Republicans Push to Legalize Marijuana

Republicans Push to Legalize Marijuana

( – Politics and marijuana have been unlikely allies for centuries. Several of the Founding Fathers grew a variant called hemp, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Numerous politicians reported they smoked marijuana during Prohibition, including former New York Mayor and failed Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg.

Willie Nelson smoked it with then-President Jimmy Carter’s son Chip on the White House roof in the 1980s. President Bill Clinton reportedly smoked pot, but didn’t inhale.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) admitted during a presidential debate that he smoked pot “40 years ago.” He tweeted, “Sorry mom,” later that night. Former Republican House Speaker John Boehner reportedly receives millions of dollars appearing in online infomercials promoting the cannabis industry and lobbying legislators to legalize pot.

Two Republicans Support Legalizing Marijuana

On May 13, Newsweek reported that a couple of Republican lawmakers are carrying on that tradition by introducing a bill earlier this week to legalize and regulate marijuana at the federal level.

Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) and Rep. Don Young (R-AK) proposed the legislation claiming it was necessary to protect states’ rights and to preserve Americans’ “individual liberty.”

The bill includes several measures, including:

  1. Removing marijuana from the Federal Controlled Substances list;
  2. Granting authorization for the Department of Veterans Affairs to begin prescribing cannabis for medical purposes;
  3. Protecting financial institutions and other businesses working with marijuana growers and distributors in states where marijuana is still outlawed; and
  4. Creating a regulatory system similar to the one used to monitor and control alcohol.

Rep. Joyce issued a press release on May 12 discussing the “Common Sense Cannabis Reform for Veterans, Small Businesses and Medical Professionals Act.”

As he explained, “with more than 40 states taking action on [marijuana],” it’s high time Congress recognizes that prohibiting cannabis is no longer defensible nor representative of the will of the American people.

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