Maryland Congressman Andy Harris has been a thorn in the sides of marijuana reform supporters since he was first elected. Representative Harris has used his position in Congress to try to thwart reform efforts in Washington D.C. specifically, first trying to derail decriminalization in Washington D.C., and then once that didn’t work he focused his efforts towards fighting marijuana legalization in Washington D.C.. Andy Harris has led the charge in a big way against marijuana reform in Congress, and it sounds like not only is he obviously on the wrong side of history, but that voters are likely to take him to task for that position.
Andy Harris is up for re-election this year, and according to a recent poll, is likely on his way out. One of his opponents, Michael Smigiel, supports the will of D.C. voters and thinks that Andy Harris was blatantly wrong for trying to stand in the way of what D.C. voters clearly wanted when they approved marijuana legalization by a wide margin. Mr. Smigiel was way out in front according to the previously mentioned poll. Per The Washingtonian:
What could it cost Representative Andy Harris to be Congress’s leading voice against DC’s legalization of marijuana? Perhaps his career in national politics, according to a new poll of primary voters in the conservative Republican’s Maryland district which shows him losing badly to one of his three challengers.
Michael Smigiel, a former member of the Maryland House of Delegates from the Eastern Shore, nabbed 58 percent in the poll taken last week, with Harris only pulling in half as much support at 29 percent. And Harris, who was first elected in the 2010 Tea Party wave, appears to have lost favor with his constituents precisely because of his attempts to derail DC’s decriminalization and later legalization of marijuana—59 percent of those surveyed said that Harris’s meddling in a local jurisdiction’s affairs made them less likely to vote for him.
“He says federal law trumps state law,” Smigiel says in a phone interview. “That’s absolutely wrong. Even though Congress looks over what the District does, the voters went to the polls.”
This is a very big deal. If Andy Harris isn’t re-elected, it increases the chances that Washington D.C. will be able to eventually have a regulated recreational market. It will also increase the momentum in Congress to end federal marijuana prohibition altogether. If you live in Maryland, this is your chance to oust a horrible Congressman, and if you don’t live in Maryland, you should support Representative Harris’ opponent(s) because as we have seen with his opposition to D.C.’s efforts, Andy Harris will try to prevent marijuana reform in your area if he has any say in the matter. There’s going to be some very important votes coming up in Congress, and it would help if Andy Harris wasn’t in office to cast his automatic anti-marijuana vote.