federal bill that would legalize marijuana is currently the most-viewed piece of legislation on the official U.S. Congress website.
The bill, entitled Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013 (H.R. 499), was introduced in February by Colorado Representative Jared Polis, and “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.”
Despite a lack of support among Congress, which has yet to address the legislation with a vote, the bill is listed as the #1 most-viewed on Congress.gov, beating out other popular legislative issues such as the economy, guns and unemployment.
Tom Angell, chairman of the marijuana advocacy group Marijuana Majority, which posted a screenshot of the bill’s position on Congress.gov to Facebook last Friday, related the situation to the current divide between public and government opinion in an interview with The Huffington Post.
“The contrast between overwhelming public support for marijuana reform and Congress’ lack of action on the issue is frustrating.”
He adds that while marijuana legalization is supported by 58% of Americans, the bill only has 16 co-sponsors, which is less than 4% of the U.S. House.
Rep. Jared Polis, the bill’s sponsor, points out that the bill doesn’t mandate marijuana legalization by any state. Rather, by removing federal prohibition, it would allow each state to determine its own approach to regulating marijuana.