Where the House Judiciary Committee stands on marijuana policy

Emily Gray Brosious

marijuana-justice[Composite photo credits: (Statue) J. Stephen Conn/Flickr CC; (Cannabis graphic) kotik/openclipart]

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When marijuana-related bills are first introduced in the United States House of Representatives, they are often assigned to the House Judiciary Committee, where members will decide whether or not to move the bill to the House floor for a full vote.

Only a small fraction of progressive marijuana reform bills pass through the House Judiciary Committee to receive a full vote in the House of Representatives.

Because so many marijuana bills are routed through the House Judiciary Committee, these committee members act as gatekeepers for a bulk of House marijuana reform initiatives. With this in mind, the following slideshow assesses where each member of the 2017-2018 House Judiciary Committee stands on marijuana policy.

Committee members are judged on their public statements regarding marijuana as well as their votes on four marijuana-specific House bills from the 2015-2016 legislative session, their grades on the 2016 Congressional Scorecard by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and other relevant information.

The marijuana-specific House votes from the 2015-2016 session considered in this assessment include:

  • The 2015/16 Veteran’s Equal Access Amendment: This measure, which was passed by the House, calls to allow physicians working in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to recommend cannabis therapy to veterans in states where medical cannabis is allowed for such therapeutic use.
  • The 2015 McClintock/Polis Amendment: This measure, which was defeated by the House, called to prohibit the Department of Justice from interfering with state-legal marijuana activities in states that have legalized the drug for adult use.
  • The 2015 Rohrabacher/Farr Amendment: This measure, which was passed by the House, calls to prohibit the Department of Justice from interfering with state-legal medical marijuana programs in states that legalize the drug for medical use by qualifying patients.

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House Judiciary Committee members on marijuana policy:

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Social photo links: @RepRaskin/Twitter, @RepSchneider/Twitter, @RepRatcliffe/Twitter, @RepMikeJohnson/Twitter, @RepAndyBiggsAZ/Twitter

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