GOP Congressman Blames Marijuana Legalization Delay On Democrats And Congressional Black Caucus

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A GOP congressman says Democrats—and specifically the Congressional Black Caucus—are to blame for Congress’s inability to pass a federal marijuana legalization bill. That’s despite the fact that nearly every Democrat in the House voted to legalize cannabis last year while all but five Republicans voted against it. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) talked about the history of drug criminalization and the congressional response to the opioid epidemic during an episode of his “Firebrand” podcast that was released last week. He lamented that the 1970 Controlled Substances Act made “marijuana and other psychedelics more illegal than hard drugs such as the illegal, opioid-based drug heroin.” The congressman, who was one of the handful of House Republicans who voted in favor of the comprehensive reform bill last year, has made clear that he wants to see prohibition ended. But he’s been critical of Democrats who’ve insisted that legalization measures contain specific equity provisions meant to address the collateral consequences of the drug war, suggesting that they may not be necessary and are holding up what could be a bipartisan-supported federal reform effort. He also argues that Democrats have been “fixated on opioids” in the 117th Congress—introducing numerous pieces of legislation aimed at mitigating the crisis—but they “can’t move the marijuana bill successfully.”

Gaetz pointed to polling showing that growing majorities of Americans support cannabis legalization, including most Republicans. “In the Congress, there are countless bills introduced to end the federal prohibition on marijuana,” he said. “Why is it still a Schedule I drug, making it more illegal than opioids?” “Answer? The Democrats, particularly the Congressional Black Caucus,” the congressman argued. What Gaetz seems to be hinting at is the internal party politics over equity provisions of legalization that may turn off GOP members and some moderate Democrats but are championed by…

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Source : GOP Congressman Blames Marijuana Legalization Delay On Democrats And Congressional Black Caucus

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