H.R. 499: Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013

Introduced:
Feb 05, 2013
Status:
Referred to Committee on Feb 05, 2013
Prognosis
0% chance of being enacted

H.R. 499 would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, leaving it up to the states to decide whether to allow marijuana for medicinal or recreational use. Specifically, the bill would: ... (read more)

Track this bill

This bill was assigned to a congressional committee on February 5, 2013, which will consider it before possibly sending it on to the House or Senate as a whole.

Introduced
Feb 05, 2013
Reported by Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by the President
 
Sponsor
Jared Polis
Representative for Colorado's 2nd congressional district
Party
Democrat
Text
Read Text »
Last Updated
Feb 05, 2013
Length
18 pages
 
Full Title

To decriminalize marijuana at the Federal level, to leave to the States a power to regulate marijuana that is similar to the power they have to regulate alcohol, and for other purposes.

Summary

No summaries available.

 
Prognosis

5% chance of getting past committee.
0% chance of being enacted.

Only 11% of bills made it past committee and only about 3% were enacted in 2011–2013. [show factors | methodology]

 
Primary Source

THOMAS.gov (The Library of Congress)

GovTrack gets most information from THOMAS, which is updated generally one day after events occur. Activity since the last update may not be reflected here. Data comes via the congress project.

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Notes

H.R. stands for House of Representatives bill.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the president to become law.

The bill’s title was written by its sponsor.

GovTrack’s Bill Summary

H.R. 499 would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, leaving it up to the states to decide whether to allow marijuana for medicinal or recreational use.

Specifically, the bill would:

  1. Remove marijuana from the list of federally controlled substances;
  2. Transfer the Drug Enforcement Administration’s authority to regulate marijuana to a newly renamed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana and Firearms, which will be tasked with regulating marijuana as it currently does alcohol; and
  3. Require marijuana producers and sellers to purchase a permit, as commercial alcohol producers do, of which the proceeds would offset the cost of federal oversight.

States could choose to continue to prohibit marijuana production or use, and it would remain illegal to transport marijuana to a state where it is prohibited.

H.R. 499 is based on a measure proposed in the last Congress by then-Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA). Rep. Frank’s bill marked the first attempt to entirely eliminate the federal criminalization of marijuana.

Previous decriminalization proposals were limited to possession of marijuana for personal use, possession of small amounts, or use for medicinal purposes. In the 1970s, Rep. Ed Koch (D-NY) introduced a spate of marijuana-related bills, following a 1972 report from the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse (NCMDA) that recommended ending the federal marijuana prohibition. In 1973 he filed a bill that would make it legal to possess marijuana for personal use or distribute it for non-profit purposes. Corresponding legislation was filed in the Senate by Sen. Jacob Javits (D-NY). In the subsequent Congress, Rep. Koch proposed a bill to treat possession of marijuana in small amounts for personal use or transfer without profit as a civil offense rather than a crime.

Legislative decriminalization efforts came to a halt in the 1980s, but resumed in 1997, when Rep. Frank introduced a bill to allow medical use of marijuana. He subsequently proposed a bill to eliminate federal crime penalties for possession or non-profit transfer of small amounts of marijuana. 

None of the proposals to end or amend the federal marijuana prohibition have ever made it to a vote on the House or Senate floor. Here at GovTrack we give the current bill a two percent chance of getting out of committee and a one percent chance of being enacted (see here for an explanation of our methodology in computing these probabilities).

Below is a list of bills that have been introduced to either end or amend the federal criminalization of marijuana: 

HOUSE

1973 (93rd Congress): A bill to amend certain provisions of the Controlled Substances Act relating to marijuana (reintroduced in the same Congress as H.R. 6570, H.R. 11210, H.R. 17550)                           

1975 (94th Congress): A bill to amend certain provisions of the Controlled Substances Act relating to marijuana (reintroduced in the same Congress as H.R. 4520)

1975 (94th Congress): Marihuana Control Act (reintroduced in the same Congress as H.R. 6876, H.R. 8984, H.R. 10801, H.R. 12425, H.R. 12886) 

1977 (95th Congress): Marihuana Control Act (reintroduced in the same Congress as H.R. 4736, H.R. 4737)

1981 (97th Congress): A bill to provide for the therapeutic use of marijuana in situations involving life-threatening illnesses and to provide adequate supplies of marijuana for such use 

1997 (105th Congress): Medical Use of Marijuana Act

1999 (106th Congress): Medical Use of Marijuana Act 

2001 (107th Congress): States’ Rights to Medical Marijuana Act (reintroduced in the same Congress as H.R. 2592)

2003 (108th Congress): States’ Rights to Medical Marijuana Act 

2005 (109th Congress): States’ Rights to Medical Marijuana Act

2008 (110th Congress): Act to Remove Federal Penalties for the Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults 

2009 (111th Congress): Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults Act of 2009

2008 (110th Congress): Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act

2009 (111th Congress): Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act 

2011 (112th Congress): States’ Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act

2013 (113th Congress): States’ Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act 


SENATE 

1973 (93rd Congress): A bill to amend certain provisions of the Controlled Substances Act relating to marijuana

Last updated Apr 10, 2013. View all GovTrack summaries.

Library of Congress Summary

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.


2/5/2013--Introduced.
Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013 - Directs the Attorney General to issue a final order that removes marijuana in any form from all schedules of controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act.
Amends such Act to:
(1) provide that schedules I, II, III, IV, and V shall consist of the drugs and other substances that are set forth in the respective schedules in part 1308 of title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations;
(2) exempt marijuana from such Act except as provided in this Act;
(3) revise the definition of "felony drug offense" to exclude conduct relating to marijuana; and
(4) eliminate marijuana from provisions setting forth penalties applicable to prohibited conduct under such Act.
Prohibits shipping or transporting marijuana from any place outside a jurisdiction of the United States into such a jurisdiction in which its possession, use, or sale is prohibited.
Eliminates marijuana as: (1) a controlled substance for purposes of the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act or the National Forest System Drug Control Act of 1986, (2) a dangerous drug for purposes of federal criminal code provisions authorizing interception of communications, and (3) a targeted drug for purposes of provisions of the national youth anti-drug media campaign under the Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 1998.
Amends the Federal Alcohol Administration Act to set forth procedures for the issuance and revocation by the Secretary of the Treasury of permits for importing, shipping or selling in interstate or foreign commerce, purchasing for resale, producing, packaging, or warehousing marijuana. Prohibits any person from engaging in such conduct without a permit, subject to a $1,000 fine and/or a $500 payment. Sets forth criteria for ineligible applicants and disqualifying offenses.
Subjects marijuana to the provisions that apply to: (1) intoxicating liquors under the Original Packages Act, the Webb-Kenyon Act, and the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000; and (2) distilled spirits under the Federal Alcohol Administration Act.
Grants the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the same authorities with respect to marijuana as it has for alcohol.
Transfers functions of the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) relating to marijuana enforcement to the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). Renames:
(1) ATF as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana, Firearms and Explosives; and
(2) the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau as the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Marijuana Tax and Trade Bureau.
Directs the Comptroller General to review federal laws, regulations, and policies to determine if changes are desirable in light of this Act.

House Republican Conference Summary

The summary below was written by the House Republican Conference, which is the caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives.


No summary available.

House Democratic Caucus Summary

The House Democratic Caucus does not provide summaries of bills.

So, yes, we display the House Republican Conference’s summaries when available even if we do not have a Democratic summary available. That’s because we feel it is better to give you as much information as possible, even if we cannot provide every viewpoint.

We’ll be looking for a source of summaries from the other side in the meanwhile.

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