be moved to more States. The Federal Government should take some hints.
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    Considering the idea that marijuana is a "gateway" drug is extremely incorrect and archaic, and the fact that marijuana is not destructive like other drugs, and even in some cases, alcohol, I believe it's time to legalize it. I personally don't smoke, but I have no issues with it.
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    The war on drugs, including marijuana, is & has been a waste of our country's resources, productivity, talent & youth. We need to (federally) legalize, regulate/tax, research & normalize drugs & drug use in these free, United States.
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    It's time to legalize and regulate. Legalizing of even just medical marijuana in my already great state would create thousands of jobs and the taxes can be used in areas that we need to improve. Texas has always been an example for other states in areas such as job growth and justice system reform and now we need to be the example for Marijuana policy reform.
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    I feel this is a matter for the states.
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    Individual freedom , you be able to decide if Y O U want to drink smoke take drugs as long as you don't impair other people's freedom
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    States already are deciding on legalization of marijuana. Why not make it official? The rational for prohibition was never valid to begin with anyway.
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    Duh
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    The Constitution makes allowance for states to legislate on issues that are not explicitly within the purview of the federal government.
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    Happy 4/20
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