Capitol Hill Report: The New Cash Crop

August 18, 2017

The New Cash Crop

The legalization of marijuana has been cropping back up in preparation for the upcoming appropriations fights. This issue has been touted by the left as a safe way to boost the economies of states, but the facts paint a different picture.
 
Twenty-six states and the District of Columbia currently have a law legalizing marijuana in some form. These states’ intentions were to see a rise in revenue, however, they have seen a rise in costs. Hospitalizations have risen due to traffic incidents and over-consumption of marijuana. Currently, there is no sobriety test for the drug, so there is no way of knowing how impaired an individual may be. The state is paying out large sums for these accidents.
 
In addition to hospitalizations, positive workplace tests have doubled in Washington and Colorado. Many marijuana users are missing work due to illness or lack of interest in their job. This creates an unstable workforce and a large expenditure of resources for those companies. 
 
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken strides to crack down on marijuana legalization. He sent a memo in April to the U.S. Attorney’s office as well as the Department of Justice (DOJ) asking them to review certain policies regarding marijuana use. Another letter was sent in May to Congressional leaders to do away with an amendment that bars the DOJ from preventing marijuana legalization in states. In response, legislation to block that has been introduced and amendments may be offered during the appropriations fights.
 
Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) hosted a webinar last week to present these facts about marijuana use recreationally and medicinally, as well as current legislation on both sides. To view the webinar, visit this link, and enter the password “costs”.  Eagle Forum has signed a letter written by SAM asking leadership to keep any pro-marijuana riders out of the appropriations bills, and we will continue to monitor any additional legislation that may begin moving in Congress.

Gayle Ruzicka will lead a Breakout discussing this important issue during EAGLE COUNCIL XLVI in D.C.