Representative Nancy Pelosi: I Think State Marijuana Laws Have to Be Respected; I Think Tax and Regulate

In an interview with the Denver Post, published this week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke about the marijuana legalization initiatives passed in Colorado and Washington in November.

When asked, “What are the measures in Washington (DC) that might address states that legalize marijuana and what is your view of federal policy?,” Minority Leader Pelosi expressed her support of state laws regarding marijuana and encouraged a tax and regulate policy:

Q: What are the measures in Washington (DC) that might address states that have taken steps to legalize marijuana and what is your view of the federal role?

Rep. Pelosi: I support the leadership of Jared Polis, who has been a leader on this issue as well as other members..I understand some of the Republican members support the law now that is passed, even if they didn’t before.

But in any case, to answer your question, what is my position regarding the states that have medical marijuana or recreational marijuana as the law of their states: I think that has to be respected. I think tax and regulate.

In order to do that, there has to be a level of respect for the fact, that if you are going to have recreational marijuana, someone is in business to do that and they have to have tax treatment in order for them to function as a business.

How the state of Colorado interacts with the federal government on the taxation issues is something they have to work out, but I think they should.

You can view the full interview here.

Representative Pelosi now joins the growing list of prominent politicians who are coming out in support of rational marijuana policy. Take a minute of your time and click here to easily contact your Representative and urge him or her to support Representative Polis’ legislation, HR 499: The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013, and put an end to our nation’s war on cannabis consumers.

74 thoughts

  1. Hey, Barry. It’s me again. You know this Mid-Atlantic Conference in Philadelphia tomorrow is going to issue recommendations way beyond the Shafer Commission’s report. This is like Shafer Commission 2 here. Make legalization happen. Nudge, nudge, say no more.

  2. @OldGuy,
    Um where to start…..
    Ill start with a positve direction with our conversation.
    I like that you said”Restricting personal choice (in all things that do not harm another directly) should be illegal”
    i like that you think
    “Living in a very conservative state I will never see legalization before I die.”
    when in reality you, want to say that im “fussing” over other peoples comments when in fac sir you just started a conversation with the same ignorence i believe.

    I bet your one of those poeple who get off on one topic then jumps away from the topic completely
    “Let me give you an example. Would you be pleased that the slave master threw you his chewed and spit out scraps food? Would you put down the other slaves for daring to say the master is a … you fill in the blank. Or would you stand with the other slave and DEMAND your freedom. Why would you be satistifed with one politician throwing out a bone on one subject (which we all hold dear) when the system is heavily leaning in their favor on everything. We the people should not have to beg the government for scraps. Yet we do everyday”

    I mean the topic at hand is in the title which is “Representative Nancy Pelosi” choosing to change her mind from being a negative to a positive. not some made up crap story of slavery and spit out food. I mean you can challenge yourself to a vocal dual all you want , but at least argue that your point has something to do with a topic and not hypothetical situation of outrageous Proportion. maybe im a little upset at something else in life but hey lashing out seems to be ok with you , and as far as your
    snottiness, self-regarded, swagger…….you sir are on the wrong page……I read what you post …..fully……in respectful argueing ….due the same………
    have a nice day.

    as always
    thanks for reading…….

  3. The goal: let’s reform the Controled Substance Act and make Congress do theirf job and legislate marijuana, NOT the DEA. No cops should wield the power to write or regulate law. There is a reason we have three branches of government. For the last 40 years we have allowed cops to write marijuana law. They made asset forfeiture, amended the right to prosecute with government funds to maintain marijuana isn’t medicinal, and fund private wars our armies have to mop up. Let’s end prohibition now.

  4. @Chris

    I will not copy and paste all of your comment as I figure you know what you wrote and anyone else can surely go back and read it for themselves. I dont think you comprehended fully what you read because your analysis of my comment is a little fractured. I would try and clear up what I said for you but I dont think it will help.

    Since I cant determine exactly what you are trying to say I will leave it at something positive, as you started off with but failed to clearly convey.

    I am glad Pelosi FINALLY had a change of heart (about cannabis prohibition) after all these years of her and other like minded indivduals screwing us. I will take her comments at face value but with reservations based on decades of watching our elected officials fail to follow through without royally messing up everything they seem to touch.

    I sure hope that I have not strayed too far from the obviously restrictive forum response edicate you seem to feel we are allowed. In the future I will try to not bother you with the truth or complaints about the obvious as you are surely fully informed and aware of all that is occuring around you.

  5. Here, regarding our leadership and cannabis:

    “Legislator charged with pot possession

    GOP Assemblyman Steve Katz, who voted against legalizing medical marijuana, ticketed on Thruway”

    “…Katz, who is not charged with driving under the influence, was released on an appearance ticket and is scheduled to appear…”

    1 – against legalizing it, even medicinally yet, partakes it himself
    2 – was speeding and had, seemingly recently partook of it – but was NOT arrested for DUI-
    you and I would have been another major case and a star for the arresting officer.

    WTF is that crap?!

    double standards all through this mess.

  6. @oldguy
    I am glad we can have any topic of conversation, but you are the one who said i was part of the problem because i strayed of the topics? so all i did was redirect your responce back to you by showing your that your thoughts were not that different . Like i said in many other post im glad of your right of freedom of speach, and i dont care what you talk about. All i was getting at with the last post, sir,,,,,is that i have read your post,not that i fully understood you , just read them fully, but i at least read them. I never claimed to be the Omniscient one ,of any surroundings, this again is your evil little mind working hard to beat me up again. I do try to stick to the movement of talking about the end of prohibition and all its topics…….but i dont go around trying to defuse your topics unless your being downright stupid by trying to confuse others and other organization( if i am even intellegent enough to catch on to it).

    so to clear up what im saying for you,

    I dont post bs against your post even tho your contradicting with the way you feel on reform and how it gets done and also dont like the term “never in your lifetime” statements its a real positve outlook to show how you still feel were in the 60’s,law wise, when its all changing around us daily ,but i’ll leave well enough alone, because i am not on here to fight with you , i would rather fight for this movemnet in the right direction,and argueing with you isnt the way to help anyone,
    so againg have a nice day.
    your welcome to have the last word sir, so you can have your freedom of speach not withheld from you, good luck with all you do, and have a nice day.

    so one again My apologies for abusing this site to try to gain my point on nothingness..

    but am gratefull NORML allows all of our freedoms to ring, even speach…

    as always
    thanks for reading

  7. The Tragic Irony of Current Marijuana Policy.
    An essay by Julian Olinick.
    The tragic irony of current marijuana policy appears limitless. Watching Congress and the DEA dance around the Controlled Substance Act is like watching a live Greek Tragedy unfold in our nation’s capitol.
    The action is on our tragic hero, Boehner. Boehner will vote against marijuana legalization and lose his job in 2014. And the banks will see to it he does lose so they can wash the dirty cash from made-to-fail Drug Wars– dirty cash they’ll get back clean from donating to his made-to-fail campaign.
    Never before have American voters had the opportunity to witness who is purchased by the DEA and who isnt. The pro hemp and/or marijuana supporters are making their stands before 2014 elections. Marijuana policy is now the second most important topic for American voters besides gun control, according to Thomas, the new interactive computer from the Library of Congress.
    The hubris of Boehner’s Congress is that by obeying the DEA ($$$) and special interests ($$$$) and maintaining the Controlled Substance Act they believe they are maintaining their power; anyone stupid enough to vote for marijuana prohibition now truly believes they can buy our votes. Maybe Boehner realizes he’s a puppet, but he hates his job anyway. His face says “Buy me out, PLEASE.” (or does his face say “shoot me” while he strikes down the gun bill– wouldn’t THAT be tragic irony?)
    Even the top gun violence issue IS a drug policy issue. The drug wars have denied medicine to the mentally ill and created the war in Afghanistan to control the opium trade; a war that gives our soldiers PTSD, who prefer marijuana over the prescribed anti-depressants– legally prescribed pills which when mixed with legal alcohol can leave one waking up in someone’s fence with blood on the windshield and no memory of what happened. Anti-depressants mixed with alcohol is a violent epidemic in the U.S. creating needless deaths and accidents on a daily basis. Meanwhile there are zero reported deaths per year as a result of marijuana use.
    The tragic irony for marijuana today is that it was industrial hemp, not marijuana that industries wanted to outlaw and its the very same pharmaceutical and petrochemical companies today that will legalize it. Companies like Dupont stand to gain by commercializing hemp and marijuana whereas before they felt in competition with a renewable oil resource. There is growing demand for green products that can produce everything from cellulose plastic to homegrown medicine. Brazil grows cane fuel. We can grow hemp fuel. The very same companies such as Dupont that outlawed hemp a century ago now stand to profit from hemp production. The emerging market for hemp in the U.S. has the Canadians flattening forests down to grow huge fields of it because we cant grow it at home. Furthermore, the drought in 2011 destabalized corn ethanol production. the American Chemistry Council will have to look for a new renewable resource to stabalize sweet crude oil prices for fuel besides corn ethanol; we need a plant that grows well in American soil that doesn’t compete with corn syrup and put companies like Hostess out of business during a drought. We need a plant that grows well in this new drought-stricken climate and on farmlands that don’t compete with prime soy and corn acreage that the Department of Agriculture should zone for food crops. We cant afford NOT to legalize industrial hemp. How’s that for tragic irony? Marijuana prohibition has more to do with hemp than marijuana. We’re the only industrialized nation in the world that doesn’t recognize the difference between industrial hemp and psychoactive marijuana because we let the DEA legislate it through the Controlled Substance Act.
    Don’t believe hemp started prohibition? Or that hemp will end it? Here’s a history lesson: Picture it: North Dakota, 1913. A field of hemp as far as the eyes could see. Henry Ford’s farm had participated in the Hemp for Victory campaign that supplied our troops with tents and boots during WWI. The very first model T off the world’s first mass produced assembly line had a windshield made of celluolose plastic made from, you guessed it; hemp oil. The reaction from petrochemical companies like Dupont was swift; in 1915 President Wilson passed the Marijuana Stamp Act making it unaffordable for American farmers to grow hemp much less marijuana. If companies couldn’t control the price of the oil, they couldn’t control the price of revolutionary petroleum products like red solo cups. (Can you just imagine a red solo cup made from biodegradable hemp? You could drink a beer with it until it breaks and roll a joint with the same cup). ehemm, SO to end this history lesson; Before Alcohol prohibtion ended Marijuana prohibtion began, and the circle of corruption in Congress continued. The price of crude oil surged while the cost of hemp farming was made unsustainable. And some rich guys sat back, rolled a fat one and got high on the bitter irony.
    But its crude oil that is scarce and unsustainable these days. Even during this natural gas boom, the demand for light sweet crude is very unstable. Drillers and frackers are flash burning all the excess natural gas to get to the profitable crude oil. The U.S. has no choice but to open all our reserves and supply to China so they can sell us back all their cheap crappy plastic at Wal-Mart and “save the world economy.” The plastic cups, plates and bags end up in our oceans and here’s the real tragedy; the same Food and Drug Administration that tells us marijuana isn’t medicine doesn’t even inspect the %80 of our fish we import into the United States that we consume every year. We’re eating all the chemicals we put in our petrochemical plastic. Any coincidence that cancer and mental illness are on the rise?
    But there is an even greater tragic irony for those Congressman who will vote against legalization of marijuana: The very same corporations that created the DEA to maintain marijuana is not a medicine are going to throw their purchased Congressmen under the bus in 2014; Thanks to Citizens United big banks are going to use failed elections to launder all the dirty money that they have to clean for the DEA and the rest of the world’s crony cartels. Or does Bank of America and JP Morgan/Chase really think we believe that $80 million dollars in the Ohio 2012 election all went to television ads? Romney took a dive so billionaire casino-owner Sheldon Adleson could wash some dirty cash. The house is gong to “clean house” in 2014 to please the very same banks and corporations that pay for their campaigns. The banks will see that Congress votes against marijuana, then they’ll launder all their dirty cash through the loser’s campaign. That’s not just irony, that’s just plain fucked up.
    But wait! There is an even GREATER tragic irony to marijuana prohibition! If Congress votes that marijuana is NOT a medicine they will be voting in support of an unconstitutional Controlled Substance Act that gives cops, (The DEA) the unlawful authority of legislating marijuana FOR Congress. For the last 40 years Congress has voted to let cops do their job. That’s tragic irony of epic Greek proportions that will inevitably end up in that Greek-looking building we call the Supreme Court.
    Oh, but it gets even better. Sure, theres credible paranoia that companies like Pfizer will figure out how to legalize a synthetic canabinoid while successfully outlawing the natural plant of marijuana. But thanks to our good friends at NORMAl, there is a case about to blow up in the Supreme Court that will tackle the greatest irony of the world’s most violent and unconstitutional law; The controlled Substance Act’s allegation that marijuana is not only NOT a medicine, but allocates out tax dollars to fund research that denies marijuana IS a medicine. The Supreme Court will have to force marijuana to state legislators since our federal legislators wont legislate! The only way to do that is to nullify the Controlled Substance Act that states marijuana is not a medicine. The Supreme Court is looking at the case that left DC Apellate court where the DEA flatly denies a petition that marijuana is a medicine. Michelle Leonhart, director of the DEA has testified before Congress that marijuana is not a medicine and hides behind the FDA to prove it. Meanwhile even before Congress cut funding, the University of Boulder has already confirmed what the University of Meir in Israel discovered that we can isolate the canabinoid that simulates the CB1 canabinoid (that stimulates hunger and proper intestinal digestion, thereby reducing bowel inflammation while increasing nutrient absorbtion) that people with Chrone’s Disease and Colitis fail to produce. (Wait, let me check my Merck manual); Yup, that qualifies marijuana as a medicine in MY book.
    In Greek tragedies, “hamartia” is described as “the arrow that misses its mark,” and usually occurs during the climax of a drama where the tragic hero begins his or her descent and their excess pride, or hubris is revealed. Michelle Leonhart, director of the DEA is the tragic heroine in our Marijuana Tragedy, and her testimony to Congress that marijuana is not a medicine was her hamartia. The DEA will try to pin this on Attorney General Eric Holder. He’ll play the fall guy and get replaced. And meanwhile another person with cancer or chrone’s disease will get busted for smoking pot and we’ll be back in court again.
    In conclusion, whether its dirty drug wars preventing medicine, laundered money through big banks and campaigns or cellulose plastic made from hemp oil to save the planet, Marijuana’s tragic irony will come to an abrupt end because we quite literally can’t afford the prisons anymore. If we’re honest, quite frankly, we never could.
    Let’s not just sit back and watch the drama unfold people! Donate to NORMAL and lets end marijuana and hemp prohibition now!

  8. @anonymous: its spelled “rhetoric,” and “lobbyist.” And yes, agreed, bring it home normal.

  9. that’s good that states can benefit from a regulated cannabis market rather than the criminal element and places less of a burden on our criminal justice system and law enforcement

  10. Rhetoric… oh my god. Exasperated by the lack of knowledge and wisdom exhibited by, less than intellectual, potheads. Some of us can, while circumlocutious, at least, form an idea into a coherent statement. At the same time, utilizing correctly spelled vocabulary would definitely improve one’s credibility.

  11. Lets speed up the legalization stories eh. This has been up here for a while now. Hustle Hustle! I want legalization before I croak…

  12. The Fourth Amendment gets more difficult to understand for me everyday so I’ve edited it (in parentheses) for clarity.
    The right (a self-evident legal tolerance afforded within the real world) of the people to be secure (in control of one’s own affairs) in their persons (pants pockets), houses (those structures we live in and land we live on), papers (finances, electronic documents, etc.), and effects (automobiles, shopping bags, etc.), against unreasonable searches (looking for stuff) and seizures (taking stuff), shall not be violated (done anyway even though it’s unconstitutional), and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause (a witness sees an actual victim being harmed), supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing (not just demographically describing) the place to be searched (make and model of your particular car for example), and the persons (a particular, not generic or general, pot smoker) or things to be seized.
    Bottom line: it seems to me that the right to have a private garden is certainly violated in today’s laws.

  13. @Ben

    The hypocracy rivals that of alcohol prohibition. NORML fans, we’ve spent billions to relearn the lesson of prohibition.

    We need a SCIENTIFIC investigation, not an ideological one, of how this happened. This must never happen again.

  14. @ Ben,

    Yep, I saw that article about the GOP assemblyman too. Dude votes against legalization, then gets popped, stoned out of his gourd. Looks like karma reared up and bit this hypocrite where the sun don’t shine.

  15. @ OldGuy,

    My problem with those “fussers” is that they “fuss” about almost every bit of good news that comes down the pike, especially is a Dem or liberal is involved. (I think their complaints have more to do with their libertarian politics than MJ per se. I think MJ could be substituted with any other issue–as we’ve seen many times on these posts, abortion, gun control, etc. So let’s be real about this.)

    You say that we shouldn’t applaud Pelosi’s statement because it doesn’t fix the root of the problem–prohibition, that it’s essentially a “scrap.” Is that right?

    So, apparently, according to you, it would have been just the same had Pelosi come out and said, “No, MJ is illegal, that’s the federal law, and I’ll do my best to oppose the voters of those states. Federal law is federal law.” Is that what you’d have preferred? Do you REALLY believe that would help our cause?

    I’m sure you know that the jury is still out on this matter between Colo and Wash and the federal govt. There is still every chance in the world that the feds will come down hard on Colo and Wash on the MJ issue. Therefore, Old Guy, in my opinion, Pelosi’s comment adds a very significant weight to this argument. I’m extremely happy she fed us this “scrap.”

    BTW, your analogy about the slave master and Pelosi is specious. Pelosi wasn’t saying to the marijuana community, “Hey, MJ is still illegal, but I’ll throw you a crumb if you get busted, and lighten your sentence by a few months.” (That is an equivalent to your analogy.)

    Instead she said she supports Colo’s and Wash’s decisions to legalize. A more accurate analogy, on your part, would have been her saying to the slave, “Hey, Kansas and Missouri just abolished slavery–I respect their decisions.”

    Old Guy, if you aren’t calling up your Reps, and trying to help legalize, but instead, scoffing at every bit of positive news you hear, because it doesn’t completely fix the problem of prohibition, or because you don’t like the political affiliation of the messenger, then it’s you, my friend, who is part of the problem.

  16. Google
    National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse

    Now tell me again, why we need to vote to make something legal that was never voted in as illegal in first place.
    a Executive order from a impeached President is BS

  17. @Julian Olinick – Nice essay mi amigo! You’ve clearly given this issue a great deal of thought and your words seem to ring true.

    Thank you for sharing it with us!

  18. Politicians who pay lip service to liberty are far worse than politicians who support prohibition. At least with the honest prohibitionists there’s a chance they’ll see the truth. You can’t reason with Pelosi. She says whatever she thinks you want to hear today.

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