As the government shutdown rages on, our nation could use some bipartisanship. Of course, Democrats and Republicans disagree on whether a wall should be built on the United States’ Southern Border, and some 800,000 federal employees are really starting to pay the price, Donald Trump and Congress should embrace one issue that brings people across the political divide together: cannabis legalization.
Portland, Oregon, Congressman Earl Blumenauer, who I’ll admit that I’m proud to vote for, has introduced H.R. 420, a bill that would end cannabis prohibition. Newsweek covered the bill’s release, and gave folks a little lesson on the significance of 420 to the cannabis community:
The bill, H.R. 420, seeks to remove marijuana from the list of illegal narcotics under the federal Controlled Substances Act. The bill would also create a nationally regulated industry that would be overseen by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). “420” is slang among marijuana supporters that encourages celebration or smoking of pot on April 20, or at 4:20 on the clock.
Blumenauer, a Democrat from Oregon’s 3rd Congressional District and a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, has worked with representatives from both parties toward legalization of marijuana and cannabis products in addition to seeking progressive reforms on the federal level. Marijuana is currently listed as a Schedule 1 drug defined as having “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” Marijuana sits alongside heroin, LSD, peyote and ecstasy on the Drug Enforcement Agency’s list.
Blumenauer is the founder of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus composed of Republican congressmen Don Young of Alaska and David Joyce of Ohio, as well as Democratic Representative Barbara Lee of California. Joyce was recently named co-chair of the caucus that seeks to keep the federal government from interfering in state laws that have legalized marijuana or cannabis in order to “benefit our nation’s veterans, patients and businesses across the country,” he told Cleveland.com earlier this week.
Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden should introduce H.R. 420 in the Senate and get a companion piece of legislation moving. The nation could use Oregon Senators joining forces with Colorado Republican Corey Gardner and Kentucky Republican Rand Paul on an issue that is supported by a strong majority of Americans.
The latest Pew Research Center poll put the public’s support of legalization at 62% while Gallup’s most recent poll shows a whopping 66% of Americans want to see our great nation stop the failed and harmful policy of cannabis prohibition. Recently, relegalizing hemp brought together Republicans and Democrats, it’s time for cannabis to help heal our political divide.
The International Cannabis Business Conference will be covering all of the hot-button issues impacting the cannabis industry at our upcoming conference in San Francisco this February 7-8, 2019. Don’t miss your opportunity to hear the latest and network with top investors and entrepreneurs by securing your discounted early-bird discounted tickets by January 18th. After San Francisco, the ICBC will be heading to Barcelona, Berlin, Zurich, and Vancouver throughout 2019.