One of the most important outlets tracking major DC policy moves, CQ Researcher, just released their marijuana report on the status of the legalization movement—and we’re front and center fighting for reform.
Actions like this is why BOWL PAC exists. We’re not only the experts, we’re the ones organizing on-the-ground impact, and we’re the only PAC dedicated to electing representatives who will fight for marijuana legalization.
We’re going to keep fighting, from the pages of the papers to the voting booth to the halls of Congress. Our average contribution is just $7, and every dollar helps us reach more voters. Will you chip in $7 or more today?
You can read the full op-ed below. Please check it out and share it widely with your friends, family, and lawmakers!
Should Congress repeal the federal ban on marijuana possession?
Our nation’s decades-long prohibition of marijuana use was founded upon racism and bigotry. Look no further than the sentiments of its architect, Harry Anslinger, the founding Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, who declared: “Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.”
These racial biases were later exploited by President Richard Nixon’s administration.” Former Nixon adviser John Ehrlichman later acknowledged: “[Nixon] had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people…. by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities…. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”
In short, the prohibition and criminalization of cannabis were, and still are, a racially motivated public policy response to personal behavior that is, at worst, a public health matter. But this should have never been a pretext for expanding police powers to search, incarcerate and arrest millions of U.S. citizens.
Since Congress classified cannabis as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, more than 25 million Americans have been arrested, and untold millions more have been harassed by law enforcement. Entire communities have lost generations of citizens to cyclical poverty and incarceration due to the consequences of having a cannabis-related conviction.
These consequences include loss of access to higher education, inability to qualify for government-subsidized housing, employment discrimination, loss of child custody, homelessness and more. In large part due to the modern war on drugs, the U.S. prison population has skyrocketed by more than 500 percent over the last 40 years, with nearly 2 million people incarcerated.
Prohibition is a cruel and senseless policy that has been most egregiously used against people of color, poor and/or young people — robbing them not only of their present, but all too often their future as well.
A better way is possible. The District of Columbia and 23 states now have legalized marijuana, areas which house more than half the U.S. population. The legal cannabis industry supports more than 420,000 jobs, and regulation has resulted in lower teen consumption rates.
Federal reform would allow state legalization to operate more efficiently, do a better job of leveraging current public safety drug programs and fix the problems that stem from prohibition, such as tax and banking treatment. For those reasons, Congress must consider the repeal of federal cannabis prohibition.
 CQ Researcher: Pro/Con – Should Congress repeal the federal ban on marijuana possession?