Legalization of Cannabis
Over the past few weeks I’ve had several voters come to me asking what my position was concerning the legalization of Marijuana in our state. It is clear that this is an issue that is on a lot of people’s minds right now so I wanted to take a moment to address it here, officially.
My position on the matter will certainly puts me at odds with the entrenched Republican party in that my views here tend to skew more toward the Libertarian spectrum – I am, and in DC will remain, an advocate for de-scheduling and complete legalization. Though I may find myself standing up on the issue against entrenched bureaucrats in Washington DC, I find that I am not alone on the matter when it comes to Republican and Conservative voters as a whole. A recent Gallup poll published on October 25th of this year (2017) shows that for the first time in the 5 decades they’ve been asking the question a majority of Republicans (51%) support legalization of Marijuana. I'll post the link to that poll at the bottom of this post.
My position is to legalize marijuana not just in Idaho, but Federally; I demand the DEA remove it from their list of scheduled narcotics entirely and believe that it is ludicrous Marijuana is a schedule 1 narcotic next to heroin right now. At the Congressional level I plan on working to make this a reality, the medical benefits we're observing in the use of cannabis oils, and other derivatives can no longer be ignored – no matter how badly special interest groups and big-pharma want us to ignore it. I spoke with a Veteran on this matter recently and he uses cannabis to manage chronic pain associated with his combat service, and I think we've all seen the videos of people suffering from seizures or Parkinson's use cannabis oil to all but eliminate symptoms, enabling them to live a more full life. The case studies are real, and they're available now. If you will, the proof is in the pudding.
According to a PEW Research Center Survey conducted in 2016 nearly 2/3 of all police/law-enforcement officers surveyed support a policy of legalization in one form or another. I'll include that link below as well. By de-scheduling marijuana we free up large amounts of police resources and enable our thin blue line to focus where they are actually needed - keeping our streets safe. When we eliminate the criminal consequences for use and possession we also take a bold step toward keeping our youth on track for success, and our families from being broken up by this asinine policy.
My first priority on this matter would be working to bring these cases where people have seen a marked improvement in their quality of life using cannabis products to DC where we will work to get the DEA to de-schedule Cannabis entirely. Simply, if alcohol and tobacco aren’t scheduled narcotics – than marijuana shouldn’t be either.
Prohibition didn’t work with alcohol, and it hurt not only our economy but also caused seemingly irrevocable harm to our societal structure. The same can be said about prohibition against marijuana, a substance that is arguably less harmful than alcohol and tobacco. States need to be clear from Federal over-reach to make decisions on this matter that are best for each state itself. I don't think that this will be something easily achieved, and the entrenched establishment party members will put up a major fight to protect their special interests and subsidies, but it is not impossible - it just may need to come in phases. This will clear the way for intelligent, forward thinking, legislators at the state level to take their own action on legalization, it will also further my primary goal of reducing the over-reaching arm of a bloated bureaucracy by getting the DEA out of the way. Besides, the DEA should be focused on a real mission, such as combating the opioid crisis and actual narcotics like Methamphetamine and Cocaine.
We need to focus our crime fighters on more heinous criminals and toward actual criminals, it is time to recognize that there is no evidence supporting the unfounded claim that marijuana use leads to criminal behavior or is a "gateway" drug. We need to take marijuana out of the drug-trade entirely and take that money away from criminal dealers and growers. Once legalized we would be able to draw revenue from Marijuana in the same manner that we do from alcohol and tobacco, this will add to the coffers of State agencies, promote business ownership and entrepreneurial spirit, add jobs to the market, and stop breaking apart families and ruining the futures of children with no criminal record.
Enabling the states to govern themselves was always the original intent of the founding fathers when they gave spark to our Republic - it's time to get back to those roots.
Link to the Gallup Poll Results: Click Here
Link to PEW Group Survey of LEO's: Click Here