Jun 162013
 June 16, 2013

Earl Blumenauer marijuanaCongressman 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,

Earl Blumenauer

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.

Source: National Cannabis Coalitionmake a donation

About Anthony Johnson

Anthony Johnson is the executive director of the Oregon Cannabis Industry Association and director of New Approach Oregon, the PAC working to end cannabis prohibition for all adults in Oregon. In addition to helping organize the International Cannabis Business Conference & the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference, he also serves as a Board Member of the National Cannabis Coalition, working to legalize cannabis across the country and Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, an organization specifically working to end cannabis prohibition in Missouri.As President of the University of Missouri Law School ACLU Chapter, Anthony co-authored the measures that legalized medical cannabis possession and decriminalized personal possession for all adults within the city limits of Columbia, Missouri, in 2004. Following law school, Anthony practiced criminal defense for two years before working full time in the political field to help improve and protect civil liberties.You can follow Anthony on Twitter and also friend him on Facebook by following the links below as he posts mostly about civil liberties and politics with dashes of sports, music, movies and whatnot.
  • David_Rogers_Hunt

    How about publicizing the names of Federal Congressmen (Democrats now days, I hear) who are blocking these legislative reforms? We can’t vote them out of office if we don’t know who they are.

    People, who would NEVER want an alcoholic to go to jail simply for alcohol abuse, have no trouble at all sanctioning jailing casual marijuana users without having to offer any explanations as to why jailing alcoholics is inappropriate, while jailing marijuana users (often permanently ruining their lives forever) is okay with them. Why is this grossly discriminatory behaviour tolerated?

    For example, why aren’t stories like (http://youtu.be/pAjxth6djfs) getting more front page notice. Don’t blame the lack of coverage on the MSM. This is the Marijuana communities’ responsibility to raise a stink about this sort of everyday horror experienced in our supposedly free country.

  • workingpoor

    There are several republican reps on board with this as well. Legalization is going main stream. This is not a partisan issue. You will find members of both parties who are both for and against legalizing pot.

  • dgand

    I agree with him 100%. Lets make him president. To me he sounds like a leader. Like a leader i want to vote for.