As Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi has a policy of not voting on bills. Her leadership however has empowered House leaders to advance the most sweeping marijuana reform and legalization measures in the history of Congress.
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Rep. Pelosi voted for California's legalization initiative, Prop. 64, and has called for federal legislation to protect state laws. She spoke out against A.G. Sessions' decision to revoke the Cole memo, setting forth federal guidelines to allow legal marijuana. Though Pelosi has been attacked from outside her district for representing San Francisco values, one of these values is legal marijuana.
Although not sponsoring bills, Rep. Pelosi has long supported medical marijuana legislation in Congress, including the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment to bar federal interference in state laws. Her office has been helpful to local advocates. She spoke out against the 2012 federal raids on medical marijuana dispensaries in California. She has indicated that marijuana reform should be an important priority for Congress, in the event she's elected again as Speaker.
Rep. Pelosi has a policy of not sponsoring any bills in light of her position as Democratic leader.
"Attorney General Jeff Sessions' decision bulldozes over the will of the American people and insults the democratic process under which majorities of voters in California and in states across the nation supported decriminalization at the ballot box. Yet again, Republicans expose their utter hypocrisy in paying lip-service to states' rights while trampling over laws they personally dislike."
"Congress must now take action to ensure that state law is respected, and that Americans who legally use marijuana are not subject to federal prosecution. Democrats will continue to insist on bipartisan provisions in appropriations bills that protect Americans lawfully using medical marijuana. Congress should now consider expanding the provisions to cover those states that have decriminalized marijuana generally."
"Democrats urge Attorney General Sessions to begin the New Year with a commitment to prosecute the real crimes devastating our nation, not to waste precious time and resources waging a pointless, unjust war against innocent Americans." (in response to the recindance of Cole Memo)
"Attorney General Sessions, your unjust war against Americans who legally use #marijuana is shameful & insults the democratic processes that played out in states across the country," Pelosi said in a tweet.
"Congress must now take action to ensure that state law is respected, and that Americans who legally use marijuana are not subject to federal prosecution," she added.
"I will vote for it, but I have not made a public statement about it until right this very second," Pelosi told the Los Angeles Times in regards to California's Proposition 64, a 2016 marijuana legalization ballot initiative.
Last November, the citizens of the District of Columbia exercised their democratic rights and overwhelmingly voted to approve Initiative 71. I concur with the legal analysis of the District of Columbia and other Congressional leaders that the Omnibus spending bill passed in December does not repeal or block the implementation of this initiative. I said this in December, and reiterated my views in a meeting with Mayor Bowser earlier this month.
It is very troubling that Republicans would threaten elected District officials for implementing the measure resoundingly passed by the District of Columbias voters.
I support the leadership of Jared Polis, who has been a leader on this issue as well as other members.I understand some of the Republican members support the law now that is passed, even if they didn't before. But in any case, to answer your question, what is my position regarding the states that have medical marijuana or recreational marijuana as the law of their states: I think that has to be respected. I think tax and regulate. In order to do that, there has to be a level of respect for the fact, that if you are going to have recreational marijuana, someone is in business to do that and they have to have tax treatment in order for them to function as a business.
"The state (Colorado) has spoken. The law has been passed," Pelosi said. "There are issues with taxation and regulation, and we need to get on with it."
"I've been a long-standing advocate for allowing states to make medical marijuana available to patients under a doctor's recommendation to alleviate painful suffering. A doctor's prescription is needed for a substance that is not otherwise legal. Doctors write prescriptions every day for that purpose, and they should be able to do so if their states allow it, in the case of medical marijuana.
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