As Alaska watches its budding marijuana industry get off the ground, some congressional lawmakers are banding together to draw attention to issues facing the industry.
Today, they formed the Cannabis Caucus… and Congressman for All Alaska Don Young is a founding member.
Young joined Representatives Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), and Jared Polis (CO-02) earlier today at a press conference to discuss the role of the newly formed group and the future of cannabis policy.
Young cast his position as not so much about marijuana, but more about the relationship between states and the federal government:
“I’m here because I’m a conservative Republican, but I believe in states’ rights. Alaska voted to legalize it (marijuana) by a pretty large margin and I believe in states’ rights and that the federal government should stay out of it.”
When members of the new caucus were asked if they themselves had used marijuana, Young said, “I don’t use it (marijuana), don’t really believe in using it, but states have the right to make those decisions and people have the right to make those decisions.”
You can listen to Rep. Young’s thoughts on marijuana policy and his new caucus here:
As Roll Call reported earlier today, the Cannabis Caucus also hopes to influence the policy and enforcement position of the new Trump Administration:
“Under President Barack Obama, the Justice Department declined to interfere with states that had legalized marijuana, even though federal law defines it as an illegal drug.
“Rohrabacher said he doubted the new administration would target medical use, which has mainstream support, but recreational use could be vulnerable. A poll published in June by Quinniapiac University found that 89 percent of respondents supported medical use, while 54 percent supported legal recreational marijuana.
“There are some areas that we need to focus on and make sure the Trump administration doesn’t go wholeheartedly in the wrong direction,” Rohrabacher said.
“He and other members of the caucus pointed out that Trump said during his campaign that states should be allowed to make their own laws regarding marijuana use.”