Friday, July 03, 2015

Legalization Of Medical Marijuana Is Inevitable-- But There Is Still Money To Be Made By Politicians Opposing It


When Congress legalizes medical marijuana-- and that's coming-- dozens and dozens of ineffective, highly toxic prescription drugs, many with ghastly side effects, will cease providing bounties to the industrial drug makers that manufacture and market them. These pharmaceutical conglomerates have appealed-- so far successfully-- to Congress to at least wait for them to make some minor, inconsequential change to marijuana before they legalize it. That way they can patent and sell some iteration of marijuana as if they invented it.

Several Members of Congress have been working hard to legalize medical marijuana. Jared Polis (D-CO), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CO) and Ted Lieu (D-CA) have been in the forefront this year. Rohrabacher's legislation to prevent the federal government from using funds to come between a doctor prescribing marijuana and his patient passed 242-186 on May 30. Rohrabacher managed to round up 67 Republicans to join 175 Democrats (all but 10) to pass the legislation. So who opposed it?

Who would be against medical professionals prescribing a harmless, natural drug-- in use for thousands of years-- to suffering patients? Well, in short, uptight assholes unaware that the world has moved on since the days of Reefer Madness and, of course, Members of Congress who are paid off by Big Pharma. Since 1990 Big Pharma has spent over $166 million bribing federal candidates. The dozen current Members of the House who took in the most are:
Anna Eshoo (D-CA)- $1,267,371- supports
Fred Upton (R-MI)- $1,145,306- supports
John Boehner (R-OH)- $1,056,680- opposes
Joe Barton (R-TX)- $923,688- opposes
Frank Pallone (D-NJ)- $864,529- supports
Steny Hoyer (D-MD)- $780,772- supports
Michael Burgess (R-TX)- $652,174- opposes
Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ)- $639,843- opposes
John Shimkus (R-IL)- $639,143- opposes
Joe Pitts (R-PA)- $634,002- opposes
Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)- $629,900- opposes
James Clyburn (D-SC)- $616,881- supports
I haven't run into a Democratic congressional challenger this year who doesn't support legalization. All the Blue America-endorsed candidates, of course, back legalization. For example, the Blue America candidate in WA-08, a suburban and exurban district east of Seattle, Jason Ritchie, has been an outspoken proponent of legalization-- as have the voters in his district, which voted for it as a ballot initiative. The current congressman, Dave Reichert, doesn't care. He keeps voting NO to every legalization proposal that comes before Congress.

"In 1998 the people of my State of Washington voted to become one of the first states to legalize medical marijuana," said Ritchie after Reichert's most recent betrayal.
In 2012, they again set a precedent by voting overwhelmingly to legalize marijuana commercial sales. Our State Legislature responded and set up a reasonable regulatory and tax structure. This has happened without incident, except for intransigent Republicans like Rep. Dave Reichert who continue to insist their values should supersede the will of the people. His arrogant and baseless opposition only serves to marginalize him from the people he purports to represent. I strongly support marijuana legalization in Washington State and look forward to ending mass incarcerations for non-violent drug possession.
Jason can use some help in his uphill race to replace Reichert, who has taken $216,917 from Big Pharma since he was first elected. If you'd like to lend him some support, you can do it here.

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