Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) has demonstrated tremendous leadership at the national level in our fight to end the failed and harmful policy of cannabis prohibition. Representative Blumenauer has been fighting the good fight for over 3 decades now and he is as energized as ever. He voted to decriminalize personal amounts of marijuana as a state legislator, when Oregon was a true trail blazer as the first state to decriminalize marijuana. Today, he is introducing common-sense legislation that will create jobs, generate revenue and better prioritize our limited resources.
Besides introducing important pieces of legislation, the congressman is working to help educate the public and policy makers on the issue. Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Jared Polis (D-CO) have also co-authored a new report "The Path Forward: Rethinking Federal Marijuana Policy." The document reviews the history of marijuana prohibition in the United States, current conflicts between state and federal law, and outlines several opportunities to reform and clarify marijuana law at the federal level. Congressman Blumenauer has also posted a FAQ on marijuana and marijuana legislation on his website.
Please read the message from Congressman Blumenaur below, spread the word about his leadership and encourage your elected officials to support the congressman's sensible marijuana law reforms.
I wanted to take a minute to fill you in on the very quickly moving and changing landscape of marijuana legislation in Congress.
Halfway through the first session of Congress, a series of initiatives designed to reform, modernize, and rationalize our national drug policies are building momentum. We're coming across the aisle in response to the tide of states (soon to be 21 and the District of Columbia) that have passed medical marijuana programs. Voters in Washington and Colorado have already approved marijuana for adult, recreational use. There's real movement on this issue and Americans are paying attention to it.
They say "lead, follow, or get out of the way," and it's time for the federal government to do just that. We should start by removing marijuana from the list of Schedule I or II substances under the Controlled Substances Act; treating marijuana business owners who are complying with state law like all other legal businesses; and eventually moving toward taxing and regulating marijuana like cigarettes and alcohol.
I have several bills out that will move us toward these goals and work to eliminate the state/federal conflict of laws that has created this legal grey area.
Congressman Jared Polis and I have introduced a package of legislation (H.R. 499 and H.R. 502) that would create a tax and regulatory framework at the federal level. I have introduced legislation (H.R. 689) to ensure that the federal government does not interfere with medical marijuana patients and businesses as they work to deliver medicine safely in compliance with state law to over one million people. I have also recently introduced H.R. 2240, the Small Business Tax Equity Act, to allow marijuana businesses to deduct their expenses from their taxes like all other businesses. The fact that they are unable to do so inhibits their ability to function safely and securely.
Other legislation would protect law-abiding marijuana business owners from having their assets seized, and would change our insane policy that hemp products can be sold in the United States, but growing hemp is illegal.
Whether one is approaching this issue from a position of protecting individual liberties, fighting injustice in our criminal law system, respecting states' rights, or acknowledging the will of the people, there can be broad consensus to reform and retool our national approach to marijuana policy.
I'm always happy to get on the phone and talk about these issues or meet in person if it's at all convenient.
Keep up the fight,
I am so honored to have Congressman Earl Blumenauer as my congressional representative. If we elect more politicians like him, this senseless war on cannabis can finally come to an end. You can read more about Rep. Blumenauer's work at www.blumenauer.house.gov.