On Thursday, February 16 at the U.S. Capitol, a formal bipartisan coalition of federal lawmakers launched the Congressional Cannabis Caucus to work on legislation related to marijuana legalization and regulation. The caucus was founded by Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Don Young (R-AK), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Jared Polis (D-CO). All four representatives are from states where recreational marijuana use has been legalized.
During a joint 30 minute press conference announcement, the lawmakers stated that there is a need for explicit rules and federal law to stop clashing with the growing number of state laws that allow for medical and recreational use.
Congressman Rohrabacher, who has backed the Rohrbacher-Farr amendment to the Consolidated Appropriations Act and H. R 975 stated that recently introduced H.R. 975 would make sure that those federal agencies have to treat marijuana businesses consistently with the state law where such business is situated. By changing policy on cannabis, “many people are going to live better lives, it is going to be better for our country, for our people, and it makes economic sense at a time when every penny must count.”
Congressman Blumenauer specified that the Caucus will focus on 4 critical areas -research, veterans access to medical marijuana, practical business needs (including revamping of IRC 280E), and banking regulations.
As the Caucus gets under way, look for more federal legislation to come to level the political imbalance between states and federal marijuana laws.