Democratic Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez crossed the isles last week alongside Rep. Earl Blumenauer, as she claimed that ending the “War on Drugs” and legalizing cannabis are two things that stand out as areas the political parties can agree on.
Far be it from criticizing this issue, the two were pointing out how cannabis legislation is a chance for collaboration. She said that she feels encouraged by seeing members of both sides come together during such a divisive time. “We’ve been able to propose solutions on a wide spectrum towards decriminalization, towards legalization, and that is increasingly becoming a position that more Republicans are amenable to,” she said at a town hall event, Marijuana Moment reports. “…So, there are some areas where you can find common ground.
Rep. Blumenauer added that he feels “part of why we are fighting so hard to eliminate the failed prohibition on cannabis is because that’s been a tool that’s been used against people of color in particular that has horrific consequences and helps fuel that prison pipeline that has wreaked such havoc on our communities.”
“There are different ways that we can go about legalizing cannabis in the United States, and you can go about it in a way that concentrates power in a [Big Agriculture] way that concentrates power in big banks and that cuts out small mom and pops,” Ocasio-Cortez explained. “And then there’s another path towards legalization where everyday people and especially the black and brown communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs can be at the front of the line of enjoying the economic benefits of legalization.”
“I think we’re just so past due to make sure that we’re legalizing cannabis in the United States and that we’re expunging people’s records from the absolutely unjust war on drugs. It is an incredible priority,” she concluded.
During a tense and divided era in American political history, forward-thinking politicians like Rep. Ocasio-Cortez are hoping to make some real progress in the cannabis industry.