Representative Nancy Pelosi: I Think State Marijuana Laws Have to Be Respected; I Think Tax and Regulate

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director March 12, 2013

    In an interview with the Denver Post, published this week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke about the marijuana legalization initiatives passed in Colorado and Washington in November.

    When asked, “What are the measures in Washington (DC) that might address states that legalize marijuana and what is your view of federal policy?,” Minority Leader Pelosi expressed her support of state laws regarding marijuana and encouraged a tax and regulate policy:

    Q: What are the measures in Washington (DC) that might address states that have taken steps to legalize marijuana and what is your view of the federal role?

    Rep. Pelosi: I support the leadership of Jared Polis, who has been a leader on this issue as well as other members..I understand some of the Republican members support the law now that is passed, even if they didn’t before.

    But in any case, to answer your question, what is my position regarding the states that have medical marijuana or recreational marijuana as the law of their states: I think that has to be respected. I think tax and regulate.

    In order to do that, there has to be a level of respect for the fact, that if you are going to have recreational marijuana, someone is in business to do that and they have to have tax treatment in order for them to function as a business.

    How the state of Colorado interacts with the federal government on the taxation issues is something they have to work out, but I think they should.

    You can view the full interview here.

    Representative Pelosi now joins the growing list of prominent politicians who are coming out in support of rational marijuana policy. Take a minute of your time and click here to easily contact your Representative and urge him or her to support Representative Polis’ legislation, HR 499: The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013, and put an end to our nation’s war on cannabis consumers.

    74 responses to “Representative Nancy Pelosi: I Think State Marijuana Laws Have to Be Respected; I Think Tax and Regulate”

    1. Bob Constantine says:

      Respect is good. Taxing a person for self ownership…not so good.

      [Paul Armentano responds: ‘Tax’ in this context is on the acts of commercial retail production and retail sales, not on non-retail activity.]

    2. Ben says:

      About F-ing time.

      Hats off to NORML for leading the charge!

    3. common_sense says:

      We must not lose focus on people like the mayor of New York. He was on Letterman last night. He likes to use phrases like “drug dealers and substance abusers should not own guns.” He is implying that those people are dangerous. But he never mentions alcoholics should not own guns. But yet he wants to prohibit large sodas. These type of pro-being drunk around children, anti-marijuana smokers are the reason our country is is in chaos.

    4. OldGuy says:

      I have to say this is the only thing Nancy Pelosi has ever said that I agree 100% with. Living in a very conservative state I will never see legalization before I die. I hate that conservatives talk about the constitution and freedom and what America should be yet do everything in their power to restrict an individuals right to do as they wish AS LONG AS THEY HARM NO ONE ELSE. They choose to legislate morality.

      The liberals are just as bad but in the opposite context and serve to limit the rights that the conservatives hold dear. Until we actually have politicians that respect the constitution and the freedoms we are supposed to have, in their entirety without injecting personal opinion and morals, we will continue to fight back and forth over common sense topics.

      Restricting personal choice (in all things that do not harm another directly) should be illegal. Politicians that vote to restrict ANY personal choice should be removed from office. I know this is a sensitive subject but since we live in a police state we have to start someplace.

    5. Josh Parker says:

      I am disappointed that this was posted as a headline on the website spearheading the movement for legal marijuana. Although this news presents more support for the legalization of marijuana, it does not promote the principles that legal marijuana represents. Marijuana should be legal because people should be able to do whatever they want, including putting anything into their bodies, as long as it does not hinder anyone else’s pursuit of happiness. Nancy Pelosi’s logic, however, is alarming and disgusting. In this interview, Pelosi reveals her ignorance for individual liberty by saying marijuana should be legal because it can then be “taxed and regulates.” This outlook on the legalization of marijuana is flawed and should not be promoted by anyone that takes legalization of cannabis seriously.

      [Editor’s note: OK….sure…the most powerful Democrat in the House of Representatives comes out publicly in favor of legalization, and you whine because you don’t like her rationale.

      Drop the puritanism, embrace the base politics…

      Get politically real!]

    6. Robert M says:

      What we have here is political movement. Nancy Pelosi is not making these statements in a vacuum, that is not how politics work. Her statements were not “out of the blue”, they were carefully constructed in advance. Ms Pelosi wields power and respect in D.C. and she is paving the way for further political discussion and smoothing it over so other more prominent politicians can step forward and safely air their views as well.

      Things just got more interesting.

    7. jmalmo says:

      There is light at the end of the tunnel. At long last, political capital is being spent on legalization. The established order is not easily displaced; change such as legalization won’t occur overnight. We must keep up the drumbeat by speaking out whenever possible. All of the proponents of legalization should take a few seconds to use NORML’s system for petitioning their Congressional representatives. The train is leaving the station. Hop aboard, Ms. Pelosi!

    8. Chris P. says:

      Can I make suggestion that NORML starts ranking members of congress the same way they did with presidential candidates during the campaign. It would help supporters of reform know who has our back and who we can thank through donations and maybe even grassroots support depending on which member it is and where we live. We can also start working against prohibition defending members of congress if we can get a handful of strong pro-reform candidates to run either in primaries (if the district is solid blue/red) or general elections against those incumbents.

    9. Come on everyone
      I took action and sent the message
      I would like Nancy to stop thinking
      And start doing by calling Obama
      and get him onboard ..

    10. phrtao says:

      Any kind of legalisation is better than none !
      Decriminalisation of users just gives a legitimate market for organised crime and basically institutionalises it – which is a bad thing for all of us (no matter how cannabis is involved in our lives).
      If legalisation is not quite right for you then you can probably still do what you have always done outside the law (grow, sell, consume, import – whatever) but with much less fear and risk. Cannabis would no longer automatically be seem as a crime and any indiscretions against a less then perfect law would probably be treated more lightly or just with fines (late collection of taxes).