Tomorrow is 4/20, an unofficial day of celebration for marijuana users nationwide.
To mark the occasion Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D.-Ore.), founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, released what he’s calling the “Cannabis State of the Union 2018.” It’s a reckoning of the state of domestic marijuana policy and a look forward to the debates we’re likely to see in the coming year.
The speech covers a lot of ground, so we’ve annotated it below.
CONGRESSMAN EARL BLUMENAUER: For the two decades after cannabis was listed as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, we were spinning our wheels. While a few states decriminalized marijuana, starting with Oregon in 1973, we were basically overwhelmed by Richard Nixon’s misguided War on Drugs.
In 1996, with California’s vote to legalize medical marijuana—followed shortly thereafter by Arizona and Oregon—we moved into a new period of activism driven by the will of the voters, not the politicians. Victories for medical marijuana and decriminalization began piling up in state after state.
The adult-use victories of 2012 and 2014 in Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and the District of Columbia signaled the shift to broader