Congressman Don Young is a longtime supporter of ending marijuana prohibition and a founding Co-Chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus.
Holds office U.S. House District At-Large
“I am a passionate supporter of a states’ rights approach to cannabis policy. For too long, the federal government has stood in the way of states that have acted to set their own marijuana policy, and it is long past time Congress modernized these outdated laws,” said Young, who this week became the longest-serving Republican in House history.
"As a co-founder of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, one of my top priorities is ensuring marijuana-related businesses have access to the banking system and can operate in accordance with state law," said Congressman Don Young. "This legislation is an important step to ensuring marijuana businesses in states that have legalized - who continue to operate in a very uncertain and insecure environment without access to banks or financial institutions - can be treaty fairly and as legitimate contributors to state and local economies. While I do not personally advocate for the use of marijuana, I do support these types of issues as a matter of states' rights and their ability to determine the nature of criminal activity within their own jurisdictions."
"I'm proud to join this notable group of lawmakers - from both sides of the aisle and both sides of the Capitol - to reintroduce the CARERs Act," said Congressman Young. "Since the Alaskan people first legalized marijuana, I've heard from my constituents who have experienced the many challenges associated with the conflicts between State and Federal laws - including business owners who are prevented from using the banking system and tax code, veterans who cannot access alternatives to opioids, and even the State which has run into problems collecting tax revenues. The CARERS Act is a broad piece of legislation that works to solve many of these problems - particularly for medical marijuana. As a co-founder of the House Cannabis Caucus and passionate supporter of this issue as a matter of states' rights, I look forward to working with all stakeholders in order to move this legislation."
When members of the new Congressional Cannabis Caucus were asked if they themselves had used marijuana, Young said, "I don't use it (marijuana), don't really believe in using it, but states have the right to make those decisions and people have the right to make those decisions...the Federal government should stay out of it, period."
"I'm here because I'm a conservative Republican, but I believe in states' rights. Alaska voted to legalize it (marijuana) by a pretty large margin and I believe in states' rights and that the federal government should stay out of it."
"In 2014, the people of Alaska voted to legalize marijuana. While I do not personally advocate for the use of marijuana, I strongly believe in this issue as a matter of states' rights. It is my responsibility to represent the people of Alaska's views in Congress, to speak on their behalf, and try to solve the problems they are facing," said Rep. Don Young. "Because of the conflicts between Federal and State law, marijuana-related issues are no longer theoretical-they are real, and they are affecting real people in Alaska and across the country. The issues I am most focused on are banking, the intersection of legal marijuana and our second amendment rights, and the effect on tribal issues. Alaskan businesses, like those in Washington, in Colorado, and elsewhere, are operating dangerously because they are not allowed to access banks for their revenue. We need to address this. I look forward to working with the Congressional Cannabis Caucus to educate my colleagues in the House on the issues we are facing in Alaska, and hopefully to also develop solutions to these problems."
-"I've been around a long time and I've watched where a great amount of surplus cash is available, it causes lots of sideline problems," Young said. "And my goal is to make sure ... [marijuana company owners] can run it as a business, they can get loans from banks and put the revenue back into the banks as every other business does. I think that's crucially important to make it work correctly."
-"Alaska voted to legalize it-pretty large margin-and I believe in states' rights and the federal government should stay out of it, period."
Rep. Don Young's spokesman, Matt Shuckerow, said that Young supports current legislation that would remove marijuana from the list of Schedule I controlled substances and that he supports states' rights in regards to marijuana policy.
At the same time, Young "believes that we need to consider safe, responsible restrictions on advertisements," Shuckerow said.
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