Cannabis Community Comes Together for Bipartisan ICBC Fundraiser


The International Cannabis Business Conference kicks off a historic event with a historic bipartisan fundraiser tonight. As the San Francisco Chronicle first reported, the ICBC is hosting a joint (pun intended, I’m sure) fundraiser with Democrat Earl Blumenauer and Republican Dana Rohrabacher tonight.

Saturday, Congressmen Blumenauer and Rohrabacher follow the keynote address of former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders on a bipartisan panel that has increased in importance following the release of President Barack Obama’s proposed federal budget. President Obama’s budget inexplicably didn’t include the previously passed provision that banned the DEA from interfering with medical marijuana businesses complying with state law. Very confusingly, the budget proposal would allow Washington, D.C., move forward with licensed and regulated sales, but what is the point of allowing such sales when the DEA can just arrest everyone engaged in the sales?

The amendment that bans the federal government from arresting, prosecuting and jailing state-regulated medical cannabis businesses bares Representative Rohrabacher’s name and Rep. Blumenauer is a big supporter of the sensible policy, and any responsible reform. I asked Congressmen Blumenauer about any plans to ensure that the amendment remains in the budget that Congress passes and he replied, “The federal government shouldn’t be arresting or prosecuting people for using or providing medical marijuana in states where it is legal. Over the past two years a bipartisan majority of the House has voted to prevent the Justice Department from interfering with state medical marijuana laws. I plan to make sure once again this year Congress votes to put a stop to wasting its time and money.”

It is great to see a progressive Democrat like Blumenauer and a libertarian conservative like Dana Rohrabacher work together on sound cannabis policies. Thanks to their support, and the cannabis community supporting them, we will soon end the failed and harmful policy of prohibition, stop ruining lives, better utilize law enforcement resources, create jobs and generate revenue for our communities.

Anthony Johnson

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.