Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) is warning that federal marijuana legislation will create government rules and regulations that could harm the nascent industry.
He wrote in a Twitter post that the legislation “imposes new taxes, creates new federal crimes, creates new offices & programs at existing federal agencies, and in general gives federal government executive branch bureaucrats almost unlimited power to issue whatever regulations and rules they so choose.”
.@SpeakerPelosi should have called the so-called marijuana legalization bill “the terms of your surrender.”
But hey, if you’re really keen on getting stoned, maybe you don’t care how big the government grows.
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) December 4, 2020
The U.S. House passed a measure to decriminalize marijuana on Friday. The bill was approved by a 228 to 164 margin, with Massie ultimately voting against the legislation. Only five Republicans voted to support the bill while only six Democrats voted in opposition. The legislation was largely approved along partisan lines. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was the only conservative co-sponsor on the bill.
Gaetz has frequently told the GOP to get with the times on the marijuana issue and give up on the failed war on drugs in order to appeal to younger voters.
“The only thing that I know is more popular than getting out of the war on drugs is getting out of the war in Afghanistan,” Gaetz said.
“But if we were measuring the success of the war on drugs, it would be hard to conclude anything other than the fact that drugs have won,” he added. “Because the American people do not support the policies of incarceration, limited research, limited choice and particularly constraining medical application.”
While Massie is a staunch opponent of the drug war, he is reticent to give the federal government more power during the legalization process instead of simply repealing the failed bureaucratic mandates and giving power to the people.
Massie noted that Speaker Pelosi has controlled the process and that her marijuana decriminalization bill is a trojan horse for empowering big government:
I wish @SpeakerPelosi was serious about repealing the federal prohibition on marijuana. I could cross the aisle to vote on it if it weren’t being used as a vehicle to pass new taxes and spending.
Give us a clean Bill or at least allow amendments to be heard. https://t.co/bTenlmsjck
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) December 2, 2020
The GOP-led Senate is expected to kill this marijuana decriminalization bill and not even give it consideration in their chamber. This will allow the chance of better legislation passing in the next legislative session.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that “the House of Representatives is spending this week on pressing issues like marijuana. You know, serious and important legislation befitting this national crisis.″
Massie hopes that future federal legislation will be crafted in a fashion that will solve the problem of prohibition rather than compound it with more rules.
Most of my constituents support allowing states to decide whether marijuana should be legal & legalization of medical marijuana, even if they don’t support full legalization, but a huge majority of my constituents oppose new taxes with the revenue being sent to other districts.
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) November 11, 2020
Massie is one of the few lawmakers in Washington D.C. who understands that power needs to be decentralized in order for solutions to be found.