Article by Miranda Green, Decode DC
Two members of Congress from both sides of the political aisle are joining forces to create the Cannabis Caucus.
Reps. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., and Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., are creating a caucus in hopes of improving the odds to passing federal marijuana reform bills.
“There needs to be more strategy between us, those of us who are engaged in this. More of a long-term strategy,” Rohrabacher told DecodeDC . “[And] we need to have a vehicle in which people on the outside will be able to work through and sort of have a team effort from the inside and the outside.”
Rohrabacher says Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., is likely to emerge as the spokesman for the caucus, which he said will begin meeting in January.
The caucus will be made up of members of Congress who see marijuana reform as an important issue and it will focus on a bipartisan effort to pass bills, Rohrabacher said. He did not name lawmakers he expects to join.
“We want to make the states’ rights issue the core of what we are doing,” Rohrabacher said, referring to the argument that states should be able to choose for how to regulate and classify marijuana. “Republicans don’t see this as something that their constituents want and they may not be positive towards legalization of marijuana. But with the states’ rights issue, that’s how we’ve won the necessary votes from the Republican side in order to win the battle.”
Rohrabacher and Blumenauer have been vocal champions for years of marijuana decriminalization and a state’s right to choose how to regulate the drug.