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Congress – Lots of Talk, No Action On Marijuana

Maureen Meehan

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While they’re loath to admit ever having smoked it, Congress sure likes talking about pot. 

According to Capitol Words, a database that tracks everything entered into the Congressional record then charts the most-used words, “marijuana” has been mentioned in the House and Senate at least 4,238 times since 1996. 

Congress, especially in the past five years, has most likely talked about pot way more than 4,238 times, but tracking the numerous synonyms in aggregate would be nearly impossible, especially since so many of them have commonplace meanings. 

The Online Slang Dictionary has enough synonyms to converse on the subject for a month without ever sounding repetitious. 

Usually when Congress people talk about marijuana it is to raise concerns, complain or cause alarm and confusion. 

Cases in point, as laid out by Vocativ: John McCain, in 1998 fretted that, “the debate over the legalization of marijuana and the glorification of drugs in popular culture has caused confusion in our young people.” 

Fast forwarding to March of this year, Rep. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) complained about Obama being too open about being a former smoker: “You can’t have the President of the United States of America talking about marijuana like it is no different than taking a drink, saying, ‘I used marijuana when I was in high school.’” 

Among the sillier, and judgmental, comments was made recently by life-long anti-drug warrior, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions who told the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control that “good people don’t smoke marijuana.” 

As Congress members become more aware of changing public and political opinion on cannabis, federal leadership is still sorely lacking, which plays out in the ongoing conflict between state and federal marijuana policies. 

Congress has within its power to resolve this conflict and change federal law, especially in view of the fact that 61 percent of American adults advocate legalizing marijuana.

Talk amongst yourselves, Congress, then do your job and carry out the will of the people. 

graphic via tucsonweekly.com

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