Issues: Marijuana & Cannabis Reform

Marijuana & Cannabis

Local police officers and federal agents have better things to do, but Federal law still classifies Cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it has no medical or public use.  But science tells us differently and, in Congress, I’ll fight to change that and settle this debate between Federal and State Law once and for all.

I served for a decade in law enforcement, as a police officer, supervisor and even on a DEA task force.  After hundreds of arrests, I learned that we weren’t going to arrest our way out of poverty, and the consequences of minor arrests far outweighed the good we were supposed to be doing for communities.

So, I went back to school, graduated from the FBI National Academy and earned a graduate degree in Criminal Justice so I could work to reform the system.

New Mexico was one of the first to legalize the use of cannabis for medical use and it has helped tens-of-thousands of patients with conditions ranging from PTSD for veterans to cancer pain and seizures for children.

Thousands of New Mexicans work in this industry – one of our fastest growing and strongest – but new threats from Trump and AG Sessions to allow federal agents to target working families like these are real and we need champions in Congress to take on this issue.

Today, we see legalized and regulated cannabis as an opportunity for new stable revenue and opportunities for growth in our economy.  I support it.

In 2013, I ran the marijuana decriminalization campaigns in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, giving voters their first vote on marijuana policy ever in New Mexico.  We won overwhelmingly because moms spoke out against having their teenagers blocked from college Pell Grants or forever having to answer “yes” on a job application asking about arrests just for experimenting with marijuana.

There are bi-partisan efforts to reform federal marijuana policies in Congress. Here are specific policies we can pass to fix this problem:

  • Pass new 280E legislation to reform tax codes so that state-authorized cannabis producers can deduct basic business expenses, just like every other small local business.
  • Pass HR1823 (Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act) or HR 1841 (Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act), to provide for a federal excise tax schedule and regulation, like alcohol.