Monday, July 20, 2009

Bob Barr media statement on the "Barr amendment"

Former U.S. Representative Bob Barr (7th Dist. GA, 1995-2003) today issued the following statement in response to the action last Thursday, July 16th, by the House of Representatives repealing the appropriations rider that, since 1998, had prohibited the District of Columbia from implementing a marijuana legalization referendum. The amendment was passed initially in 1998 and reinstated each year since, and was commonly known as the “Barr Amendment” because Barr had been its prime sponsor. Barr’s statement follows:

“Last week’s vote by the House of Representatives lifting the 11-year old prohibition on the District of Columbia from taking steps to pass and implement any measure decriminalizing or legalizing the sale or use of marijuana in the District, represents an important step in the direction of individual freedom and properly limiting the power of the federal government.

“While I in fact sponsored the initial appropriations limitation in 1998, the years since then have witnessed such a dramatic increase in federal government power and an unprecedented decrease in individual liberty, especially since 2001, that I have come to realize that such limitations as the so-called “Barr Amendment” are not and cannot be justified. It has become necessary to reevaluate the power of the federal government that I and others once were able or willing to justify, and do what we can to roll back the tide of government control.

“I have applauded also the indications by Attorney General Eric Holder to begin easing federal efforts against individuals in states that have moved to decriminalize or legalize the use of marijuana, and the fresh approach to the federal anti-drug effort as articulated earlier this year by Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drup Control Policy (the so-called “Drug Czar”).”

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