Dems call for federal commission on marijuana

"This conflict is only going to continue to grow over the next few years, and we must provide certainty to the millions of individuals and businesses that remain caught in a web of incompatible laws," he said. "A national commission would provide us with the information we need to create sensible policy going forward."

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The new commission would study how federal laws should be reconciled with state laws, the cost of the federal prohibition on marijuana, and how the federal government should place marijuana in the schedule of the Controlled Substances Act.

It would also examine the health impacts of marijuana, and racial disparities and other consequences related to marijuana possession.

Cohen noted that a national commission on marijuana use was set up in 1971, and it released a report in 1973 that called for the decriminalization of the drug.

"In the four decades since the Shafer Commission, however, the federal government has only expanded its War on Drugs and continued to prohibit the use marijuana," a statement from Cohen's office said.

Cohen's bill is cosponsored by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Sam Farr (D-Calif.), Jim Moran (D-Va.), and Jared Polis (D-Colo.).