Travel Writer and Television Host Rick Steves Briefed Congress On Marijuana Policy

  • by Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director February 14, 2018

    Steves House Briefing

    Yesterday on Capitol Hill, bestselling guidebook author and travel host Rick Steves held two briefings to address marijuana prohibition to a gathering of members of Congress and their staff. Inspired by Europe’s pragmatic approach to drug policy, with success measured by harm reduction rather than incarceration, Steves said that he is motivated to speak in favor of legalization because of its impact on civil liberties.

    “ There are so many reasons to end the prohibition on marijuana. Whether you’re concerned about the well-being of children, fairness for minority communities, redirecting money away from criminals and into state’s coffers, stemming the horrific bloodshed in Mexico, or civil liberties; it is clearly time for a new approach,” said Rick Steves.

    The discussion on marijuana policy covered the current issues stemming from the current tension between federal prohibition and the ever-evolving patchwork of marijuana law reforms at the state level.

    “It’s not 2010, we have years of data that is showing from my home state of Washington that regulation works,” said Steves.

    Steves Senate Briefing

    One of the nation’s leading voices to end the prohibition of marijuana, Rick Steves serves as a member of the board of NORML and has advocated extensively in support of the successful legalization efforts in Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, and his home state of Washington.

    The events were organized by NORML in cooperation with the recently formed bipartisan Congressional Cannabis Caucus. The Cannabis Caucus bills itself as “to develop and promote sensible cannabis policy reform and work to ease the tension between federal and state cannabis laws.”

    “Rick Steves has worked for decades to shine a light on the impact of our outdated marijuana laws. He has been a tireless advocate to end cannabis prohibition,” said Rep. Blumenauer, co-chair of the Cannabis Caucus. “We are thrilled to welcome him to Capitol Hill as we continue to educate Members and their staff about the importance of addressing this issue now.”


    Click here to send a message to your federal officials and demand that they reform our nations marijuana laws.

    15 responses to “Travel Writer and Television Host Rick Steves Briefed Congress On Marijuana Policy”

    1. Dr. Jacob R. Raitt says:

      In 1973, when I called Richard Nixon and spoke to him about the irrationality of his decision, I found out, to my dismay, how insensitive and apathetic he could be towards intelligent discussion. His “War On Drugs” has crippled our nation ever since.

      • Craig Manner says:

        The war on drugs resulted in mass incarceration, just as planned. Jobs Jobs Jobs!!!
        Now that the cost of that folley is apparent, in our dumbed down education system, prison funding in the red and opioid dependence, what cha goin’ to do now???

      • Evening Bud says:

        Nixon, IMO, was the most dangerous president this country has ever had. Imagine Donald Trump with brains–that was Nixon.

        Had there been a Fox news when Tricky Dick was prez, we’d already be in the 5th decade of a dictatorship; and, there’d be no Democratic Party today (along with no political dissent allowed). And the Viet Nam war would probably still be going on. Tricky Dick was the epitome of evil.

    2. Julian says:

      Y’know, all these years I’ve been saying on this blog “RICK! When are you gonna make the Rick Steves’ Marijuana-America tour?”

      Or something to that effect.

      But now I realize you’ve been doing it all along by fighting for marijuana reform by participating in the legislative process.

      Thank you, brother.

      Everybody click on the http://www.norml.org/act tab and lets keep the drum beat on the Marijuana Justice Act!

      Senator Kristen Gillibrand just signed on as a cosponsor:


      AND she’s rejecting PAC money!!!

      Talk to me woman; you got MY vote in 2020.

      • Brandon says:

        From what I’ve read about her she’s more along the lines for medical marijuana to be legalized. Cory Booker is for full legalization and he wants to penalize states that don’t legalize. I think my vote is going to him. Bernie Sanders is for full legalization, but hasn’t been doing as much as Cory Booker has. Cory has been VERY active lately in trying to legalize marijuana and to get the word out.

        • Julian says:

          Read the link; she’s for full legalization. She is quoted saying “full legalization of marijuana is the direction the Democratic Party is headed.” Wish Booker would reject (prohibitionist) PAC money so we could say the same about that.

          • Evening Bud says:


            I know that “perfect is the enemy of good,” but it will be a long time before Gillibrand gets my vote–I’m still PO’d about Al Franken.

            • Julian says:

              So am I, Evening Bud. But these are not times to drop our poker cards over false equivalencies. As former President of Mexico Vicente Fox just said on Real Time with Bill Maher:
              “We in Latin America have some experience with dealing with dictators. And we figured out that in order to get rid of a dictatorship we must elect a legislative Congress in opposition to the dictator.”

              We’re NOT going to agree with every Democrat. But we do have to look at the agenda of each party and then look at the individual candidates. We are in a swing vote this year during these midterms that will determine the survival of our Democratic Republic. Kristen Gillibrand rejecting PAC money is a BIG deal. It represents the direction of the Democratic Party… and our Nation… and the HOPE that we can stop letting Defense Contractors and pharmaceutical companies kill us for profit.

            • Evening Bud says:


              What you say is true of course. Of course, I’ll never vote GOPer. But it’ll be a few years before Gillibrand considers a WH run–going by her own statement last week. I had to pinch my nose to vote for Hillary, but I did it. With Gillibrand, we’ll see. But I will tell you, her apologizing for the Franken hit job would go a long way with me.

              Sorry, for the belated reply. I’d forgotten which article I’d commented on.

    3. Von Allen says:

      Yes I believe that marijuana should be legalized are laws are outdated why not make it a business like many states have done tax it use the money for good things creates jobs free up cells in jails and prisons

      • Ron says:

        The same Federal Government That is fighting to keep the rights of gun owners, the same Federal Government that is in the pockets of the NRA and Big Pharma, The same Federal Government that is allowing Assault Riffles to get in the hands of children! Is the same Federal Government that is saying Marijuana Is a Class 1 Drug and a danger to Society! The Truth is, the police fatally shot 987 people in 2017, and 146 people so far in 2018, all while the federal government says guns are safe in the right hands, But as we witnessed history!
        The Kent State shootings were the shootings on May 4, 1970 of unarmed college students by members of the Ohio National Guard during a mass protest against the Vietnam War at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio! So Safety is not as important as gun sales! And Pharmaceutical Drugs kill thousands of people a year! Fact: More people die in the United States in 1 year from Pharmaceutical drugs, then globally from illicit drugs! again safety is of no concern! Because Pharmaceutical companies are powerful giants who buy our politicians! Watch this news report! https://youtu.be/6MHYOB5uptc So The federal government is literally a guard dog for Corporations who are against Marijuana legalization! Tobacco, Pharmaceutical companies, Police and Prison guard union! This is True injustice! Every State that has Legalized Marijuana has equated as Millions of dollars in Prescription Losses!

    4. Alice Harris says:

      Well stated

    5. Tyrone Baptist says:

      It’s time to get rid of the criminals associated with drugs. Legalize marijuana and remove the profit and be rid of the criminals who profit from this lucrative illegal drug industry. I am not a user but I know that people who want to use it will do so in spite of current laws. Do us all a favor and legalize pot.

    6. Robert Larkin says:

      Let’s see. In a liquor store, I can buy cigarettes and a wide variety of alcoholic beverages, but I can’t buy marijuana, which proving to actually help people. We are a land of contradictions.

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