Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform

Editor: Douglas A. Berman
Moritz College of Law

Thursday, October 18, 2018

"Could Weed Be Federally Legal in 2019?"

WashingtonDC-Capitol-MarijuanaThe question in the title of this post is the headline of this new Rolling Stone article that effectively summarizes the lengthy memo circulated yesterday by Representative Earl Blumenauer written to House Democratic Leadership outlining his plan to legalize cannabis in the next Congress.  Here are excerpts from the article:

In honor of Canada’s first day with legal adult-use marijuana, an optimistic Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) sent a letter to House Democratic leadership Wednesday outlining a plan to advance federal legalization measures with the goal of federally legalizing cannabis by the end of 2019. “Congress is out of step with the American people and the states on cannabis,” he wrote. “There is no question: cannabis prohibition will end. Democrats should lead the way.”

Blumenauer’s plan would begin as early as next January, when he says the key to advancing some of the 37 cannabis bills sitting in Congress is to have the individual issues evaluated by the distinct congressional committees. For example, the House Judiciary Committee could hold a hearing on descheduling marijuana; the House Veterans Affairs Committee could hold a hearing on veterans’ access to medical pot; the House Financial Services Committee could discuss the current barring of cannabis businesses from federally backed banks; and the House Ways and Means Committee could have a hearing on the unequal taxation of pot businesses.

Additionally, Blumenauer writes that these committees should start “marking up bills in their jurisdiction[s] that would responsibly narrow the marijuana policy gap — the gap between federal and state marijuana laws,” using examples like the protection of employment, protection of private property from civil asset forfeiture and the removal of barriers to marijuana research. He also includes, most importantly, the need to “address the racial injustices that resulted from the unequal application of federal marijuana laws” — or, in other words, a social-justice element that could begin to correct the racist tide of the 40-year-old War on Drugs.

By August, Blumenauer believes, the House can pass a package of marijuana laws to address these concerns, and the bills can move to the Senate. The Oregon representative hopes that, given the increasing public support for marijuana — he cites a poll that 69 percent of registered voters support legalizing pot — the public will be able to pressure the senior body of Congress into passing the bill....

On a call with reporters, Blumenauer said that he believes key members of the prohibitionist movement — including Texas Rep. Pete Sessions and House Majority Leader Paul Ryan — won’t be returning next session, and with those opponents gone, the cannabis movement will be able to advance. He has been speaking with senior members of the committees, he said, and is confident that some will be able to get these specific areas of cannabis law on the agenda next year. “The outline is ambitious,” Blumenauer admitted. “It’s aspirational, but it’s entirely within our capacity.”

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/marijuana_law/2018/10/could-weed-be-federally-legal-in-2019.html

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Comments

i believe that legalizing marijuana on the federal level is really the right thing to do and my choice is to consume opiates for pain management or marijuana and marijuana not only controls my pain longer but it also completely demishes my depression, helps me with my eating issues and i am able to work full time and without feeling sluggish and it makes absolutely no sense at criminalizing a natural herb that helps so many for such vast reasons, i use to drink alcohol non stop, then crack cocaine years ago but now i no longer indulge in either one of those anymore, i recovered from two broken necks and if it weren't for marijuana by now i would easily have been deeply addicted to opiates and alcohol and changes are in jail or prison as i use to be, i haven't had any issues with crimes drugs incarceration fights arguments or any negativity at all since i went too smoking marijuana in 2009,

Posted by: clay poward | Oct 22, 2018 11:51:35 AM

Goddamn government! Legalize or weed, or we will kill yall

Posted by: Randall | Oct 23, 2018 1:59:46 PM

*our, got me so damn worked up, spelt wrong! Goddamn!

Posted by: Randall | Oct 23, 2018 2:00:31 PM

Legalize our Weed, it's our only need!

Posted by: Randall | Oct 23, 2018 2:01:21 PM

Legalize our Weed, it's our only need!

Posted by: Randall | Oct 23, 2018 2:01:24 PM

Randall, you're a fucking idiot....

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