Marijuana Reform On Agenda for 3 Democratic Chair Hopefuls | Marijuana

Marijuana Reform On Agenda for 3 Democratic Chair Hopefuls


Three Democratic lawmakers poised to chair major House committees have each gone on the record saying marijuana reform will be on the agenda in the next Congress when they and fellow party members take control of the gavels.

Rep. Maxine Waters of California, who’s expected to chair the House Financial Services Committee, told The Wall Street Journal in an interview published Nov. 20, 2018, that “it’s inevitable we are going to have to talk about” how federal prohibition contributes to banking issues in the legal cannabis industry.

An amendment brought before the committee in 2017 that would have protected banks that work with marijuana businesses from federal punishment was blocked from a vote through a procedural move by House Republicans. The House did approve a similar amendment in 2014, in a 231-192 vote, but the provision was not included in the final language of annual appropriations legislation that year.

With Waters at the helm of the committee, there’s a strong likelihood that the issue will be taken back up after the Congress convenes in January.

Then, as Massachusetts launched its first day of adult-use cannabis sales on Tuesday, the state’s Reps. Jim McGovern and Joe Kennedy III — who made a surprise reversal on his opposition to legalization — called for federal marijuana reform. McGovern will be uniquely positioned to get that done as he takes over control of the powerful House Rules Committee from prohibitionist Republican Rep. Pete Sessions, who lost his reelection fight this month.

While Sessions has refused to let even broadly supported bipartisan marijuana amendments go to the House floor for votes, McGovern told MassLive that the committee will stop impeding progress on the issue.

“We’re going to have votes on marijuana reform,” he said. “I’m not going to block marijuana amendments like my predecessor has done.”

“As chairman of the Rules Committee, I’m not going to block marijuana amendments. People ought to bring them to the floor, they should be debated and people ought to vote the way they feel appropriate.”

McGovern, who also told the Boston Globe in a separate interview earlier this month that he would allow votes on cannabis proposals, cited policies barring military veterans from getting medical marijuana recommendations from their U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs doctors as an example of a problem “we ought to fix.”

Finally, over in the House Judiciary Committee, the expected incoming chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, recently said marijuana and other “softer drugs” should be legalized and regulated.

“From everything we have learned, people are going to do drugs,” Nadler said in an interview with New York City public radio station WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show.” “And certainly the softer drugs like marijuana, there’s no good reason at all that they cannot be legalized and regulated properly.”

“The major effect of the war on drugs has been to fill our prisons with huge numbers of people to no great effect except to waste money and to ruin lives,” he said.

The committee Nadler is set to run is responsible for oversight of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and other federal law enforcement agencies. In his capacity in chairman, the congressman will have the means to bring cannabis legislation and other drug reform bills up for a vote.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, a leading proponent of marijuana reform on Capitol Hill, mentioned two of these committees — judiciary and financial services — as part of a comprehensive memo he recently sent laying out how Democrats can advance cannabis reform in 2019.

Lawmakers should hold a “hearing on descheduling marijuana” in the Judiciary Committee and also hold a hearing on “barriers to the safe access of banking services and capital as well as unnecessary and unwise barriers to banking services for state legal marijuana businesses,” he wrote. The memo also calls for hearings in a number of other House committees like the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

“For too long, under Republican leadership, these issues have not been allowed to be fully debated,” Blumenauer said. “We must change that approach. Almost every standing House committee has jurisdiction over some aspect of marijuana policy.”

This article has been republished from Marijuana Moment under a content syndication agreement. Read the original article here.

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  1. In my opinion “You, my friend are a sic man” it’s not all about just Marijuana. You’re entitled to your opinion one of the reasons I’ve fought in two wars for this Country. What have you done other than run your mouth? I am a user of the natural god given drug substance know as Marijuana. Medically prescribed by a Heath care provider. Prior to that a recreational user recommended by my youngest son, due to severe PTSD, Along with being a registered Republican, a prior Democrat until I witnessed the real world around me for the last 73 years. So put that in your pipe and smoke it !! Semper Fi

  2. relax,

    most people aren’t awake and aware and think they are doing “good” by following orders and killing innocent men, women and children. America is the bullies. We start wars for profit and use our innocent soldiers to do the dirty work. The smart ask questions while the ignorant carry out the orders without.

  3. We trust our decision makers to look for the Truth and then to act. When they make mistakes we shouldn’t throw out the baby with the dirty bathwater, better to rescue the still young republic and make things right from now on. Many of the previously prohibitionist politicians are beginning to see the light now about the legalization of Cannabis for example, while others have always been able to see it. Kudos to the politicians mentioned in the article.
    Yet a society can not long endure without the champions and guardians who carry out the mandate of our elected leaders, leaders who commenters here can assess as tragically Sometimes wrong in deciding on use of force etc. United we can debate our best course of action. But divided we could only end up on the trash heap of history like where the tyrannies such as fascism and communism and religion based violent rule are routinely discarded by our American patriots. Yes, we endure by the actions of – and by the very courage and resolve of – our security people, the guardians of our way of life.
    United we Stand.

  4. The “liberal” Dems are doing the right thing recently by picking up the banner of Cannabis legalization. “Traditional conservative” Republicans started that decades ago, think Barry Goldwater and then even more so Ron Paul who is the person most impacting American politics for the better. Republican voters are now polling in favor of full legalization of Cannabis while Libertarians [America’s ascendant third party] has been active for legalization already several decades. A combination of all this is rapidly tossing repressive prohibitionists from office – and that’s a good thing. Nobody should try or smoke Cannabis if they don’t want to; but when adults Do want to, it’s an abomination for our society to prescribe punishments. The mantra I like best is “be responsible”.
    For my money the parties can work together to bring forth the best of our commonalities in America. Certainly it seems that our adversarial political system functions to bring a good measure of accountability to everyone in government – with investigations to expose corruptions – and that surely is a good thing, especially when tempered by empathy,
    Strength in unity. America is to be the shining city on the hill.. born of the enlightened founding principles we come to share out, even unto the darkest corners of the world.

    • For my money the parties can work together to bring forth the best of our commonalities in America. Certainly it seems that our adversarial political system functions to bring a good measure of accountability to everyone in government – with investigations to expose corruptions – and that surely is a good thing, especially when tempered by empathy,

      I couldn’t agree more. Well stated.

  5. Theoretically Americans have the right to determine their own lifestyle, and that goes into practice when politicians like those in the article act with integrity. In public discourse, and with reasonable limits regarding public safety, Americans can speak their mind and give any opinion. Even on the cable news channels there are ‘lies of omission’ told every day.. so the curious inquiring mind is left to research and to read between the lines.. but the truth is available in America if a person is willing to dig a little. Online the truth can peek through all the self interested spin jobs done in the ‘main stream media’, but online also is the territory that our first amendment even leaves open for “trolls”, for those who belittle truth: those who project their own corruptions onto others and who might argue with a straw man in an attempt to discredit genuine commentary.
    Put it all together and we get a strong and vibrant society where people can fashion the culture of freedom out of their own hands, and where the trolls can dwell in their dirty place and eventually step up if they want to. Step up into a society of honest men and women who accept one another – regardless of any differences – as equals.
    I like America, even “trolls” here think they are fixing things somehow. I like our Bill of Rights. I like our Constitution. The truth will prevail when all is said and done, that has my confidence.

  6. Libertarians threw a party and the Dems and GOP all attended and they saw someone negative in outlook also slam dancing alone, off in an isolated corner, a corner divided from the rest of the room and the politicians decided at last to ignore the sort of hate and rage expressed in that unholy dance of despair. The dancer was pasting the same move over and over. It’s the dance of prohibition that for a while has taken place at our always recreated party of American freedom.

    Strength in unity and peace through strength.

  7. Here’s an open and earnest conversation about the important topic of legalization, a topic that had been widely and intentionally trivialized for a long time. The good news is that mainstream politicians of various outlooks are finding consensus on the benefits of the sacred and mystical plant, Cannabis. Polls are now finding that majorities of all three leading political parties in America favor legalization of recreational Cannabis, and it’s real good to finally have a consensus on such an important issue.
    Happy to discuss any other topics anywhere appropriate. Yet if someone wants me to join in with condemnation of Any public figure or of Any so called “group” of people.. we’ll have to include me out, aha.. because there’s been enough ‘condemnation’ to last most of us many lifetimes.. or so.
    Some commenters are admirable, while some might be less friendly to discuss with, yet each is attending from the relative perspective of individual human experiences.
    Yeah, I see that’s what I like about it too. Good perspective from James Ives. So that even the difficult kids are allowed to come out of the corner and dance about … yee ha… it does, it makes life fun. Emotions up and down, ideas brought to bear, but we say our piece, and perchance we get to see what someone thinks.

  8. Overview – The Dems were smart for this past election because a good chunk of the wins for them owed a lot to politicians in their party coming out openly for Cannabis legalization like the ones in the article or other ones at least renouncing prohibitionist positions they previously held.
    The GOP lost more than they thought possible due to many of their elected officials still hanging onto their harmful prohibitionist mistakes.
    The Dems by and large take the viewpoint of the dependent [or somewhat dependent] on government half of the country. The GOP overall attends to the interests of the productive element of America. We do best when both viewpoints are represented. A giant step forward for the GOP will be in also supporting the clear civil right of the citizens to heal themselves and to enjoy themselves with Cannabis.
    Republican politicians can’t lose and can only gain by supporting the God given rights of the free men and women of America. This is because any GOP holdout prohibitionist voters will have no other party or faction to turn to or support and Cannabis prohibition isn’t a priority for those voters anyways.
    Also the Libertarian Party would continue to gain if a significant number of Republican politicians retain Cannabis prohibitionist policies, but of course Dems would gain most of all from the millions of voters who like some Republican policy positions but are now voting against them because said voters prioritize the legalization of ‘recreational’ Cannabis.
    What do I want to happen? I want all interests in our country to have a healthy say because we are responsible for taking care of one another AND because we do Very well to also protect the interests of the productive segment of society [or else the whole economy bogs down and everyone suffers from it.]
    My motto, of course, is “united we stand”.

    • As a registered Republican,( a moderate ) I must add. I do enjoy different points of view by all parties. It opens one’s thoughts for consideration, of the opposing parties view. This again is why I tend to side with
      Ancient James on many issues.

  9. Regarding Cannabis and political party. Each of the two largest parties has two branches.
    “Neo cons” for the GOP at one end and “traditional conservatives [also sometimes called “classical liberals” – the plot thickens] who are more toward the center, these are traditional conservatives who embrace the founding principles of our republic, and yes, these are currently the smaller branch of the Republican Party. The neo cons, in their own world view, are also ‘trying’ to fix things and they have some good points. The neo cons are Currently the smaller branch. The traditional conservative ones are often for civil liberties including legalization of Cannabis while the neo cons most often take the “social conservative” approach of legislating their own values.. but that harmful approach is gradually falling away.

    Democrats range from “progressives” [basically socialists] on their left and the other branch of this party is basically liberal and supportive of a strong social safety net but also more centrist than the progressives concerning fiscally responsible policy. In both of these branches of Democrats legalization of Cannabis is popular but a bit more so in the progressive branch.
    The Libertarian party is just about unanimous in support of full legalization of Cannabis and most Libertarians have been supportive of legalization for a long time. Fiscal responsibility AND civil liberties are both priorities of the party and almost all Libertarians favor restraint in aggressive and military action by all nations.
    American citizens and American officials working together have a great potential to bring an essential unenslavement of mankind, our species so regularly enslaved by usurped and/or unjust authority and power. Our Constitution and our founding principles are the basis of mankind’s dreams and their manifestation.
    And now to focus for a moment on the commentary discussion at hand –
    It looks in newer comments like Dain Bram is likely more genuine than I might have imagined earlier.. now it’s more like me and my ‘brother Michael’ or so hashing out our proposed ‘future of America’…. or sort of like President George H.W. Bush bequeathing us “a kinder, gentler……………….

    • oops, rereading and I’d meant to write that the neo cons [neo conservatives] in the Republican Party are Currently the “Larger” branch of the Party…. sort of an essential point in all of it.

  10. All of this is getting a bit over board . Really I admit it’s getting to be a bit over my head, I am admitting that openly. Semper Fi

  11. Dain Bram, my take is that the moderator[s] of the commentary look to keep things generally on topic regarding the above article. And at least you’ve got me laughin’ about the damage, Bramage…….
    And if ya go away I’ll miss ya ole “Mr. B” because you can get me laughing with you in your colorful wording…….lol, “a cage match in a redneck bar, with [you] as the villain” — pretty good.
    And no need to cheat. No need to deceive.

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