Many people point to the success of marijuana legalization in the states that have adopted it as proof that it can succeed throughout America. And now Congress wants the federal government to see if that's the case.
Yesterday members of Congress introduced the Marijuana Data Collection Act, a bill that would ask the Department of Health and Human Services to study how marijuana legalization has affected the states that have enacted those laws. The Department would look at how legalization affected taxation and government revenue, the abuse rates of opioid and other dangerous drugs, the impacts on criminal justice, employment and other information related to medical marijuana.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat from Hawaii, introduced the bill and argued that the federal government has used misinformation and bad data to justify the War on Drugs for years, and it's simply led to mass incarceration. She said it's time for the government to get real, better data so the nation's drug policies will be more well-informed.
"Our federal policies should be based on actual science and fact, not misplaced stigma and outdate myths," Gabbard said.
Five Republicans and 11 Democrats co-sponsored Gabbard's bill, indicating that there's interest in both parties to see what the data from this investigation would show.
However, other bills supported by members of both parties have failed to receive votes in the House of Representatives recently, so it's very likely this bill would endure the same fate.
But if marijuana legalization is so bad, wouldn't anti-cannabis politicians want to allow this study to prove their point? It's almost like they know their position is contrary to all facts and evidence!