Why Representatives of States with legalized marijuana must introduce and enact federal legislation repealing federal criminalization of marijuana.
State Enacted Legalization of Medical & Recreational Marijuana
Beginning in California in 1996, the people of the United States have steadily and increasingly supported the legalization of marijuana.
This process has often been painstakingly long and riff with obstacles. To describe all the shenanigans lawmakers, law enforcement and lobbyists have done to try and stifle this ongoing political revolution would be impossible to present here in detail. Suffice to say, the people have persevered and prevailed.
Currently, there are 28 States and the District of Columbia that have legalized marijuana either for medicinal or recreational use or both. That’s over half the nation.
Despite this, federal law has failed to reflect the clear message being sent to Washington by over half the country's citizens, which is;
THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE DO NOT SUPPORT FEDERAL LAWS THAT ALLOW FOR THE CRIMINALIZATION OR PROHIBITION OF MARIJUANA USE.
Instead of listening and taking action on the people's voice, the federal government continues to support a path that elevates federal policies over the people's will by insisting marijuana continue to be classified as a Schedule 1 drug and its possession results in unquestioned criminal penalties.
In August of 2016, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency stated, “It will keep marijuana illegal for any purpose”. As of yesterday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced the Trump administration is aiming to reverse the Obama administration’s policy of lax enforcement of federal marijuana laws.
This deep-seated conflict between federal and State law regarding marijuana use, whether medicinally or recreationally, has obviously reached a head and it’s time to address it once and for all.
States With Legalized Marijuana Fail To Be Represented on Federal Level
Despite the fact that 28 States and D.C. have legalized marijuana due to voter-approved legislation, federal representatives have failed to introduce, support, advocate, or lobby for federal legislation that reflects the will of their constituents in any manner.
Throughout the last twenty years, those elected to the House and the Senate have acted as though their positions are both separate and removed from the people they are suppose to be representing. Mostly, these elected officials have either been silent or worse, remained staunch supporters of federal laws that are in direct conflict with their own State Constitution.
This failure to represent and defend their constituents should not be taken lightly.
While it is obvious that those who fail to represent their own citizens is a serious matter from a Constitutional perspective, there is an equally grave issue at stake, that being; by failing to initiate or support changes in federal legislation from the current criminal penalties associated with federal laws on marijuana possession, these elected officials are actively endangering the people they are elected to represent and protect.
As it stands, the current system subjects residents of these States to inherent and unavoidable conflicts with law enforcement agencies and officials, makes them vulnerable to seizures of property and liberty, and institutes federal criminal penalties for activities that are perfectly legal in the State where that person resides.
Officials Elected to Represent Must Represent
For too long the American people have forked over their hard earned money to pay the salaries of elected officials to represent them, only to be ignored or snubbed. If an elected official refuses to represent the will of the people, then whom are they representing?
If Congress refuses to represent their constituents while simultaneously accepting public money for duties they refuse to carry out, they should, at very least, be removed from office for misrepresentation and fraud.
There are no gray areas with respect to the will of the voters in States that have legalized marijuana for medical and/or recreational use.
There is no debate about whether or not people in those States support this position; they have legally codified it in to their State Constitutions.
Since there is no question as to where the majority of voters stand in States with legalized marijuana of some form, there is also no question what their federal representatives are required to do – represent the people who elected them or face removal from office.
The End Game
If you live in a State that has legalized marijuana in some manner, contact your Congress persons and Senators to demand action NOW!
At minimum, this action should include the introduction, advocacy and support of federal legislation that:
1) Decriminalizes the use and possession of marijuana,
2) Removes marijuana from its current federal classification as a Schedule 1 drug,
3) Removes any financial restraints or prohibitions against banking institutions for business transactions related directly or indirectly to industries associated with marijuana,
4) Institutes the retroactive elimination of all fines, fees and sentences issued nationally by the justice system on the general population regarding marijuana related offenses.
Enough is enough. The people have spoken, clearly and legally.
It’s time for lawmakers to respect what we have said and
decriminalize marijuana once and for all.