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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Congress Gets Measure To Ease Marijuana Laws: Cheech And Chong Announce Comeback Tour

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- It's like true. U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, the Massachusetts Democrat, has filed House Resolution 5843, to lift federal criminal penalties for Americans carrying less than 100 grams of pot for personal use. Cheech and Chong, the comedy team who made millions with the movie "Up in Smoke" about the stoner culture, now say they are reuniting for a 22-city comedy tour that begins in September. Their press release is available here. Cheech and Chong said they may visit more cities. So far, no sites in Ohio are booked. But the tour does hit Indianapolis on Sept. 19, Detroit on Sept. 20, Minneapolis on Oct. 25 and Chicago on Nov. 11.

Frank's bill has seven co-sponsors. Ron Paul, the Texas congressman whose Republican presidential campaign is inactive, is among the bill's public supporters. None are from Ohio. But U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-10 Cleveland, has been a supporter of easing marijuana laws. Not long ago, Kucinich issued this statement:

"Most marijuana users do so responsibly, in a safe, recreational context. These people lead normal, productive lives--pursuing careers, raising families, and participating in civic life. In addition, marijuana has proven benefits in the treatment of numerous diseases, such as providing a valuable means of pain management for terminally ill patients. In either of these contexts, there is no rational justification for criminally enforced prohibitions. These unnecessary arrests and incarcerations serve only to crowd prisons, backlog the judicial system, and distract law enforcement officials from pursuing terrorists and other violent criminals."

At the moment, the official Cheech and Chong website is selling what it describes as legal highs and herbs.

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