|Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO): The only way to accomplish objectives would be to eliminate “the failed policy of prohibition with regard to marijuana and replace it with regulation”|
â€‹The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to pass a resolution Wednesday declaring illegal marijuana cultivation on federal lands to be an “unacceptable threat to the safety of law enforcement and the public,” and calling upon the nation’s drug czar “to work in conjunction with federal and state agencies to develop a comprehensive and coordinated strategy to permanently dismantle Mexican drug trafficking organizations operating on Federal lands.”
Speaking on the House floor on Tuesday, Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) agreed with the goals of H. Res. 1540, but said the only way to accomplish such objectives would be to eliminate “the failed policy of prohibition with regard to marijuana and replac[e] it with regulation.”
“I have no doubt that marijuana plantations, as the resolution states, pose a threat to the environmental health of Federal lands, that drug traffickers spray unregulated chemicals, pesticides, and fertilizers, but I submit that the best way to address that is to incorporate this into a meaningful and enforceable agricultural policy for the country with regard to the regulatory structure for the production of marijuana,” Polis said.
|Steve Fox, MPP: “There are two choices here: continue the failed prohibitionist policies that encourage Mexican drug cartels to keep growing marijuana on federal lands, or embrace a new path that would acknowledge the reality that marijuana is not going away”|
â€‹“As long as [marijuana] remains illegal and as long as there is a market demand, the production will be driven underground,” Polis said. “No matter how much we throw at enforcement, it will continue to be a threat not only to our Federal lands, but to our border security and to our safety within the country.”
Steve Fox, director of government relations for theÂ Marijuana Policy Project
, on Wednesday joined Rep. Polis in endorsing the underlying rationale of the resolution and suggesting that accomplishing the goals detailed in legislation will require an entirely new strategy by the federal government.
“Passage of this resolution will send a clear message to the drug czar and others that our current strategies for combating illegal marijuana production are not working and that a new direction is needed,” Fox said.
“There are two choices here: continue the failed prohibitionist policies that encourage Mexican drug cartels to keep growing marijuana on federal lands, or embrace a new path that would acknowledge the reality that marijuana is not going away, but its production and sale and be sensibly regulated in order to reduce the harm caused by illicit production on federal lands,” Fox said.