It’s not often we get to hear members of Congress talk openly and at length about cannabis. For years, the topic was a dangerous one, seen by most elected officials as more of a political liability than a way to win votes. But as popular support grows for legalization—or, at the very least, letting states chart their own course on cannabis—more and more officeholders are wading into the debate.
On Tuesday, four Congressional representatives—who represent both Democrats and Republicans and who hail from four states with drastically different cannabis laws—sat down for what was billed as an “open conversation about marijuana policy.” Over the course of about half an hour, they discussed the growing support for legalization, the threat of a federal crackdown by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Trump administration, and the need for Congress to update federal cannabis laws. The event was broadcast live on Facebook, and the representatives finished by taking questions from viewers.
Here’s the complete video:
The participants were:
- Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
- Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX)
- Rep. Tom Garrett (R-VA)
- Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI)
Jaclyn Finkel, executive director of Texas NORML, moderated the conversation.
Perhaps the most important takeaway of the talk was this: Contact your congressional representatives and encourage them to support protecting state cannabis laws! (Not sure who those people are? Use this handy tool to find out.)