Meet Congress’ New Teeny Tiny Anti-Marijuana Caucus

  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former NORML Executive Director July 19, 2009

    During a time of immense cannabis law reforms and major shifts in public opinion in favor of such, emerges now a throwback to the dark ages of America’s war on some drugs from the 1980s: The Congressional Anti-Cannabis Caucus.norml_remember_prohibition_

    Escaping any real media attention last week was the formulation of a new anti-marijuana caucus in the House of Representatives. As reported in Roll Call on July 13, a press conference was held with former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Darrell Issa (R-CA) that seeks to re-commit the Congress to the status quo of ‘fighting a war on drugs’.

    The photograph displayed on Roll Call (which is a subscription publication) of the press conference prominently featured an anti-medical marijuana prop (made from a shoe box).

    Heard on the Hill: Issa clutched a prop, a box that represented a shipment of medical marijuana. On the box was the handwritten phrase “Medical Rx” and a drawing of a pot leaf. …

    The newly formed House Drug Task Force elected ardent anti-cannabis congressman John Mica (R-FL), who, according to the Deseret News,  complained that the Obama administration “seeks to shut the war on drugs down.” And that, “the record to date is dismal with the demotion of Drug Czar’s office to a sub-Cabinet position, the announced support for needle exchange programs, the decriminalization of illegal narcotics and other measures that would weaken current national anti-drug efforts.”

    Deseret News reports that the task force–which currently only has Republican members–has four core initiatives: stopping drug use before it starts through education and community action; healing drug users; disrupting the narcotics market; and stringent narcotics enforcement.

    In other words, this ‘new’ anti-cannabis caucus would like to continue wasting taxpayers’ money, keep twisting the Constitution into knots, and continue killing innocent bystanders and drug users–while at the same time–hypocritically supporting government regulatory schemes that allows for the production, sale and taxation of more dangerous and addictive drugs such as tobacco, alcohol and pharmaceuticals products.

    The members of this new anti-cannabis caucus in the Congress are: Dan Burton (R-IN), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Jim Jordan (R-OH), John Mica (R-FL), Aaron Schock (R-IL), Mark Souder (R-IN) and Michael Turner (R-OH).

    What? No Mark Kirk (R-IL)?

    Two relevant points: 1) As this so-called ‘House task force’ is only populated with Republicans, it is hardly a ‘House’ task force, and 2) back in the overzealous ‘anti-drug’ 1980s, there was a large, powerful and bi-partisan ‘Select House Subcommittee On Narcotics’, chaired by uber-powerful Charles Rangel (D-NY), and strongly supported by the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). This committee dubiously helped champion the creation of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Partnership for a Drug-America campaign, DARE program in public schools, civil forfeiture laws, mandatory minimum sentencing, mass drug testing in the workplace, etc…..

    Where is the CBC and Way and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel these days on the so-called war on drugs?

    In general, Rep. Rangel and the CBC (headed by Rep. Barbara Lee, D-CA, of Oakland) no longer support ‘warring on drugs’ as much as they embrace the effective public health doctrine of ‘harm reduction’.

    78 responses to “Meet Congress’ New Teeny Tiny Anti-Marijuana Caucus”

    1. Adam says:

      Where is the pro-cannabis caucus? Bob Barr and Ron Paul, I’m looking at you!

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    3. steven says:

      i understand both parties have had a hand in creating this fiasco but i must say that here lately it sure looks like the republican party is is becoming a party of ‘dead enders’.

    4. […] St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director Copyright: 2009 NORML Contact: Contact Us – NORML Website: Meet Congress’ New Teeny Tiny Anti-Marijuana Caucus | NORML Blog __________________ 420 Magazine News Team Creating Cannabis Awareness Since 1993 […]

    5. jimbo,So.Jersry says:

      Just goes to show,the lack of perception by the politicians of the Republican Party, when it comes to what the American people care about.Peace & Freedom are two things the party of losers are not even vaguely concerned about. LIFE,LIBERTY,AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.

    6. Jeremy R. says:

      I say if there going to do this and are anti-mj then being we know who they are we should make sure they loose when they run for office comes election time . Lets show them our votes do matter and that they would not be in office with out our support . Instead lets put other people who are for mj into office.

    7. Scott says:

      This government is up and down..I am so confused on what way to look now..One week pro marijuana gets a lot of media attention and it seems things have shifted and more political people are backing it..then this shit happens..I really don’t know if it will ever be legal or dicrim..and it seems that our government is split in 2 and if it is decrim or legalized it will go right back to illegal if the right administration is in office..

    8. CowBoysTexas says:

      I thought Replublicans were for more personal freedom I guess thats just for the RICH.

    9. rasta say says:

      WHY, caan they get out of there heads that GANJA is not a drug, it is a herb for healing of the nations… blood klaats!

    10. JAY says:

      FYI, Dennis Hastert sought federal money for an interstate road that just so happend to run by a large property owned by his family. Local farmers helped to stop it. You can have enough money! What is this f***** pension anyway.