Article by Richard Cowan, former NORML National Director and author of CBD For Healing Your Skin.
Over the decades that I have been involved in the marijuana legalization movement I have grown accustomed to absurdly dumb arguments from prohibitionists. However, I really have a hard time understanding how professional politicians could be so out of touch with their constituents. But maybe the prohibitionists don’t really represent their constituents.
Before the elections, the Congressional Republicans denounced the Democrats for having the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act.
But last week the House Republicans again said, “It’s no surprise that the American people rejected House Democrats’ leadership on Election Day because it’s clear that they are more focused on catering to their radical base than actually taking steps to address the challenges that their constituents are facing. The fact that they plan to vote on legalizing marijuana instead of making a deal on COVID relief is just the latest example of that.”
The MORE Act decriminalizes marijuana.
“Specifically, it removes marijuana from the list of scheduled substances under the Controlled Substances Act and eliminates criminal penalties for an individual who manufactures, distributes, or possesses marijuana.
The bill also makes other changes, including the following:
replaces statutory references to marijuana and marihuana with cannabis,
requires the Bureau of Labor Statistics to regularly publish demographic data on cannabis business owners and employees,
establishes a trust fund to support various programs and services for individuals and businesses in communities impacted by the war on drugs,
imposes a 5% tax on cannabis products and requires revenues to be deposited into the trust fund,
makes Small Business Administration loans and services available to entities that are cannabis-related legitimate businesses or service providers,
prohibits the denial of federal public benefits to a person on the basis of certain cannabis-related conduct or convictions,
prohibits the denial of benefits and protections under immigration laws on the basis of a cannabis-related event (e.g., conduct or a conviction), and
establishes a process to expunge convictions and conduct sentencing review hearings related to federal cannabis offenses.”
Oh, those elections where the American people “rejected House Democrats’ leadership”??
Actually, they reduced the House Democratic majority… and the Republican Senatorial majority???
But marijuana won every state where it was on the ballot.
In once Conservative Arizona recreational marijuana won with slightly less than 60%.
In Montana, another very conservative state, recreational marijuana won with 56.9%.
South Dakota, a very conservative state, passed two initiatives. Medical marijuana won by 69.9% and recreational marijuana with 54.2%.
Meanwhile in Mississippi, the more “liberal” of two medical marijuana initiatives got 73% of the vote!!
In New Jersey, recreational marijuana won with 66.95% of the vote.
Of course, there is absolutely no reason that the COVID relief bill could not also include the MORE Act. It isn’t “either/or”.
In fact, there are a number of compelling reasons that should be included, aside from the will of the people. The states desperately need the jobs that would be created.
Who are the real “radicals” out of touch with their constituents? Or who do they really represent?