Health

Rep. Steve Cohen: Time to Rethink Marijuana Prohibition

| by NORML

By Erik Altieri

Tennessee Congressman Steven Cohen (D) is urging the Obama administration to rethink its support for the criminal prohibition of marijuana. Rep. Cohen is a longtime critic of marijuana prohibition (Watch him grill FBI Director Robert Mueller over the claim that cannabis is a ‘gateway drug’ here) and a primary co-sponsor of HR 2306: The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011.

This week, Rep. Cohen sent a letter to Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske calling on the agency to support reclassifying cannabis as a schedule I prohibited drug and to respect the laws of states that have legalized its medical utility.

“There is no evidence that marijuana has the same addictive qualities or damaging consequences as cocaine, heroin or methamphetamine,” states Cohen, “and should not be treated as such.”

He adds: “We should not deny the thousands of Americans who rely on the benefits that marijuana provides. I strongly recommend that this administration allow states that have chosen to legalize medical marijuana to enact strong regulations without fear of prosecution. [W]e should not interfere with the will of the people to enact these compassionate laws.”

You can view the entirety of his letter here.