The Cannabis Caucus: Meet the Lawmakers Backing Federal Legalization
With the cannabis industry facing potential stiff resistance from the current United States presidential administration—including Attorney General Jeff Sessions—there remains strong support for a bipartisan “Cannabis Caucus.” This caucus hopes to both resurrect previous legislation and introduce new bills centered around advancing the legalization of marijuana.
Despite the hurdles, the Cannabis Caucus says support for their cause continues to swell.
“This Congress is going to be a little better than the last Congress, and the last Congress was better than the one before that,” quipped Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon recently in an interview with The Cannabist— “It’s very interesting watching the momentum build.”
Blumenauer is joined on the Cannabis Caucus by co-chairs Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colorado; Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-California; and Rep. Don Young, Alaska.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon
First elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1996, Earl Blumenauer created his own role within Congress, acting as the chief spokesperson for Livable Communities.
From his initial election through 2007, he also served on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Additionally, he has sat on the Foreign Affairs Committee (2001 to 2007) and acted as vice-chair of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming (2007 to 2010).
Currently, Rep. Blumenauer sits on the Ways and Means Committee as well as the subcommittees on Health, Trade, and Social Security.
Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colorado
First elected in 2008 to Colorado’s Second Congressional District, Polis leverages his experience in the public and private sector to hold roles on the Committee on Rules, Committee on Ethics, and Committee on Education and the Workforce. Additionally, he’s a member of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-California
Before earning his congressional seat in 1988, Rohrabacher served as Special Assistant to President Reagan and acted as one of his senior speechwriters for seven years. The congressman even aided directly with the shaping of the Reagan Doctrine.
Now, Rohrabacher serves as Vice Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, as well as the Chairman of the Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats Subcommittee of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Rep. Don Young, Alaska
Initially sworn into the 93rd Congress via special election in March 1973, Don Young is now the first-ranking Republican member (and 3rd overall) of the House of Representatives, and is now serving in his 23rd term as Alaska’s lone House Representative.
Previously, Young served as Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee (1995 to 2001) and the Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (2001 to 2007).
Together, the above men look to build continued support for a cause we can all get behind.