Marijuana industry hunts for votes after helping to oust top opponent
The marijuana industry, which is growing quickly in a handful of states where recreational use is legal, is turning its attention to Congress, plotting an aggressive legislative agenda it hopes will advance after years of stagnation.
Supporters of legalization hope the 116th Congress will move a handful of measures aimed at normalizing the marijuana industry. They will have help from several members of Congress - including several top Republicans - who want the federal government to stay out of what they see as a state's rights issue.
"This is a place that Republicans and Democrats alike can agree that it shouldn't be the place of the federal government to interfere," said Aaron Smith, who heads the National Cannabis Industry Association.
By REID WILSON. The Hill. December 19, 2018
How the U.S. Government Is Profiting From Keeping Pot Illegal
So where did the Joint Committee on Taxation's numbers come from? Several marijuana industry groups have done their own estimates of 280E's impact, but the numbers that seem closest to what the JCT put out were developed by a Washington D.C. economic research firm hired by Tom Rodgers, a Native-American advocate and lobbyist. About 15 years ago, Rodgers was the whistleblower in the infamous Jack Abramoff case, helping authorities to uncover criminal lobbying and bribery activities that ultimately led to convictions for 21 people, including a congressman and two former Bush White House officials. These days, Rodgers has expanded his oeuvre to include some work on behalf of the cannabis industry. In 2016, in conjunction with a chain of Colorado marijuana dispensaries called the Green Solution, Rodgers commissioned the research firm to develop an analysis of 280E in the hopes of ultimately getting the provision repealed.
By Amanda Chicago Lewis. Rolling Stone. February 1, 2018