Earl Blumenauer Provides Federal Marijuana Law Update This Weekend


Congressman Earl Blumenauer has been leading efforts to sensibly reform our marijuana laws for decades. As a young state legislator, he helped Oregon become the first state to decriminalize marijuana and he hasn’t slowed down one bit. Now in Washington, D.C., the Portland representative works across the political divide to convince more and more elected officials to support practical cannabis law reform.

Blumenauer understands the issue and is continually learning and staying abreast of the latest developments and no one in Congress knows where national representatives are currently and where federal law is headed. Cannabis business owners and entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to hear from Congressman Blumenauer this weekend as he will talk about federal law at the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference.

As the Portland Press Herald reported, Congressman Blumenauer was in Maine recently, where he predicted that the federal government would end marijuana prohibition within five years, leaving regulations to the state, just as our country has done with alcohol:

“I think that’s an appropriate resolution,” Blumenauer told the group gathered at the Urban Farm Fermentory. “If Colorado wants it and Utah doesn’t, so be it. But the federal government shouldn’t be in the way. And we should be able to move past a failed system of prohibition and a serious flawed application of criminal justice which is hopelessly unfair and racially discriminatory.”


The Oregon Democrat came to Maine less than two months after his home state made recreational use of marijuana legal in private settings.

“So far the sky has not fallen, and no big cracks have developed in the earth,” Blumenauer said. “We have not had problems in terms of young people being corrupted and we’ve watched law enforcement dial it back a bit.”

Cannabis industry participants are rightfully concerned about banking regulations that outlaw financial services to state-regulated marijuana businesses. Congressman Blumenauer has done a tremendous job explaining this critical issue to federal officials, helping bring Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden to the cause. The ridiculous 280e IRS tax code that prevents marijuana businesses from deducting normal business expenses also plagues cannabis entrepreneurs and Blumenauer has worked to bring conservative officials and even activists like Grover Norquist to his side of the issue. Fittingly, Blumenauer has joined forces with Colorado’s Jared Polis to introduce a federal legalization bill. The cannabis community doesn’t have a greater ally in Congress nor a better resource to discuss the present and future of federal marijuana law.

Tickets to the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference are still available, but get yours soon before the event sells out. In addition to Congressman Blumenauer, the OMMBC provides attendees the opportunity to learn from, and network with, some of the top cannabis industry participants and experts. Attendees will learn about changes in the state’s medical laws as well as latest developments in the upcoming recreational market. 


Anthony, a longtime cannabis law reform advocate, was Chief Petitioner and co-author of Measure 91, Oregon's cannabis legalization effort. He served as director of both the New Approach Oregon and Vote Yes on 91 PACs, the political action committees responsible for the state's legalization campaign. As director of New Approach Oregon, Anthony continues to work towards effectively implementing the cannabis legalization system while protecting small business owners and the rights of patients. He sits on the Oregon Marijuana Rules Advisory Committee and fights for sensible rules at the legislature as well as city councils and county commissions across the state. Anthony helps cannabis business comply with Oregon's laws and advises advocates across the country. He also serves as content director of both the International Cannabis Business Conference and the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference, helping share the vision of moving the cannabis industry forward in a way that maintains the focus on keeping people out of prison and protecting patients. He was a member of the Oregon Health Authority Rules Advisory Committee, assisting the drafting of the administrative rules governing Oregon’s state-licensed medical marijuana facilities. He first co-authored and helped pass successful marijuana law reform measures while a law student at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. He passed the Oregon Bar in 2005 and practiced criminal defense for two years before transitioning to working full-time in the political advocacy realm. His blogs on Marijuana Politics are personal in nature and don't speak for or reflect the opinions of any group or organization.