Marijuana Policy Project

Barney Frank

Barney Frank
Barney Frank doesn’t smoke pot, but admits, ’I did have a brownie once’

During his 31 years in Congress, Barney Frank made every possible effort to legalize marijuana. He retired in January.

H.R. 2306, which he co-sponored with Republican Rep. Ron Paul (who also retired), would've removed marijuana and THC from the Controlled Substances Act, essentially descheduling cannabis and making it legal.

In 2008 and 2009, Frank introduced the Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults Acts, which would've decriminalized the possession of 100 grams of marijuana. The bills were never voted on.

Born on Mar. 31, 1940 in Bayonne, New Jersey, Frank stayed in the Boston area after attending Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He was elected the Democratic Congressman for Massachusetts' 4th District in 1981.

Frank delivered the keynote address at the 2001 NORML Confrerence. "The notion that you lock people up for smoking marijuana is pretty silly," he told Bill Maher in 2008.

"I don't think it is the government's business to tell you how to spend your leisure time," Frank said in 2007 after his partner James Ready was arrested for growing marijuana on their property in Maine. "I do not smoke marijuana. I don't know what the plants look like. I couldn't identify most plants." (Frank, however, does smoke cigars.)

Asked in 2012 if he smokes marijuana by CNN's Erin Burnett, Frank replied: "I did have a brownie once. It made me sleepy."

Frank and Ready married on July 7, 2012.

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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.