Don Young votes in favor of marijuana legalization - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, January 26, 2021
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Don Young votes in favor of marijuana legalization

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The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Friday that would decriminalize marijuana, at least from federal law.

Alaska’s Congressman Don Young voted in favor of H.R. 3884, also called the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2018, or the MORE Act.

The MORE Act is also pending before the Senate, where it is not expected to pass. Among notable items in the bill, it would remove marijuana from the schedules of controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act, legalizing several marijuana-related activities at the federal level.

The bill passed by a vote of 228 to 164. At least five Republicans voted for the bill and six Democrats voted against it.

For several years, Congressman Young has taken a more libertarian view of marijuana, and he serves as co-chair of the House Cannabis Caucus. He sees it as a states’ rights issue, especially because there are several states with varying degrees of legalization of the weed. Alaska has legalized commercial marijuana agriculture and trade, and it is today one of the few growing industries in Alaska.

Last year Young pushed for the passage H.R. 1595 – the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, to protect financial institutions serving cannabis businesses operating legally under state law from punitive federal actions. The SAFE Banking Act passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 321-103. It has been stalled in the Senate Banking Committee by Chairman Mike Crapo of Idaho, who has outlines numerous changes he wants made in the bill.

“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 cannabis policies,” said Congressman Young last year. “I have met with many constituents, including owners of small businesses in Alaska’s legal cannabis industry as well as state leaders of financial institutions.”

Lacy Wilcox, president of the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association, said the group is grateful for Congressman Young “for always having our back here.” The MORE Act could languish in the Senate, “but that doesn’t mean we give up,” she said, adding caution that there is a particular amendment that she is concerned about, relating to people who may have a prior marijuana conviction being prohibited from participating in the industry.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Just another drug on the streets causing more harm and crime; leading to more dependence on big government and stepping stone to other drugs….Not a good choice……when we already have a drug problem in this country. Just my take on it……

  • Not too mention just another thing the government can tax you on…….

  • The only problem is government. The constitution is the solution; it allows us to be as foolish as we want as long as we don’t infringe upon the rights of others. It allows us to get habitually stoned on marijuana and become lazy and worthless to ourselves and others. Then, government comes along and steals money (IRS) from productive people and gives it to potheads (welfare). This government interference makes the stupid habits of others your business because its your money funding the bail-outs.

  • While I support the States citizens having a say the Federal decriminalization will affect coming across International Borders. Let the States have their say but don’t let this to come across the borders.

  • This is one of those relatively few times when I can praise Don Young, even though I personally have utterly no interest or desire in being a pothead.

    I still think it’s shameful that Don Young has been Alaska’s lone congressman almost since I was in diapers, and I am not far from qualifying for collecting Social Security.

  • He is brave to buck his party. Kudos.

  • Good, about time. Prohibition didn’t work with alcohol, all that did was give us a multi-generational crew of bootlegging drunken (wealthier-than-god) Kennedy’s who pollute the political gene-pool to this day.

  • Jeez. What happened? Covid made Don Young Lib-tarded? There goes Alaska.

    Maybe when we outlay pot the leftist dopes will move back to California and Seattle where they belong

    • What’s your excuse? Just born dumb?

  • The conservative argument against this bill wasn’t the fact it legalized pot, but that it increased the size of the federal government.

    From Thomas Massie today on twitter:

    @SpeakerPelosi should have called the so-called marijuana legalization bill “the terms of your surrender.”

    But hey, if you’re really keen on getting stoned, maybe you don’t care how big the government grows.

    The marijuana bill:

    Imposes new taxes, creates new federal crimes, creates new offices & programs at existing federal agencies, and in general gives federal government executive branch bureaucrats almost unlimited power to issue whatever regulations and rules they so choose.

    • Well said, CL! And very analogous to the situation with alcohol here in neo-prohibitionistic Alaska, where we like to claim that alcohol is ‘legal’, while effectively 80% of Prohibition is still in effect in this state.

  • Marijuana prohibition is based on a mountain of lies. Correcting it is long overdue.

  • I’ve asked this here before but have never had a good reply: How is it that marijuana is so evil, yet probably everyone reading this website enjoys alcohol, which is legal and glamorized, yet which causes addiction, crime, and a host of other social ills?

    Here’s a little secret: Many of your conservative MRAK friends use MJ, but won’t admit it.

    • Whidbey, MJ has it’s devastating side effects too. Especially the new “higher THC” renditions and dramatically so in children. Perhaps you might have the intellectual curiosity to look into the studies that link pot to elevated mental illness?
      That said, I and probably most MRAC readers and those commenting are libertarians who would not infringe upon your freedoms. Go ahead light one up!

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