New House Bill Would Legalize It

Dana Rohrbacher
Rohrbacher: ’The bill would legalize marijuana at the federal level to the extent it is legal at the state level.’ (AP)

Republican Dana Rohrbacher, a House rep from California, has introduced HR 1523, a.k.a Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2013. The bipartisan bill is sponsored by three Republicans - Rohrbacher, Justin Amash (MI) and Don Young (AK) - and three Democrats - Jared Polis (CO), Earl Blumenauer (OR) and Steve Cohen (D-TN).

According to a press release issued by Rohrbacher's office, HR 1523 "would prevent the federal government from continuing to prosecute residents who are acting in accordance with their state’s marijuana laws. The bill would legalize marijuana at the federal level to the extent it is legal at the state level."

This would apply to the 18 medical marijuana states (plus District of Columbia), as well as Colorado and Washington, which both legalized marijuana for recreational use in November. "It is likely that several other states will legalize marijuana to some degree in the future," the Rohrbacher release adds.

Rohrbacher says the bill "represents a common-sense approach… by keeping the federal government out of the business of criminalizing marijuana activities in states that don't want it to be criminal."

The Congressman has admitted to marijuana use in the past. "As polls continue to show public support, more states move in the right direction on this issue, and more members of Congress become educated about the negative consequences of marijuana prohibition, I am convinced my legislation has a shot," he writes. "It's not only the conservative thing to do; it's the right thing to do."

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

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