Saturday, May 28, 2016

De-Criminalizing Marijuana-- Long Overdue


Lou and Lieu

The vote in the House to approve the ability of doctors in VA hospitals in states that have legalized medical marijuana-- 41 and counting-- to prescribe it to patients is a tiny baby step along the road to legalization. There have been many baby steps in recent years. But 14 congressmembers have decided to go for a giant step. I'll explain in a moment. These are the Members:
Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)
Jared Polis (D-CO)
Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
Ted Lieu (D-CA)
Barbara Lee (D-CA)
Mark Pocan (D-WI)
Dina Titus (D-NV)
Sam Farr (D-CA)
John Conyers (D-MI)
Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)
Steve Cohen (D-TN)
Denny Heck (D-WA)
Ed Perlmutter (D-CO)
So the giant step is a letter to President Obama asking him to remove marijuana from Schedule I and reassign it to Schedule III or lower, or consider de-scheduling altogether. Among other things, the letter also asks the Obama Administration to allow for more marijuana research and to fix the federal impediments to problems legalized marijuana companies are having with banking issues.

Ted Lieu, one of the leaders in legalization efforts: "It is far overdue for the Obama Administration to bring an end to a draconian marijuana policy. Forty-one states have legalized medical cannabis to varying degrees, and four states and the District of Columbia have fully legalized marijuana. As other states look to legalize this fall, including California, it makes zero sense for marijuana to still be placed on Schedule I, a group which includes dangerous substances such as heroin and LSD. With a majority of the American public now embracing legalization, I hope the federal government will follow their lead."

Ted endorsed Lou Vince in the neighboring 25th CD-- Simi Valley, Santa Clarita and the Antelope Valley. And Lou sees the way forward on marijuana very much the way Ted sees it. This morning he told us, "In my 21 years as a police officer, I've had more encounters with marijuana than probably any member of Congress. I know first hand how devastating it is to have marijuana listed as a Schedule I drug, right there with heroin. Any cop can tell you that there is a huge difference between dealing with marijuana-related crimes versus other drug crimes. Not only do we need to de-list marijuana, the federal government needs to stop interfering in states that have legalized medical marijuana and recreational marijuana and permit greater research into the benefits of marijuana. Unlike Congressman Knight, who panders to his base and completely disregards the evidence and research, I know that marijuana policy is completely broken. While Congressman Knight will never say it, the War on Drugs has failed and it needs to be re-thought. Our money is far-better spent on prevention and tackling addiction, not incarcerating our citizens and breaking up families over a little bit of pot. Those costs to society are enormous. I know that in November, I will personally be casting a vote in favor of legalizing marijuana here in California. I think the legalization of recreational marijuana is a decision best left to the states to implement for now and I will support that initiative in California."

If you'd like to help make sure Lou replaces crackpot wing-nut Steve Knight in Congress, please consider making a contribution to his campaign by clicking on the thermometer:
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