It has been nine months since U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole Memo, a non-binding set a guidelines that allowed states to experiment with legal marijuana, and everyone from leaders in Congress to pot advocates are still babbling on about it. But, despite the recent development of the Marijuana Policy Coordination Committee, a group established to reverse public opinion on cannabis in America, no significant changes in federal marijuana enforcement have come from this action.
Nevertheless, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state, who has been mostly anti-marijuana during her time on Capitol Hill, recently told the Spokesman-Review that while she still has “concerns” about recreational marijuana, she is “against” Sessions’ decision to toss the Cole Memo in the trash. “We get to see the laboratories of democracy at work,” she said.
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Yet, McMorris Rodger still isn’t willing to tender her support for a measure designed to end marijuana prohibition at the national level. She told the new source that she needed “more information” before taking that leap.
Still, cannabis advocates like Tom Angell believe the comments made by McMorris Rodgers signal progress in the grand scheme of national cannabis reform. Since the Congresswoman chairs the House Republican Conference and is “responsible for electing the House Republican leadership, approving GOP Member committee assignments, managing leadership-driven floor debates, and executing a communications strategy, she may, perhaps, use her position to assist in putting more pro-pot leadership in place and bring about some real developments for the issue.
But that is highly unlikely.
The Congresswoman’s latest interview may imply a change of heart with respect to marijuana, yet McMorris Rodgers is no friend to cannabis. She is not a true fan of recreational marijuana. This skepticism, she says, is over “the impact it may have on children.”
Not only that, but she has consistently voted against allowing doctors with Veterans Affairs to discuss medical marijuana with their patients. She has also voted against banking protections and industrial hemp.
But it’s an election year and she represents one of the first states to fully legalize marijuana – a $1 billion industry statewide. For her to even suggest that she sides with Attorney General Sessions’ decision to eliminate the Cole Memo from the equation would be political suicide. If that’s no enough, her opponent Democrat Lisa
Brown is in favor of implementing a taxed and regulated marijuana market nationwide.
“But it is nonetheless remarkable that a Republican lawmaker outranked by only the speaker, majority leader and majority whip would call into question a major move by a presidential administration of her own party to rescind cannabis protections instituted by the former Democratic administration,” Angell wrote. “And it is notable, in light of her voting record and the position of other GOP House leaders, that she would voice even tempered support for letting states implement their marijuana laws without federal interference.”
We’re not buying it. After all, actions speak louder than words. Until the Congresswoman’s voting record shows that she is ready to embrace marijuana, not continue to sandbag it, she should be considered one of the enemies. If she is reelected, lets watch and see how she proceeds with the issue once it comes time to get down to business again on Capitol Hill. We’re betting the same McMorris Rodgers anti-pot rhetoric is to come.