Pelosi Sends Smoke Signals On Pot Reform

Is the Obama administration softening its tone on marijuana prohibition? The evidence has been mounting for some time that the administration wants to deal differently with the issue, even as raids on medicinal clinics and suppliers continue. A recent interview with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) adds to the evidence that the days of criminalizing recreational marijuana use are waning.

As reported by Talking Points Memo, in an interview with the Denver Post, Pelosi weighed in on the battle over legalization in Colorado, concluding it was time for Washington to get out of the way. “The state (Colorado) has spoken. The law has been passed,” Pelosi said in the interview. “There are issues with taxation and regulation, and we need to get on with it.”

Pelosi continued: “And in order to do that, there has to be a level of respect for the fact that if you are going to have recreational marijuana somebody is in business to do that and they have to have tax treatment in order for them to function as a business,” Pelosi said. “So how the state of Colorado interacts with the federal government on the taxation issues is something they have to work out, but I think they should.”

In politics, those are called, appropriately enough, smoke signals.

Like alcohol prohibition before it, marijuana prohibition will end as the revenue stream is clarified, and one way these issues are clarified is to work them out in the states. Which is where Colorado comes in. The state is in the midst of creating a regulatory structure designed to deal with an emerging marijuana marketplace. How that regulatory structure functions–which parts of the marijuana marketplace it favors over others, such as medical research and development for example, will help drive this conversation at the national level.

These efforts at the state are complimented by Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), who is a chief sponsor of a federal legalization measure. Pelosi is among the members of Congress who supports Polis’ efforts. Does that mean Congress will legalize marijuana anytime soon? No. But with Pelosi firmly and publicly behind both efforts in the state of Colorado and Polis’ efforts on the Hill, it means Washington is in a mood to deal.


Related Reading:

Medical Marijuana Up For Debate In Federal Court

UN Drug Official ‘Voices Concern’ Over State Marjiuana Laws

If You Want To Fight Cancer, Turn Those Pink Ribbons Green


photo courtesy of Leader Nancy Pelosi


Robynne W.
Robynne W4 years ago

Jessica M...I know many people who have succumbed to the 'zombie' lifestyle from smoking pot. But I know many more who smoke pot and have not turned into zombies. I am sorry you have only seen the negative side. I know just as many pot smokers who do NOT spend their day worried about where their next toke will come from. My family is also filled with pot smokers and pot growers and pot dealers and many have spent some time in jail for this. So I feel I am in a position to comment.

You are correct that the gov't doesn't really care - they just want our money. It would be more profitable if they did decriminalize it and tax and regulate it like cigarettes or alcohol.

Alcohol IS worse than pot. While many many studies have shown the harm alcohol does to growing bodies and grown adults - none have conclusively shown the same for marijuana. Put someone drunk behind the wheel of a car and that can lead to fatal accidents, put someone high on JUST pot behind the wheel of a car and that can lead to a small fender bender - but does not have the same severity as with alcohol and other drugs.

The COST of arrest, prosecution and incarceration of marijuana offenders is disproportionate to the actual crime - especially when you compare it to other sentences given to rapists and murderers. It should be decriminalized.

And why does anyone get to tell me what I can or cannot ingest?

Jessica M.
jeff wheeler4 years ago

I forgot to add i am (not) against people who smoke pot or even trying to get them to stop. I just believe pot is an illegal drug and should stay that way. You say pot is no worse than alcohol, i say your way wrong on that. Pot will make a person way less productive and passive in life. I have seen people with the glow and enthusiasm of creating a career with college and family, turn into mortal zombies who can't wait to get off their minimal paying job to have a toke, Come on we all see it, there are exceptions but for the most part every single pot smoker i know is more worried about getting that toke off more than (ANYTHING) in life. Comparable to alcohol yes, but if you know anything about drugs/alcohol there is a huge different in the destructive behavior.

Jessica M.
jeff wheeler4 years ago

Pot is just as much of a drug as LSD, speed, crank, coke whatever and anyone who says different is a retard. Simple, i been around this stuff my whole life, family was dealers and believe me legalizing pot is retarded and who ever came up with this one is a real winner. Just another way for the government to get their fingers into it, they don't give a crap about society and what it will eventually do (be destroyed). When are you people going to wake up and realize "it don't matter what you think" so why do you continuously play their games ?

Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra4 years ago

Thank you Jessica, for Sharing this!

Mari Garcia
Mari Garcia4 years ago

We just need to legalize it and regulate it like tobacco and alcohol. Too many times a perfectly safe person's life is ruined over this stupid law. To make matters worse, we are wasting so much tax money putting non-dangerous "criminals" in jail.

Allana Mitchell
Allana D4 years ago

Not everyone who smokes weed is a drug addict! In fact most who do aren't, does having a beer after work make you an alcoholic? Didn't think so!
Pot should be treated the same as alcohol. Show up at work stoned? Get fired, same as you would if you show up drunk! No sale to minors, no driving stoned...

Pot a dangerous drug? Name one person who has ever overdosed on weed and only weed...

Harley Williams
Harley W4 years ago

I believe Pot is a dangerous drug. But so is alcohol. Both need to be treated in the same way.

My wish thou is that people did not use either one.

Vicky P.
Vicky P4 years ago

not sure if anyone will listen

Bill K.
Bill K4 years ago

it's about time

C Schilte
C S4 years ago

"Let's make sure the drug cartels can keep the money coming in by keeping even the softest drug illegal and pump more and more of OUR money into fighting drug criminals who will always have more money ..." How short sighted can one get???
As soon as it would be legalized, within a few years, the whole drug trafficking structure will collapse and a lot of OUR money would be free to fight other crimes... Such as child abuse, slavery, child porn, animal abuse...
Didn't anyone learn anything from the prohibition? Apparently not...
And addiction? Then why isn't everyone addicted to alcohol and tobacco right now? Because they have the choice and the 'drugs' don't drain their finances. People can smoke and drink and still have a decent life. Just not as healthy as would have been ideal, but then again, who IS ideal?