Texas Representative Pete Sessions (R) - the fervent prohibitionist - has struck again.
Two cannabis reform bills were brought to the House this week, and both were tabled by the Sessions. The first bill was intended to be an addition to the Fiscal Year 2019 budget bill and would have created protections for banks who choose to work with the cannabis industry in states where it has been legalized. The cannabis industry's inability to use banking services in America has forced many business have to operate on a cash-only basis, and they are also unable to get loans and other financial services like most industries.
The second bill blocked by Rep. Sessions was one that would have allowed the legal sale of recreational cannabis in Washington, DC. Voters in the nation's capital legalized cannabis back in 2014, but Congress stepped in to prevent the district from opening marijuana retailers. So locals must either grow their own supply, find someone willing to give them free weed or buy through the black market.
Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) - who introduced the measure to reverse the rider blocking DC from funding the cannabis industry - blasted Sessions' decision to block the bill.
"This rider has unintentionally benefited violent drug gangs," Norton told the House Rules Committee. "For that reason, some refer to it as the 'Drug Dealer Protection Act.' As one marijuana dealer told the Washington Post, the rider is 'a license for me to print money.' Regulating marijuana like alcohol would allow DC, instead of drug dealers, to control production, distribution, sales, and revenues [of cannabis]."
But that pleas was moot because Rep. Sessions chairs the House Rules Committee, meaning he has wide-reaching powers to dismiss bills. However, Sessions could lose his job if he gets beaten in the midterm elections. So hopefully we'll see someone a little more cannabis friendly in his seat soon.
H/T: Merry Jane