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Politics Why conservative California Rep. Tom McClintock wants to ease federal marijuana laws

10:05  26 september  2021
10:05  26 september  2021 Source:   mcclatchydc.com

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Rep . Tom McClintock doesn’t approve of marijuana use. He sees “clear evidence” its use can cause neurological problems in children. He’s a reliable Republican, conservative vote in Congress. Yet he’s one of the few congressional Republicans who for years has consistently called for easing federal “The people of California spoke clearly on that subject. The federal government has no right to intervene,” he said. Federal laws on marijuana have been tougher and more restrictive than state law . Part of McClintock ’s view stems from a libertarian streak, that people should be able to live as they

Tom McClintock does not approve of marijuana use, he is working to change federal marijuana laws for the better. He claims to see “clear evidence” that marijuana can result in neurological problems in children. In 2021, McClintock joined forces with liberal Reps . Barbara Lee and Earl Blumenauer to sponsor a measure that would withhold money that would enforce federal laws against marijuana activity that a state has legalized. The proposal will receive considerations from the House once it returns next month.

WASHINGTON — Rep. Tom McClintock doesn’t approve of marijuana use.

a man wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a building: Tom McClintock, R- Calif., wears a protective mask while walking through the Canon Tunnel to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 12, 2021, in Washington, DC. © Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images North America/TNS Tom McClintock, R- Calif., wears a protective mask while walking through the Canon Tunnel to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 12, 2021, in Washington, DC.

The California Republican sees “clear evidence” its use can cause neurological problems in children.

He’s a reliable conservative vote in Congress.

Yet he’s one of the few congressional Republicans who for years has consistently called for easing federal restrictions on the drug’s use.

“He has the best record on the marijuana issue of any Republican congressman in California,” said Dale Gieringer, California NORML director.

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WASHINGTON — Rep . Tom McClintock doesn’t approve of marijuana use. The California Republican sees “clear evidence” its use can cause neurological problems in children. He’s a reliable conservative vote in Congress. Yet he’s one of the few congressional Republicans who for years has consistently called for easing federal restrictions on the drug’s use. “The people of California spoke clearly on that subject. The federal government has no right to intervene,” he said. Federal laws on marijuana have been tougher and more restrictive than state law .

WASHINGTON — Rep . Tom McClintock doesn’t approve of marijuana use. The California Republican sees “clear evidence” its use can cause neurological problems in children. He’s a reliable conservative vote in Congress. He’s a reliable conservative vote in Congress. Yet he’s one of the few congressional Republicans who for years has consistently called for easing federal restrictions on

“He’s pretty unique. He’s a pretty conservative Republican and conservative Republicans tend not to be the best friends of cannabis reform,” said John Hudak, a senior fellow in governance studies at the nonpartisan Brookings Institution and author of “Marijuana: A Short History.”

This year, McClintock joined with liberal Reps. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., and Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., to sponsor a measure to withhold money to enforce federal laws against marijuana activity that a state has deemed legal. The House could consider the proposal when it returns next month.

McClintock has a long history of opposing most federal restrictions on the drug.

When he ran for governor in 2003, he was asked during a debate about the state’s 1996 Proposition 215, which legalized medical marijuana.

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Part of McClintock ’s view stems from a libertarian streak, that people should be able to live as they please as long as they don’t endanger others. Another part of his philosophy is practical, he says. Current laws , he says, simply are not working. Current laws are often ineffective but counterproductive, he argued. Asked for a comment last week, spokeswoman Jennifer Cressy cited those 2019 comments. For years, McClintock has used this example of how current marijuana policy spawns trouble

“This amendment addresses a larger question: whether the federal government has the constitutional authority to dictate a policy to states on matters that occur strictly within their own borders. I believe that it does not. The bill passed the House in 2019 but went nowhere in the Senate. It won House approval again in April, and its Senate fate is unclear. The odds for McClintock to succeed are improving. “The train’s left the station on this. We’re at a point where we’re not asking whether cannabis should be legalized,” Hudak said.

“The people of California spoke clearly on that subject. The federal government has no right to intervene,” he said. Federal laws on marijuana have been tougher and more restrictive than state law.

Part of McClintock’s view stems from a libertarian streak, that people should be able to live as they please as long as they don’t endanger others.

Another part of his philosophy is practical, he says. Current laws, he says, simply are not working.

Hudak saw another reason. “He’s representing his constituents. Northern California is fairly pro-cannabis,” he said.

Over the years, McClintock has been resolute.

“Just laws protect us from others. Tyrannical laws try to protect us from ourselves,” he said in 2018.

At a House crime subcommittee hearing the next year, he explained that “Personally, I believe cannabis use in most cases is ill-advised. But many things are ill-advised that should not be illegal, but rather be left to the informed judgment of free men and women.”

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Tom McClintock [R- CA 4], the Representative from California . Contact Rep . Tom McClintock . I am a constituent. I live in California ’s 4th congressional district. I want to urge McClintock to take an action on a bill. The Club for Growth: 96% The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws : B+ United States Chamber of Commerce: 67% League of Conservation Voters: 4% Human

Tom McClintock of California both supported the bill, and their rationale might foreshadow how other Republicans consider the issue. “These laws have done far more harm than good,” McClintock says. “They’ve created a violent underground economy and ruined the lives of so many young people who’ve had a youthful marijuana conviction, follow them and ruin their lives.” Whether the bill makes it to the Senate or beyond, most Americans have already embraced more lenient views on the drug.

Current laws are often ineffective but counterproductive, he argued. Asked for a comment last week, spokeswoman Jennifer Cressy cited those 2019 comments.

For years, McClintock has used this example of how current marijuana policy spawns trouble:

A deputy sheriff once said that if he gave two high school students each a $20 bill, sent one to buy marijuana and the other to buy alcohol, the child seeking cannabis would succeed first, McClintock relates.

“They know where to get it and the dealer’s entire business is built on ignoring the law. The youth sent to buy alcohol would visit one liquor store after another, get carded and get thrown out — precisely because the dealer’s entire business depends on obeying the law,” McClintock said.

What’s needed are sensible state regulations and enforcement, he has argued.

“I believe very firmly that treating marijuana in a regulated, legal environment is a far more effective way of keeping it out of the hands of young people and it is a far more effective way of (stopping) the crime we see right now,” he has said. “We don’t have a problem with lettuce growers. We don’t have a problem with rice growers.”

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McClintock has been trying for years to get Congress to go along with easing federal restrictions, usually with the help of Democrats.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., explained the GOP reluctance. “Republicans have been pro law and order. As long as the government and scientists within the government continue to say any drug is dangerous and should be illegal, support for enforcing the law is the Republican mainstream,” he said.

Issa predicted, “There will be a federal change in the foreseeable future to liberalize or legalize marijuana,” but added “We’ve got a long way to go to figure out where the bounds should be.”

McClintock has tried to set some of those boundaries.

During his first congressional term, in 2014, he supported a measure to bar federal agencies from preventing states from okaying the use of medical marijuana. He also backed prohibiting a state from penalizing a bank for providing financial services to marijuana businesses.

The proposals passed in the House largely with Democratic votes. One drew 49 Republican votes, the other, 45.

In 2015, McClintock tried again to deal with federal policy involving state regulation of marijuana.

“This amendment is NOT an endorsement of marijuana. I’ve never used it; my wife and I raised our children never to use it. And I believe local schools should assure that every American is aware of the risks and dangers that it poses,” he told the House.

“This amendment addresses a larger question: whether the federal government has the constitutional authority to dictate a policy to states on matters that occur strictly within their own borders. I believe that it does not. And even if it does, I believe that it should not.”

His proposal won the support of 45 Republicans, while 198 were opposed.

In recent years, he’s been behind the Safe Banking Act, which generally bars a federal banking regulator from penalizing an institution for providing banking services to a legitimate cannabis-related business.

The bill passed the House in 2019 but went nowhere in the Senate. It won House approval again in April, and its Senate fate is unclear.

The odds for McClintock to succeed are improving.

“The train’s left the station on this. We’re at a point where we’re not asking whether cannabis should be legalized,” Hudak said.

“We know it has been legalized in states with hundreds of millions of Americans. Now how do we make this industry safer, more equitable, more accountable. That requires some federal intervention.”

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usr: 2
This is interesting!