Pelosi: It would be ‘really important’ to take on medical marijuana in Congress
“I’ve been very clear on the subject of medical marijuana over time, in committee and on the floor as leader,” Pelosi said told Raw Story at a round table of bloggers.
“I think that it would be really important to do that,” Pelosi said. “It would be hard for anyone to agree with the fact that someone who has HIV/AIDS or has cancer and they find relief from pain in medicinal marijuana that should be something that should be a priority to raid on the part of the Justice Department. Going along with that, we need to address some of the penalties for any non-violent crime that are out there.”
Her statement at that time said, “I have long supported efforts in Congress to advocate federal policies that recognize the scientific research and clinical research demonstrating the medical benefits of medicinal marijuana, that respects the wishes of the states in providing relief to ill individuals, and that prevents the federal government from acting to harm the safe access to medicinal marijuana provided under state law.”
Her fellow congressmen from California, Rep. Sam Farr (D), said to Raw Story, “Medical marijuana is one of those issues where if you get enough states, where when you get enough, then you get it. California had already started that process because of cost concerns. That didn’t cause any scandals or upheavals.”
Farr has introduced several bills in support of medical marijuana, the most recent of which would have banned the federal government from spending money on raids of state-sanctioned medical marijuana facilities. The House passed the bill on May 10, but it awaits action from the Senate.
“What you see is incremental changes on medical marijuana. Congress will not lead but follow what seems to be a trend in America,” Farr said.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) told Raw Story, “I think our marijuana policy in this country is absolutely nuts.” He predicted that within 10 years, the country would move on medical marijuana policy nationwide.
by Kay Steiger
Kay Steiger is the managing editor of Raw Story. Her contributions have appeared in The American Prospect, The Atlantic, Campus Progress, The Guardian, In These Times, Jezebel, Religion Dispatches, RH Reality Check, and others. You can follow her on Twitter @kaysteiger.