Members Of Congress Should Visit Marijuana Businesses Together To Reduce Partisanship, House Committee Witness Testifies

MJ moment

Marijuana legalization is an increasingly popular issue among the American public—but in Congress the two major parties are still largely divided when it comes to cannabis. At a recent House committee hearing, however, a witness proposed a unique solution to partisan bickering: ideologically opposed members should bond with one another while visiting marijuana businesses. That’s what one Canadian television program did in 2017, bringing together Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith and Conservative MP Garnett Genuis to tour Tweed Main Street, a major marijuana producer. This took place prior to Canada federally legalizing the plant in 2018, when only medical cannabis was legal. “There’s a show in Canada called ‘Political Blind Date,’ and it’s actually pretty successful,” Amanda Ripley, an investigative reporter, explained before the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress at a hearing last week. ‘They take politicians across the aisle and they spend the day together. They don’t know who it’s going to be until they get there, and then they do something together that’s relevant,” she said. “If one is against legalizing marijuana and the other is for it, they visit a marijuana processing factory.” “It’s a little cheesy. But actually, because it’s one-on-one, it’s harder to be really demeaning,” she said, “and even though there’s cameras there, it’s a one-on-one encounter, and there are these moments that are kind of good television, believe it or not.” Ripley was making the case that these kinds of encounters—whether they’re televised and for entertainment or not—can bridge political divides and foster constructive conversations between lawmakers who might not otherwise see eye-to-eye on certain issues. That could prove especially useful in the U.S. Congress when it comes to marijuana, as recent polls have found that a bipartisan majority of Americans favor ending prohibition—including majority or plurality support across party lines.…

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Source : Members Of Congress Should Visit Marijuana Businesses Together To Reduce Partisanship, House Committee Witness Testifies

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