Congressman Don Young, soon to be the longest serving Republican House member in history, discusses the ins and outs of cannabis legalization from an Alaskan Republican perspective. He sees the need for more debate on the issue to sort out and solve some problems, which the STATES Act provides the opportunity to do. With the support that legalization has with the public, it gives the chance to bring people together and provide benefits regarding agriculture, medicine, crime rates, and business.
Congressman Danny Heck lays out the high level of activity regarding various cannabis discussions that have led to an expansion mode in a number of states in the country. He talks about the financial side of cannabis legalization looking at the Safe Banking Act, which not only reduces regulatory uncertainty and reputational risk for banks, but even more importantly addresses public safety. He goes on to talk about the historical events and perceptions that have shaped the political environment and culture of Washington today.
US Congressman Tom McClintock returns to talk about his views on various legislative items relating to cannabis. These bills are not only promising for businesses and productivity of the country, but also support the freedom of individuals to weigh risks and make their own decisions without federal government interference. However, there is still significant push-back from many members across the isle on what he believes should not be a partisan issue.
Steve Cohen talked about how the next congress is likely to handle everything from cannabis to healthcare, infrastructure, job creation, ethics, and education. Decriminalizing cannabis and keeping it relegated to states issues is looking increasingly possible with all the new bills coming in. Cohen has supported and even created similar legislation for decades, before it was mainstream, and continues to be on the forefront of the issue.
Congressman Ro Khanna looks at the medical, economic, and racial justice issues of cannabis legalization. The Marijuana Justice Act addresses these issues by expunging convictions and removing cannabis from Schedule I. In general, Khanna sees Cannabis as one of those issues where a majority of the american public wants something that Washington isn’t doing, leading to frustration and anger about the failures of the democratic process. The changing House and possible presidential change in the near future provide opportunities for faster and more effective implementation to remedy this.
Congressman David Joyce talks about the various pieces of new legislation that have been slowly but surely advancing cannabis. However, there is still much to be done, especially in educating the opposition about the benefits of cannabis for states rights, businesses, and even drug abuse in order to form a bi-partisan coalition. A common comparison of cannabis to harder drugs should be dispelled through showing how it does not hold the same risks, and legalization can even help alleviate the risks of harder drugs regarding crime and substance abuse.
In Congressman Blumenauer’s third visit, just a day after the Farm Bill passed, he talks about both its success regarding hemp as well as its lack of addressing remaining issues facing American farmers like nutrition, extreme weather, and tariffs. He also discusses some other bills already teed up for congress regarding research, veterans, and banking. Even broader reform in these areas is likely to happen in all of North America in the coming years, potentially alleviating problems of illegal drug trade and opioid crisis while also saving billions of dollars.
Colorado governor John Hickenlooper looks back at the path of legalization in Colorado, as well as forward at what he thinks will happen to the industry in the long term. While Colorado might have gotten ahead of itself with some things like edibles, it still showed that many big fears like spikes in teenage consumption, driving while high, and emergency room visits didn’t really become reality. This is good news as we continue forward focusing on the differences between the politics of determining the best interests of communities and the governance of efficiently implementing policies for those interests.
Congressman Carlos Curbelo returns to talk about a range of topics concerning cannabis legalization, reform, and legislation. He has been labelled the “fourth most bipartisan congressman” due to his affinity for compromise, negotiating, dialogue, and working with those across the table to move things forward. In the increasingly divided political climate of today, he talks about the importance of maintaining these qualities to promote long-term goals regarding not just cannabis, but also some other contentious topics.
Congressman Dana Rorbacher is back for the third time to look back at his history on the front lines of cannabis legislation reform. Over the past 30 years in office he has been involved in the Cold War, technology issues, the commercial space industry, and foreign policy. But cannabis is a very special issue to him because it has such a dramatic and personal impact on people’s lives right here in our country. It’s about more than just criminal justice or medical breakthroughs; it’s about personal freedom of choice to decide what to do with their own lives