Thank you for contacting me about the Marijuana Justice Act. I'm an original cosponsor of this legislation that would legalize marijuana at the federal level, reverse decades of failed drug policy, and prioritize communities of color in addressing the effects of the War on Drugs.
In 1973, as a young legislator in Oregon, I supported the decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana. This law was the first of its kind in the United States. That same year, I strongly supported legislation to legalize adult-use of marijuana, another Oregon first. Although this bill did not pass, it launched my commitment to ending our country's disastrous experiment with marijuana prohibition.
For more than 40 years, I've worked to end the failed federal laws that criminalize the use of marijuana. We are on the right side of history, and the majority of Americans now agree with us, including Republicans. In 2017, I established the Cannabis Caucus in the House. This is a bipartisan forum for members to discuss, learn, and work together to establish a better and more rational approach to federal cannabis policies. This caucus is the first of its kind and another sign that we can make progress to reform our drug laws.
I'm also working with Senator Wyden and we've introduced the most comprehensive marijuana legislative package to date that would bring the federal government in line with the will of the American people. These bills would protect state marijuana laws and offer a responsible pathway for the legalization and regulation of cannabis.
This is our path forward. The federal government should get out of the way and allow states to decide if and how they want to legalize cannabis. Ultimately, Congress should end the war on drugs once and for all and focus on shutting down the illegal market and drug cartels, criminal justice reform and addiction and recovery. If you would like to receive updates on this topic and others as we tackle these challenges, please sign up for Earl-news at http://blumenauerforms.house.gov/forms/form/?ID=1.
Again, thank you for contacting me. I look forward to hearing from you in the future.
Member of Congress