Formerly Anti-Marijuana Congressman Cosponsors Comprehensive Legalization Bill

Formerly Anti-Marijuana Congressman Cosponsors Comprehensive Legalization Bill

A bill to federally legalize marijuana and implement restorative justice policies gained a notable cosponsor on Wednesday: Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA), who only recently backed cannabis reform after being a long-time opponent. The congressman signed on to the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, raising the total number of cosponsors to 67. The legislation, which was approved by the House Judiciary Committee last year, is soon expected to be taken up in another panel, Energy and Commerce, that Kennedy sits on. This latest action stands in stark contrast to the congressman’s previous record. Not only did Kennedy unsuccessfully campaign against legalization in his home state of Massachusetts, he voted against modest bipartisan House measures such as an amendment allowing veterans to access medical cannabis and another shielding children and families who use CBD from federal enforcement. He also received criticism in 2018 when he suggested to Vox’s Ezra Klein that marijuana should remain criminalized so that it’d be easier for law enforcement to search people’s vehicles. “If you smelled [marijuana] in a car, you could search a car,” he said. “When it became decriminalized, you couldn’t do that.” But after acknowledging the political untenability his anti-legalization stance at…

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Source : MJ moment
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