Medical Marijuana Before Congress: Has the Tide Turned?

July 18, 2012 in Politics, Top News, U.S. News

ement actions against medical marijuana outside the federal courthouse in Sacramento.

Kevai Floyd protests law enforcement actions against medical marijuana outside the federal courthouse in Sacramento, CA October 7, 2011. Max Whittaker/Reuters.

Tuesday, U.S. Representative Sam Farr (D-CA), along with a bipartisan group including Ron Paul (R-TX) and Barney Frank (D-MA), introduced new legislation to give legal remedy to medical marijuana users. The Truth in Trials Act (H.R. 6134) would make it easier for Americans to defend themselves against federal prosecution for possessing marijuana. That’s as long as that use is in accordance with State law.

The proposed legislation would give those prosecuted for marijuana possession the right to “introduce evidence demonstrating that the marijuana-related activities for which the person stands accused were performed in compliance with state law regarding the medical use of marijuana.” The bill would also create an “affirmative defense” for marijuana users. This would allow defendants to affirm that they acted according to State law and therefore should be excused from criminal culpability.

Ron Paul expresses outrage over treating marijuana users worse than murderers, rapists and child molesters.

Personal property, including seized marijuana, would be protected as well. The bill states, “Any property seized… shall be returned to the owner not later than 10 days after the court finds the defense is valid.” Furthermore, “Any marijuana seized under any Federal law shall be retained and not destroyed pending resolution of any forfeiture claim.”

Thus far, H.R. 6134 has been referred to committee for further consideration and action.

Mitt Romney ignores the concerns of a crippled man, Clayton Holton of Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana.