Congressman O’Rourke Introduces Amendment To End Arbitrary License Suspensions

Cannabis PenaltiesCongressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) with Representatives Amash (R-MI), Jeffries (D-NY), Nadler (D-NY) have introduced an amendment to the appropriations bill that the House is expected to take up next month. The amendment would eliminate the funding for enforcement of Section 159 of title 23, which reduces highway funding for states if they did not automatically suspend drivers licenses of anyone convicted of a drug offense.

This amendment is similar to the Better Drive Act, which Congressman O’Rourke introduced in April. The Better Drive Act removes the federal mandate that demands states to suspend the driver’s license of individuals with a marijuana possession conviction. Currently, any drug conviction, regardless of whether or not the motor vehicle was involved, results in an automatic suspension of the individual’s driving privileges for a period of six months.

Enacted over 25 years ago as a part of the so-called “War on Drugs,” this mandate imposed on states does not improve highway safety or help people address substance abuse. Rather, it had the opposite effect, as this mandate ends up costing minor offenders their ability to get to work and to school, and other undue economic hardships.

By adding an amendment to eliminate the financial penalty against states who do not follow the federal mandate, O’Rourke and his co-sponsors are pushing to ease the burdens against those whom are convicted for simple marijuana possession.

Click here to send a message to you member of the House to support the amendment and companion legislation, The Better Drive Act.

Texas resident? Congressman Beto O’Rourke has been working closely with Texas NORML to address federal reform. Click here to find out more about Texas NORML and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

13 thoughts

  1. Of all the artifacts humans produce, other than tools specifically designed for the purpose of killing and maiming, are there any products that we voluntarily buy and pay for that are more dangerous than automobiles? Not many.

    Those who say marijuana is a threat to safety on the road are full of shit, because if they truly cared about safety on the road, they would be trying to reduce the number of cars and drivers on the roads, instead of scapegoating cannabis consumers. They would be promoting public transportation, instead of perpetuating reefer madness. They would be promoting local community sustainability, instead of talking out of their ass, like a privileged fart in the driver’s seat.

    Drivers, drag your lazy asses out of the driver’s seat, and learn to use your feet again, you flock of walruses!

  2. It is important to know that medical marijuana is important for people, like me, that has a medical condition and suffers from pain, but it is also important to know that this should not be aproved to everyone just because they claim to have something. I went to a clinic in Florida, called and they made a bunch of exams, I think that is the only way to be certain and keep everyone protected from abuses to marijuana.

    1. @ johanna,
      There are no such things as “abuses of marijuana.” Nothing about marijuana ever justifies a person’s arrest and imprisonment.

  3. Signed and done.

    Note the irony of writing Beto’s opponent for Senate, Cruz, to agree and support this common sense legislation. BTW, gotta call Senator Cruz’ office, leave a message and request a call back. He wont answer ever. Cruz has proven time and again none of his constituents’ concerns matter because he’ll pretend to defend our civil liberties and states rights like he did with unjust mandatory minumums… only to flip like a spineless jellyfish and vote against them. Cruz looks and acts like a vantriliquist dummy fucked a phony insurance salesman. He sucks the teets off of Big Pharma, private prisons and the Koch brothers.

    On the other hand, we have Representative Beto Orourke for Senate:

    I remember years back when NORML PAC first supported Beto’s marijuana-policy reforming platform run for the House seat he now occupies. I put my first $50 down and went on to proudly see him win. Seeing him tour the state and push this bill with bipartisan support tells me we’re going to see him win the Senate as well next year.

    And it’s not just from my $50. We’re crowd funding Beto. More over, the Supreme Court is currently hearing testimony from latino and black communities in Texas over the redrawing of 21 unconstitutionally gerrymandered districts. AG Ken Paxton is counting on delaying the verdict until after 2018 elections. But the fact the Supreme Court is hearing arguments before September suggests to me that the courts will redraw the map and Texas Republicans are going to lose this gamble and quite possibly lose the Senate to a marijuana law reforming Democrat named Beto Orourke.

    1. Cruz is the poster child for what is wrong with American politics. The man’s proven to be a raving hypocrite when it comes to disaster relief, voting no to assist victims of Sandy and Katrina, but voting yes for his own constituents. His attitude about legalization is par for the course with this rat.

      O’Rourke’s victory over Cruz would be a huge boon to our cause, especially for Texans.

  4. Cannabis controls my Crohns disease.

    I just wish Congress would make it legal to travel with our medicine.

    Cannabis is the only thing that makes my life worth living.

    Four years ago i was in adult diapers. Flares every 2-3 days, and pain you dont want to imagine.

    Today i am out of adult diapers, two flares so far in 2017, and have my normal life back.

  5. Wow weird. Put up a post on that cdc teen article and it disappeared. Oh libertarians, dont tell me youre moderating this. Article Sergeant Northcutts Post-Iraq Nightmare. Bushs housing program-prison.

  6. It was really good too. Effing drug war nazis on internet 24/7 now. Seems like if its longer than a short phrase, they just deep-six it. Sorry kids. They dont want this movement jumping generations. Hey idiots, spell independent peer review.. . And the newbies with the letters after their names dont get it at all Piled Higher and Deeper. . .

  7. I believe the state of Ohio, where I graduated in 2015, recently amended the driver’s license suspension reqs, to a degree, for marijuana paraphernia or marijuana. I don’t think it is being enforced, at least in Wood County, but this should have happened, at least in Ohio, some time ago. If it is optional, one can probably suspect conservative judges will STILL attach it to penalities.

    1. Reminder that the narcsharks selected the word “paraphernalia” because it is perfect scarekids propaganda– “paranoia” + “infernal” + “alien” hidden inside but the third ear “hears” them. How many longstem oneheaters “confiscated” because they are “considered” paraphernalia.
      If Wood County needs a woodworking industry, think of turning chillum-sized branch segments and lumber-bits into choooooooomhaendels with a hole at the top where a screened 1/4″ socket wrench or barbed hose nipple fits snugly in and a hole at the bottom where a footlong pvc flextube fits.

  8. In other words to my previous posts, and I MIGHT be wrong, judges are still suspending your license, you still have to go to the Secretary of State office, local, and pay that fine. Could be wrong, but I believe this is optional in Ohio. Judges still have the discretion to suspend your liscene. Ohio is a Republican state (Steiner and the GOP revolution, essentially, Kasich, Husted, Dewine, others). Best and support to Reps. O’Rourke, Amash, Jeffries, et. All supporters of the Better Drive Act. and this measure.

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