By "Radical" Russ Belville
(KJ Online) PORTLAND — U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass. told the state’s first Maine Medical Marijuana Expo on Saturday that current laws against marijuana use are expensive, are applied unevenly and ought to be repealed.
“People who make a personal decision to smoke marijuana should not be subject to prosecution,” said Frank, noting that the movement has allies in the libertarian wing of the Republican Party. “This is the kind of fight that’s worth making. It’s winnable.”
Frank, a powerful congressional figure on banking and finance issues, said he had been in Ogunquit earlier in the day to celebrate the repeal of the federal ban on gays and lesbians in the military.
The same evolution of attitudes that helped get that repealed should help end the prohibition on marijuana, he said.
“The younger people are, the more sensible people are on this issue,” Frank said. “I believe within 10 years we’re going to be able to substantially diminish the criminality of marijuana.”
Police, he said, have much more trouble with a loud group of young men drinking beer than a similarly loud group that has been smoking marijuana.
“Instead of bringing Mace, you might bring potato chips,” he said, to much laughter.