By Keith Mansur
Oregon Cannabis Connection
In a rare bipartisan moment, two Democrat and two Republican Congressmen held a Facebook live event to discuss marijuana policy on capitol hill. Democratic Representatives, Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Beto O’Rourke of Texas were joined by Republican Representatives Justin Amash of Michigan and Tom Garrett Jr. of Virginia in a brief but important discussing surrounding marijuana policy in the United States.
They discussed federal provisions protecting states, bi-partisan efforts in the house, and a number of other subjects during the 30 minute live broadcast, and they also took questions from a few of those participating online. The event was hosted by Jax Finkel, Executive Director of Texas NORML and it was held in Congressman O’Rourke’s office in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington D.C.
Of the four participating in the event, only Rep. Blumenauer is from a legal cannabis adult-use state. Rep. Amash represents Michigan, which has allowed medical cannabis since 2008, and Rep. Garrett is from Virginia where they are just starting to implement a hyper-restrictive medical cannabis system. Of course Texas is a prohibition state with no provision for either medical or adult-use cannabis.
All four are supportive of medical marijuana and adult use. Their discussion touched on a number of important topics including personal experiences with pharmacists in regards to their positions on legalization and regulation of cannabis. Beto O’Rourke spoke of a pharmacist that originally voiced his disapproval with his marijuana policy stance, explaining:
“I had a similar experience [as Rep. Garrett] with a pharmacist in El Paso who was mortified that I had proposed ending the prohibition on marijuana, and said that’s a reckless policy idea. And then, had a experience in his life where his wife’s mother was at the end of her life and battling the cancer and they had prescribed everything for her cancer and her pain … and, it wasn’t until a family member had procured marijuana for her, which is against the law in Texas, but all of the sudden she began to eat again, she was happier, and she was able to spend those last weeks of her life enjoying her life and her family. He said that converted him.”
Watch the entire video below.
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