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The End Of Federal Marijuana Prohibition May Be Only Five Years Away


marijuana prohibitionBy Phillip Smith

Rob Kampia thinks so, and he’s a very well-placed observer. As head of the Marijuana Policy Project, Kampia has his finger on the pulse of pot politics as well as anyone, and he made a pretty startling prediction at the International Drug Reform Conference in suburban Washington last month.

At a panel on “Marijuana Reform in Congress,” Kampia suggested that a handful of state-level marijuana legalization victories next year is going to set in motion a congressional debate on legalization that could see an end to federal marijuana prohibition before the end of the decade.

Legalization campaigns are already well-advanced in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada, and while getting on the ballot is no guarantee of victory next November, polling so far suggests that most of them will win. And next year could also be the year the first state, and even perhaps a second, legalizes it through the legislative process.

Kampia said, “Vermont is most likely to legalize through the legislature, and Rhode Island has a good shot, but those are the only two states in play.”

But then there are the initiative states.

“It could be that four or five initiative states legalize it, and then all of this is facing Congress in 2017,” Kampia continued. “Then there will be a vigorous debate on legalization, and then, I predict, Congress could pass the states’ rights bill in 2019.”

Kampia is talking about something along the lines of this year’s Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2015 (HR 1940), sponsored by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), which would amend the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) so that it would not apply to persons in compliance with marijuana laws in their state.

Passage of such a bill would not make marijuana legal everywhere — that would be up to the individual states — but would end the federal government’s role in enforcing marijuana prohibition.

Kampia even suggested that Congress might get around to passing a bill to end federal pot prohibition before it gets around to passing a bill allowing states to enact medical marijuana laws without federal interference. That means legislation similar to this year’s Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act of 2015 (S 683), sponsored by Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Rand Paul (R-KY) could languish while Congress leapfrogs its way to embracing legalization (or at least getting out of its way).

“All the attention will be on legalization,” Kampia said, “and there’s not a lot of tax revenue for the federal government with just medical marijuana, but if you’re talking about the whole ball of wax, with substantial tax revenues, Congress might be inclined to go for the whole enchilada.”

The MPP leader wasn’t the only one in the room sounding upbeat that day. Drug Policy Alliance national affairs director Bill Piper said that when it comes to marijuana legalization, the train has already left the station.

“I’m very optimistic,” Piper said. “The toothpaste is out of the tube. Even Chris Christie can’t stop marijuana legalization. Once these initiatives pass in 2016, there’s no way back.”

The conventional wisdom among drug reformers used to be that we might see federal pot prohibition crumble by the middle of the next decade. But given the lack of disaster and the bonanza of tax revenue in legalization states so far, and the likelihood that a handful more will legalize it next year, that timetable is accelerating.

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Johnny Green


  1. “The classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug as well as the continuing controversy as to whether or not cannabis is of medical value are obstacles to medical progress in this area. Based on evidence currently available the Schedule I classification is not tenable; it is not accurate that cannabis has no medical value, or that information on safety is lacking.”

    Source: Open Neurology Journal. 2012

  2. I’m so sorry to hear that. That is the real crime being committed here. The jailing of good people for choosing a safer substance and or medicine. The children robbed of their parents, forced into foster care. 5 years is way too long.

  3. I did 6 years for marijuana related non-violent crimes……I will NEVER get that back, and I don’t care if I did, I just want marijuana legalized.


    I will point out that those two links, I have put up on Project SAM’s FB, they really resort to blocking once Kevin Sabet’s connection with Betty and Melvin Sembler is mentioned also I have suspected that Betty and Melvin Sembler groomed Kevin Sabet and when it comes to many Anti Cannabis groups, Betty and Melvin Sembler writes a huge portion of their policies


    I will point out whatever Kevin Sabet or Project SAM says, it cannot be taken as credible and also Project SAM also has Former Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey


    Also Kevin Sabet has been listed in DFAF’s documents which they have tried to keep hidden but clicking on cached turns out with these two links even though the PDF does not show up:

    1. DFAF’s 2007 document:


    2. DFAF’s 2008 document:


  7. Thank you and I will. Your right, this is a basic human right. To deny people a very effective medicine, quite possibly a cure for some cancers and a safer choice to alcohol that they could grow themselves for free is both inhumane and an affront to our rights as a human being.

  8. Thank you and I will. Your right, it is a human right and needs to be fought for on that level. The right to autonomy. The right to make personal decisions for yourself that work best for you given that you aren’t harming others. In other words the right to be treated like an adult. It is also a basic human right to have unfettered access to this plant and this is something that we need to demand. There is no reason, other than greed, hysteria and a nanny state, that we should not be allowed to partake of this plant as we wish to. That is clearly what this plant is on this earth for. The medicinal values are huge. It works for a whole host of ailments from seizures to cancer. When this war on the people is over, and it’s going to be sooner than a lot of people think, we will look back on this with horror at the medicinal treatments and even possible cures kept from the people as well as the tremendous amount of social harms inflicted on people and their families including children who have been thrown into the foster care system severely messing them up for life. I am encouraged though by the change in public opinion. I think people are finally starting to think about it and realizing that the laws are out of step with how we treat one of the deadliest drugs there is, alcohol. To deny people a safer choice and a very effective , natural medicine, quite possibly the cure for some cancers, is both asinine, criminal, senseless and unjust. And that is my rant. :) Full Legalization Now.

  9. The problem with all this is our litigious society, and our FDA procedures, that basically limit what can be on an administrative level. To take something off Schedule 1, they have to show that its not dangerous and is a well-controlled drug. The FDA is light-years away from being able to say it’s a well-controlled drug. They haven’t even gotten to the “its not dangerous” stage. But that’s how agencies work.

    The result is that it will take an act of Congress to remove it, given Congress doesn’t have to jump through any hoops. Assuming what they are doing isn’t unconstitutional, they can pass any law.

    So the real question is how long will it take to elect a majority of both houses of Congress, and a President, who wants to pass such a law?

    Five years seems awfully quick to me. The Republican party as its currently constructed? No way. The Democratic party as its currently constructed? No way. We’d need Bernie for President and a majority of like thinking Senators and Congressmen. That’s not going to happen, unfortunately. It’s going to take a few more major election cycles.

    In the meantime, we have to make progress where we can in states that have an Initiative process, and eventually prove that regulated weed (state-style) hasn’t significantly impacted society. That an conduct lots of scientific studies (which is still a problem).

    My biggest fear is that Congress will move it from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2 in response to MMJ claims, where it will be managed by the FDA and DEA like Oxycontin. We don’t want the FDA deciding what we can smoke, because by the time they’re done, it’ll only be available as a little pill that has no side-effects.

    For many of us, the “side-effects” are the point of it all.

  10. Great comments on TWB Terry keep active! We need good people in our PRO-Cannabis community online to keep things straight!
    and it “should” be a Human Right? No. rather it already IS a Human Right but the neanderthals in government don’t recognize that because they are so behind in their mental development and should not be bred with ever.
    Our Rights proceed from the fact that We The People fucking say so and got the GUNS to back it up! THAT is the truth and that is why we are still despite all the corruption and illegal unconstitutional activity by traitors in government that we are STILL the most at liberty nation on Earth! They cannot destroy liberty by merely destroying a legal document called the constitution. Our federal and state constitutions only embody the truths that have always existed and in themselves legally have NOT fully enumerated our rights nor solidified them enough from infringement by any branch of government. We all know the truth of liberty and right/wrong in our hearts all the time. Only the perverse in spirit do not recognize such basic truth in themselves and that is why they act like scum and rationalize it all as good. Evil lives and breathes lies.
    Also fyi, you may be interested to know that there is a difference between freedom and liberty linguistically and legally. Freedom is abstract. We don’t legally have freedom but liberty. for example we are not Free to not breathe and live but we have legal liberties ie licenses to various things such as free speech and guns. I like the word Liberty better than Freedom anyways.
    hope you enjoyed that little rant. :D

  11. saynotohypocrisy on

    You go have another drink of the substance that makes cannabis look like kids play in comparison. You imagine what 100,000 alcohol related deaths every year means to their families. When you’re ready to ban killer alcohol, get back to me you jokester.

  12. Yes, it is truly shameful. People should be outraged at the whole war on cannabis but even more so when it comes to the medicinal aspect of cannabis.

  13. I couldn’t agree more. People who use recreationally are doing so to relieve stress, get a really good nights sleep and more. We all self medicate for one reason or another. We need to stand united. We are all pursuing the same goal. Our right to autonomy. To make our own decisions about what kind of recreational or medicinal substances work best for us. Freedom, Liberty. It should be a basic human right.

  14. As much as I wish it would end that easily it never will sadly and Obummer is just another lying prohibitionist tool. He has a pen but mostly uses it for his cronies and campaign donators im sure. Democrats are just the other head on the monster that has been subverting and controlling our federal and state governments for generations. Republicans nowadays are nazis and Democrats are Commies! BOTH are lying murdering socialist gun hating constitution destroying scum.

    Such LEGISLATIVE action taken by the EXECUTIVE branch is exactly what we do NOT need in this country. We need liberty and our properly constituted republican government under the constitution! Executive Orders and National Security Directives are a GROSS usurpation of power by the Executive branch and is blatantly unconstitutional and against liberty and the balance of powers in government!
    They get away with it by having claimed a national ‘state of emergency’ since World War Two and thereby rule via marital law and the sheeps ignorance and naive fearful compliance while paying lip service to the constitution. Our collective oppression as a people derives from immorality of people, corrupt government, big corporations, the military and college industrial complex, communism, secret societies with political agendas infiltrating all levels of the government, and the fractional reserve banking cartels.

  15. I’d say that there truly is no separation between medicinal and personal usage in any TRUE legalization of Marijuana. So called personal and so called medical usage are misnomers and causing unnecessary division in the Pro-Cannabis Community.

    Personal usage includes all usages and thus includes medicinal usage. Marijuana is inherently medicinal and therefore will have positive health effects upon its habitual users; being sick is not a prerequisite to using medicine.

    I’d like to note the linguistic implication of your usage of the term “degenerate” to describe Marijuana Prohibition as being linguistic proof that Marijuana Prohibition is literally not only killing people but holding back our entire species collective evolution in all ways.

  16. 5 years way too far for this to happen. I’m tired of the way they want us to suffer and treat everyone like criminals for medicine we need now.

  17. Agreed! Now consider well this advice: Do not seek to persuade fools, enemies, nor anyone else but seek those already of a similar mind and hone that and network. your wasting valuable time a resources on ingrates, liars, and fools. Even if you successfully deprogram brainwashed fools they will be useless if not outright burdens to the Pro-Cannabis community and movement. They wouldn’t be so deluded and deceived if they were not first so spiritually vacant and corrupt inwardly and you cant fix that but they must. Refute them online sure, but don’t waste your time with them or engage their nonsense and thus waste your time. Be aware that many online are paid government disinformation agents and secret Fed spook police trying to get you in trouble and catalog your identity and beliefs.

    We are at war for liberty constantly in America forever, understand that. Vigilance is mandatory in a free and open society and so is sacrifice and real action to maintain it. It’s not called the ‘drug WAR’ for nothing! Prohibition is a war against liberty and all people.

  18. Sue the government kidnapping cps scum! Better yet don’t allow them to take your children at all!.

    If you won’t defend your children then what will you defend? likely nothing as cowards never do.

    Such children hurting and family destroying scum deserve swift deaths in my opinion for their crimes perpetrated under the guise of goodness and law! We The People should not tolerate such crimes nor wait for corrupt courts to screw us over and side with the kidnapping scum.
    Kidnapping is a violent felony and Self Defense is a Human Right. The kidnapping scum would be far less eager to oppress folks if at least from time to time those they attack would actually defend themselves. The cowards wouldn’t show up in force, covered in armor and weapons in a armored car surrounding houses with all the crushing might of the Gestapo if they weren’t afraid of us already. Demons of fear like them won’t leave us be without a fight in court or otherwise. Stand by your neighbors, form self defense groups, and keep your word. Pursue peace as much as possible but do not tolerate evil upon your children, your property, or yourselves.

    They got most people so brainwashed by TV and socialist public school prisons and DARE snitch classes that they won’t even defend their children. how pathetic!

    The 2nd amendment isn’t about hunting or sportsman bullshit like the lying NRA hollywood heston crowd would have you think but it is our last line of defense of our lives, liberty, and property against all threats foreign and domestic including our own corrupt criminal murdering kidnapping government.

  19. Sabet is just another lying prohibitionist tool and not to be feared. Such things are merely the symphony notes of the death song of Marijuana prohibition in America and ALL of North America. Their days are numbered and their desperate lies will not save them. Too many people KNOW the truth now first hand just like we’ve been trying to get out for years. California’s Medical legalization in 1996 was the first deadly wound inflicted on the demon of Marijuana prohibition and we’ve been making good progress ever since. The demon has changed form to delay it’s inevitable demise frying under the light of truth as its lies and protection of darkness fail and the light pierces deeply. The truth about Marijuana sells itself. We still have a long road ahead of us though.

  20. I made a similar prediction on my YouTube channel posted on November, 16, 2015. I predicted the Full legalization of Marijuana in ALL of North America by 2025 and In my home State of Ohio by 2020 though many indicators for Ohio show we will likely legalize Marijuana fully under the new 2016 FreeMarketOhio plan!

    Mexico and Canada are now in the process of Weed legalization. Up to 11 states so far will be considering Marijuana legalization in the USA in 2016! At least 4 to 6 of these will likely succeed. The US Feds have recently permitted military veterans in States that allow medical Marijuana to be permitted to obtain it with federal permission. THAT is the biggest sign of the Feds backing off recently. The DEA has also recently announced it lessening its role in pursuing Marijuana amid cries from prohibitionist politicians and police who want to keep the scam of Marijuana prohibition and theft called ‘asset forfeiture’ on a rolling.

  21. that is complete nonsense. what is being controlled with prohibition when cannabis has been readily available to every neighborhood in the country for the last 50 years? how is cannabis dangerous for the general population, but infants can safely take it to relieve debilitating illnesses without unwanted side effects? how is it that you can be so willfully ignorant about how your government has lied about everything they say is wrong with cannabis. stupidity like yours is what needs to be eliminated.

  22. A win for recreational use is a win for medicinal use as well. The war on recreational users is discrimination just like any other form of discrimination. It is unjustified and immoral.

  23. And the children who have been ripped from their families and are now in foster care. They must be reunited with their families so that the healing can begin. There should be counseling paid for by the government to help them get over the devastating impact this has had on their lives.

  24. Good for you. I too stand up and debate the last of the dinosaur prohibitionists. We all need to do this and end this senseless war on ordinary citizens NOW.

  25. I am reminded; I am a recent survivor who was recently thinking, “It’ll never happen to me.”

    I spent 2014 battling cancer; during that time cannabis gave me strength; lifted me and speed-ed my recovery. It’s 3000 plus year history as medicine stands alone.

    Safe and legal access is all that’s lacking; marijuana is for sale all over the Country.

  26. Social Conservative on

    Sabet claims he is not in favor of prohibition or legalization. Sabet admits the drug war is a failure and most Americans have been cured of reefer madness. Sabet claims to be in favor of smart legislation that prevents the corporate take-over of the cannabis industry while allowing people to possess and consume reasonable amounts of cannabis for personal use. If no sales are allowed then people will have to be allowed to grow their own or the government will have to be the legal supplier.

    I’m not saying this is the best solution and I’m not saying Sabet is an honest man. I am saying that Sabet needs to show his cards and if this is indeed his proposal as he claims then I don’t think he will turn out to be the public enemy that he appears to be today.

  27. Social Conservative on

    Even Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, who once called marijuana legalization “reckless,” told reporters last week that the state has not experienced the outlaw horror show that many predicted was on the horizon after Colorado voters approved Amendment 64.

    “After the election, if I could’ve had a magic wand, and I could’ve waved it and reversed the outcome of the election, I would’ve done it,” Hickenlooper said. “Now if I had that same magic wand, I’m not sure I’d wave it.”

  28. When are you going to admit that Kevin Sabet is like a virgin lecturing about the evils of premarital sex?

  29. Apart from regurgitating DEA propaganda (replete with “Weasel Words” such as ‘studies have proved’) your argument about cannabis precipitating mental illness falls flat in view the known statistics. Starting with the late 1960s, accelerated use and social acceptance of cannabis should have stuffed the asylums full of schizophrenics, psychopaths, paranoiacs and assorted neuroses. We would have been building new asylums, not prisons. The operative portion of your argument is contained in the last sentence..”if prohibiting an unnecessary, dangerous drug can help this problem, Marijuana should NOT be legalized.” It doesn’t and it can’t, therefore it should be.

    “Prohibition is like Communism. It’s a good idea, but it doesn’t work” Will Rogers

  30. Did you enjoy watching “Refer Madness”? Again.

    BTW What do you know about endocannabinoids? Not much from the evidence you have given so far.

  31. stellarvoyager on

    So, Troallio, Kevin Sabet is the best you people have? He won’t be such a threat when he’s asked to explain about his associations with some very shady characters, in particular, the Semblers of the Drug Free America Foundation (DFAF). More about DFAF can be found here:


    Kev Kev will not be such a threat when the public demands answers to questions such as these:

    1. What is the nature of Kevin Sabet’s relationship with Melvin and Betty Sembler? Was he ever on their payroll, and does he still receive money from them, or from groups affiliated with them?

    2. Why did Kevin Sabet lie about his position at DFAF in his interview with Maia Szalavitz of Substance.com?


    3. Do the Semblers still tell Kevin Sabet what his talking points are, and did they buy his “honorary doctorate” at the University of Florida?

    Once Kevin Sabet’s shady dealings are well-known, he will become an albatross around the neck of the prohibition movement.

  32. There is clear evidence proving that legalizing medical marijuana will negatively affect our country. The government’s primary responsibility is to protect American citizens. Marijuana is controlled by the DEA as a Schedule I substance not to limit our freedoms as individuals, but because it studies have proved it to be one of the “most dangerous [illegal drugs] with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence” (DEA, para. 3). In addition to the extensive federal studies conducted, there are many private studies concluding the same results by accredited universities, such as Harvard Medical School and Stanford Research Institute. One study conducted by Harvard Medical School directly linked marijuana usage before age 19 with diagnosis of addiction, anxiety, and even psychosis later in life. Imagine one of your family members or loved ones being diagnosed with one of these disorders. If there was anything you could do to prevent this, you would. Based on the research conclusions, legalizing marijuana will likely increase the already rising number of Americans with mental illness. Controlling this epidemic in today’s society is already a challenge; if prohibiting an unnecessary, dangerous drug can help this problem, Marijuana should NOT be legalized.

  33. Never because he’s not, he is grasping at straws every time he debates against legalization because pretty much everything that he predicted would happen after legalization hasn’t happened. I think you’re just his butt buddy and that’s why you post about him being a threat and claiming that he’s gonna end legalization on almost every article on here.

  34. Lawrence Goodwin on

    We’re all fighting for their freedom, too, Ron. Every time I see TV or newspaper reporters here in repressive upstate New York blather on about women and men arrested for growing cannabis, or for other nonviolent offenses, I stand up and challenge that biased media coverage. PhDScientist has rock-solid reasons to focus on cancer patients and the many medical uses for cannabis. Cannabis medicine was one of the very first things federal thugs stole from us for no good reason.

  35. Closet Warrior on

    I am passionate about mmj but we all have the right to the safe, legal access to legal marijuana. Who’s to say what your medicine is or isn’t, we all know our own bodies better than anyone else right

  36. That’s way too far away.

    This year 1.7 MILLION Americans will be diagnosed with Cancer.

    In the next five years, over 8.5 MILLION Americans will be told they have CANCER — and half of them will die of it — after going through a hell on earth that is beyond anything you can imagine.

    If you’re an American man, you’ve got a 1 out 2 chance of getting Cancer and a 1 out of 2 chance of dying from it.

    If you get Cancer, you’re going to want to have Safe, Legal, access to Medical Marijuana.

    PLEASE do everything you can to help get Medical Marijuana legalized nationally, NOW!

  37. According to the world health organization, Global Cancer Rates could increase by 50% to 15 MILLION new cases a year by 2020.
    We’ve got to move faster on the world wide legalization of Medical Marijuana.
    Every Cancer Patient deservers the right to have Safe, Legal, access to Medical Marijuana for palliative care, and High Dose Medical Marijuana Oil Therapy (HDMMOT) is incredibly promising as a Cancer therapy, especially in the third world where people can’t afford multiple Cancer drugs that cost $100K (or more) a year.
    This is intensely personal for me — I, just like so many Scientists and Physicians feel that we need to get Marijuana removed from Schedule 1 INMEDIATELY — I am passionate about this subject — You should be too.
    Medical Marijuana is a “Wonder Drug” for Cancer Patients undergoing Chemotherapy.
    Now, it appears it may help cure a wide variety of Cancers.
    We need to get large scale clinical trials of HDMMOT started NOW.

  38. saynotohypocrisy on

    It’s weird that recreational use is making faster progress than medicinal use. Despicable as it is for the alcohol gang to ban recreational use, it is far worse for them to ban medicinal marijuana, that is extremely depraved behavior, I see no real difference between banning MMJ and outright murdering or deliberately inflicting unbearable pain on people.

  39. That prediction is much more likely if Californians quit infighting.
    If they repeat the mistakes of Proposition 19 and forego full legalization because it’s not “perfect,” then the movement nationwide will suffer, again.

  40. Thats interesting…Hopefully Oregon will remove the import export provision from M91, and I can sling on the net.

  41. That’s way too far away.

    This year 1.7 MILLION Americans will be diagnosed with Cancer.

    In the next five years, over 8.5 MILLION Americans will be told they have CANCER — and half of them will die of it — after going through a hell on earth that is beyond anything you can imagine.

    If you’re an American man, you’ve got a 1 out 2 chance of getting Cancer and a 1 out of 2 chance of dying from it.

    If you get Cancer, you’re going to want to have Safe, Legal, access to Medical Marijuana.

    PLEASE do everything they can to support the effort to get Medical Marijuana legalized nationally, NOW.

    Call the White House comment line at (202) 456-1111, every day, and ask that the President get Marijuana removed from Schedule 1 IMMEDIATELY so Physicians in all 50 states can prescribe it on the same basis as every other medication.

    Ask everyone else you know to do it and to pass the idea on.
    With luck the effort will go viral, and the President will take action and get Marijuana removed from Schedule 1.

    Don’t wait until you or someone you love gets CANCER to get going on this.
    By then it will be too late.

    Call every day. Get everyone you know to do the same.

    Remember — This is personal — someday it could be you!

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