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.