During a time of immense cannabis law reforms and major shifts in public opinion in favor of such, emerges now a throwback to the dark ages of Americaâs war on some drugs from the 1980s: The Congressional Anti-Cannabis Caucus.
Escaping any real media attention last week was the formulation of a new anti-marijuana caucus in the House of Representatives. As reported in Roll Call on July 13, a press conference was held with former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Darrell Issa (R-CA) that seeks to re-commit the Congress to the status quo of âfighting a war on drugsâ.
The photograph displayed on Roll Call (which is a subscription publication) of the press conference prominently featured an anti-medical marijuana prop (made from a shoe box).
Heard on the Hill: Issa clutched a prop, a box that represented a shipment of medical marijuana. On the box was the handwritten phrase âMedical Rxâ and a drawing of a pot leaf. âŠ
The newly formed House Drug Task Force elected ardent anti-cannabis congressman John Mica (R-FL), who, according to the Deseret News, complained that the Obama administration âseeks to shut the war on drugs down.â And that, âthe record to date is dismal with the demotion of Drug Czarâs office to a sub-Cabinet position, the announced support for needle exchange programs, the decriminalization of illegal narcotics and other measures that would weaken current national anti-drug efforts.â
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Deseret News reports that the task forceâwhich currently only has Republican membersâhas four core initiatives: stopping drug use before it starts through education and community action; healing drug users; disrupting the narcotics market; and stringent narcotics enforcement.
In other words, this ânewâ anti-cannabis caucus would like to continue wasting taxpayersâ money, keep twisting the Constitution into knots, and continue killing innocent bystanders and drug usersâwhile at the same timeâhypocritically supporting government regulatory schemes that allows for the production, sale and taxation of more dangerous and addictive drugs such as tobacco, alcohol and pharmaceuticals products.
The members of this new anti-cannabis caucus in the Congress are: Dan Burton (R-IL), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Jim Jordan (R-OH), John Mica (R-FL), Aaron Schock (R-IL), Mark Souder (R-IN) and Michael Turner (R-OH).
What? No Mark Kirk (R-IL)?
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Two relevant points: 1) As this so-called âHouse task forceâ is only populated with Republicans, it is hardly a âHouseâ task force, and 2) back in the overzealous âanti-drugâ 1980s, there was a large, powerful and bi-partisan âSelect House Subcommittee On Narcoticsâ, chaired by uber-powerful Charles Rangel (D-NY), and strongly supported by the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). This committee dubiously helped champion the creation of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Partnership for a Drug-America campaign, DARE program in public schools, civil forfeiture laws, mandatory minimum sentencing, mass drug testing in the workplace, etcâŠ..
Where is the CBC and Way and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel these days on the so-called war on drugs?
In general, Rep. Rangel and the CBC (headed by Rep. Barbara Lee, D-CA, of Oakland) no longer support âwarring on drugsâ as much as they embrace the effective public health doctrine of âharm reductionâ.