Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), a long-standing backer of marijuana legalization, released a memo, Blueprint to Legalize Marijuana, that outlines actions that the Democratic party must take to end marijuana prohibition in the U.S. in 2019.
“Congress is out of step with the American people and the states on cannabis. We have an opportunity to correct course if Democrats win big in November,” Blumenauer told Forbes. “There’s no question: cannabis prohibition will end. Democrats should lead the way.”
Bipartisan support for marijuana law reform is steadily increasing, and Blumenauer hopes that the new session beginning in January will allow hearings regarding marijuana law reform to occur rather quickly.
He said, “Almost every standing House committee has jurisdiction over some aspect of marijuana policy. Within the first six months of the new Congress, these committees should hold hearings, bring in experts, and discuss potential policy fixes.”
Some examples of hearings are:
- House Financial Services Committee hearing regarding access to banks for legal marijuana businesses
- House Veterans Affairs Committee for veteran access to medical marijuana
- Descheduling marijuana within the House Judiciary Committee
Blumenauer is calling on party members to introduce legislation to the House floor no later than August 2019. By September 2019, he wants to see efforts to completely deschedule marijuana taking place.
“Marijuana will be legal at the federal level, and states allowed to responsibly regulate its use,” said Blumenauer. “The federal government will not interfere with state efforts to responsibly regulate marijuana use within their borders. If we fail to act swiftly, I fear as the 2020 election approaches, Donald Trump will claim credit for our work in an effort to shore up support—especially from young voters. Democrats must seize the moment.”