The gun lobby is about to find itself in a financial standoff with marijuana activists, according to a prominent legalization opponent who says the pot lobby will soon "own" Democratic leaders "just as the NRA controls GOP." Those are the words tweeted out on Sunday by Julie Schauer, a retired millionaire who donated $1.3 million to the campaign against marijuana legalization in California in 2016.
Democratic Party may soon be held by grip of pot industry which owns NJ gov, CA gov, Gavin Newsom, some senators, OR's AG The party risks being owned by pot $$, just as NRA controls GOP. It's blood money, leads to traffic deaths @JBPritzker @DanielBiss @KennedyforIL Shame on you!— Julie Schauer (@InAweofArt) March 18, 2018
If that claim sounds ridiculous, it's because it is. In fact, the cannabis lobby has been donating far more cash to Republicans lately - especially GOP lawmakers who oppose the Trump administration's efforts to crack down on state-legalized marijuana industries.
Schauer's claim also ignores the many Republican leaders who are fighting for legalization as an alternative to the "injustice" of the War on Drugs, which "has disproportionately affected young black males" and is little more than "an excuse to send people to prison and turn a mistake into a tragedy," to use the words of Republican Senator Rand Paul.
Meanwhile in Georgia, Sharon Cooper (R) - Chairwoman of the House's Health and Human Services Committee - recently told Congress to “get off their duffs and act” on marijuana reform for the sake of patients across the country. Her message echoes the sentiments of Republican Bryan Terry, who chairs the House Health Subcommittee in Tennessee.
Those patients, incidentally, have been protected from prosecution thus far thanks to the efforts of Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, whose name is on the budget amendment that prevents the DEA from spending any money on enforcing federal prohibition against state-legalized medical marijuana industries.
Rohrabacher has also introduced legislation to protect state-legalized marijuana industries. And so has his GOP colleague Thomas Garrett of Virginia. On the state level, Republican lawmakers have legalized medical marijuana in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio recently. And Kentucky could soon join the fold if Republican Senator Dan Seum's legalization bill gets passed.
So why would cannabis activists try to "own" Democrats when Republicans are getting just as much - if not more - done for the legalization movement? The efforts of Republican lawmakers show that legalization is a bipartisan issue, which makes sense since Americans of all political stripes believe in protecting civil liberties and oppose wasting billions of dollars on imprisoning people for getting caught with a plant.
So the only thing getting owned is Schauer, who has clearly gulped too much prohibition Kool-Aid.