Friday, May 30, 2014

Congress on the verge of doing something smart! You can help!

It's almost unbelievable when one hears so much about gridlock and increasing partisanship in the US Congress, but from time to time they get together and actually do something bipartisan and good for the country (two things which do not always correlate).   A couple years back they passed some really good bipartisan reforms to patent law, for example.  More is needed but they did it. 

Last night the House of Representatives approved an amendment to a bill the effect of which would prohibit the federal government from interfering with states' administration of medical marijuana laws.  Democrats overwhelming supported the bill; Republicans were mostly against but a quarter of them got on board, which was enough to put the amendment over the top.

The Senate version of the funding bill at issue does not currently have this provision, so either it would have to be added by amendment or at some point the two houses will hash (hah!) it out in a conference committee. 

The truth is I could don't care about marijuana, medical or otherwise.  But I do believe in federalism and even more I believe in allowing people to make their own choices.  This amendment is a step on both of those directions.

If you have a Republican Senator in your state, email him or her and state that you support this amendment (if you do, of course) and that you expect him or her, as a defender of states' rights, to support the initiative whatever he or she feels about marijuana personally.  If you have a Democratic Senator, email him or her too.

Also, drop an email to your Representative thanking or criticizing him or her for the prior vote on the amendment and asking him or her to stay or get on the right side of history if the funding bill goes to a conference committee.  Here is the tally of votes so you can see how your Representative voted.  Don't know who your Rep is?  Here is where you can find out. That last link will also take you straight to your Representative's page where you can find the appropriate email address.

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