Protecting the right of the states to regulate the cannabis industry within their own borders is a bi-partisan cause. As Mic pointed out this week, a number of rising stars and well-known staples of the Republican party are now fighting to protect the principles of federalism and the 10th amendment of the constitution. As Mic points out –
Meet the Congressional Cannabis Caucus
Marijuana isn't just a matter for state governments, though. Because it remains prohibited at the federal level, any state that regulates its sale is caught in an uneasy limbo, overseeing a technically illegal — and lucrative, and job-creating — industry.
At least four members of the U.S. House of Representatives are very eager to change that, and two of them are Republicans from conservative strongholds that already enjoy legal weed.
February 2017 saw the creation of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, a coalition that includes Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California's 48th District, centered in heavily Republican Orange County, and Rep. Don Young, Alaska's sole voice in the House. The two conservatives are teaming up with Democratic Reps. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon's 3rd District and Jared Polis of Colorado's 2nd District.
Their goal: to protect compliant marijuana businesses as well as their patients and customers.
"We're stepping forward together to say we've got to make major changes in our country's attitude toward cannabis," Rohrabacher said in a press conference announcing the group's formation and agenda. "And if we do, many people are going to live better lives, it's going to be better for our country, better for people, and it makes economic sense at a time when every penny must count for government."