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2016 Senate Scorecard

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Senate Bills

Daines/Merkley Veterans Equal Access Amendment

Permits physicians affiliated with the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to recommend cannabis therapy to veterans in states that allow for its therapeutic use. More info

Mikulski Amendment Protecting State Medical Marijuana Laws

Limits the Justice Department’s ability to take criminal action against state-licensed operations that are acting in full compliance with the medical marijuana laws of their states. More info

Merkley Marijuana Banking Amendment

Prohibits the US Treasury Department from using federal funds to take punitive actions against banks that provide financial services to marijuana-related businesses that are operating legally under state laws. More info

'N/A' means that the Senator did not have the opportunity to vote on this amendment.

Senators

  • Elizabeth Warren (D)

    MASSACHUSETTS

    NORML Grade: B

    Votes

    ?

    Cosponsor

    S 1726 Marijuana Businesses Access to Banking Act of 2015
    S 683 - CARERS

    Comments

    Warren first said she supports medical marijuana in Fall 2012, shortly after her father died of cancer. "If there's something a physician can prescribe that can help someone who's suffering, I'm in favor of that," she told Boston's WTKK-FM. "It should be like any other prescription drug. That there's careful control over it." In September 2015, Warren said “I’m open to it,” when asked about a legalization initiative that may appear on her home state of Massachusetts’s ballot next year…on Wednesday, Warren told the Boston Globe that “we’ve learned more. A couple of states have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Frankly, I think we ought to be learning what we can from those states.” "A kid gets caught with a few ounces of pot and goes to jail, but a big bank launders drug money and no one gets arrested,” she said at the liberal Netroots Nation conference last year. “The game is rigged!” In Wednesday’s interview, Warren criticized the way scientific inquiry on marijuana has been stymied and stigmatized. “It’s just kind of a crazy thing, this country, for so long has done this like, ‘Marijuana, you know, no!’ We can’t even do scientific research around it. And so I’ve been pushing to say we ought to explore it and see what the consequences of marijuana use are.

  • Ed Markey (D)

    MASSACHUSETTS

    NORML Grade: C+

    Votes

    ?

    Comments

    In a letter signed by six other U.S. senators, Warren and Markey prodded federal agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and the Drug Enforcement Administration to become more involved and supportive of research around medical marijuana, and reduce some of the barriers to conducting that research.

  • Gary Peters (D)

    MICHIGAN

    NORML Grade: D

    Votes

    ?

    No sponsorships or comments

  • Debbie Stabenow (D)

    MICHIGAN

    NORML Grade: D

    Votes

    ?

    No sponsorships or comments

  • Al Franken (D)

    MINNESOTA

    NORML Grade: C

    Votes

    ?

    Cosponsor

    S 134 Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015
    S. 683 CARERS Act of 2015
  • Amy Klobuchar (D)

    MINNESOTA

    NORML Grade: D

    Votes

    ?

    No sponsorships or comments

  • Roger Wicker (R)

    MISSISSIPPI

    NORML Grade: D

    Votes

    ?

    No sponsorships or comments

  • Thad Cochran (R)

    MISSISSIPPI

    NORML Grade: D-

    Votes

    ?

    No sponsorships or comments

  • Roy Blunt (R)

    MISSOURI

    NORML Grade: B

    Votes

    ?

    Cosponsor

    S. 1333: Therapeutic Hemp Medical Access Act of 2015
  • Claire McCaskill (D)

    MISSOURI

    NORML Grade: C

    Votes

    ?

    Comments

    "After the event, she told the Branson Tri-Lake News that “I don’t think there are enough seniors that realize that there are some therapeutic benefits to medical marijuana, marijuana that you consume opposed to smoke when you’re young and in a pair of jeans and a T-shirt.” April 2015 "I think we need to look at hemp as an agricultural product obviously and there needs to be some thoughtful way of making sure, because most hemp grown is industrial hemp, it's not the kind you hope your 14-year-old isn't smoking," McCaskill said as marijuana reformers no doubt had to fight a desire to scream out about how it's impossible to get high off hemp." She continued: "So it is probably, I think, a good idea to look at, we're always at ways. Frankly, our agriculture is our lifesaver in Missouri because we have a positive trade balance because of how much we export. If hemp can be another one, I'm certainly open to it." March 2014 "I'm in close contact with my colleagues in Colorado and they're having some unexpected problems, some activity that they're not happy about. So I'm continuing to talk to them." McCaskill said, offering no specifics about these problems. March 2014 "You know, there's no question that marijuana impacts your behavior. It's a mind-altering drug, just like nicotine and just like alcohol. I can definitely understand there are some arguments to be made that nicotine and alcohol are as bad or worse. I get those arguments. But I'm not sure that putting another one easily accessible -- besides nicotine or alcohol -- is the best way for us to go." March 2014 "I guarantee you that there are kids who are getting handed beers everyday. So it's not like those same ones handing them beers aren't gonna hand them a joint. So that, that doesn't work. I'm open to watching and seeing what happens with this but right now, I'm not gonna give you the answer you wanna hear but hopefully you know that's what I do. I'm not gonna tell you I'm for it. But I'm gonna watch carefully and see what happens in Colorado." March 2014

  • Steve Daines (R)

    MONTANA

    NORML Grade: B+

    Votes

    ?

    Cosponsor

    S 134: Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015

    Amendments

    Veterans Equal Access Amendment

    Comments

    “The amendment was a necessary response to an absurd regulatory morass,” Montana Sen. Steve Daines, one of the three Republicans to support Thursday’s amendment, tells Politico, referring to the multifaceted and complex system of laws that have been enacted over the past four decades to prosecute a war on marijuana."

  • Jon Tester (D)

    MONTANA

    NORML Grade: B+

    Votes

    ?

    Cosponsor

    S 134: Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015
  • Ben Sasse (R)

    NEBRASKA

    NORML Grade: C

    Votes

    ?

    Comments

    “I believe our society doesn’t need more drugs because, like every Nebraska parent, I want what is best for my children. At the same time, I generally believe that contentious issues should be handled, whenever possible, by states rather than federal bureaucracies. This policy discussion is more complicated than the current debate often suggests because Congress has passed domestic drug laws to fulfill international treaties. As Nebraskans consider these issues, we should pay close attention to the emerging data on health and safety from states like Colorado and examine the increased burden on Nebraska’s law enforcement.” September 2014

  • Deb Fischer (R)

    NEBRASKA

    NORML Grade: F

    Votes

    ?

    Comments

    "I do not support legalization of marijuana," said U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer during a listening session at the Keystone Business Center Tuesday. Sen. Fischer was responding to a question from an area resident curious about her position on the subject. 8/27/2015 (Link)
    Sen. Fischer said she met with law enforcement representatives throughout Nebraska, "and what they shared with me was eye opening." She said marijuana coming over from Colorado was much more potent and available in a variety of forms, including cannabis infused candy such as gummy bears. "This is dangerous for kids. I'm opposed to it," said Sen. Fischer, reiterating her opposition to legalizing the drug. Sen. Fischer said it wasn't uncommon for laws to be ignored but it was especially upsetting to her when it was being done by a state. "Colorado is ignoring federal law," said Sen. Fischer. August 2015

  • Dean Heller (R)

    NEVADA

    NORML Grade: B

    Votes

    ?

    Cosponsor

    S. 683: CARERS
    S. 1726: Marijuana Businesses Access to Banking Act of 2016

    Comments

    Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) also sponsored the bill last week, saying in a news release that “the time has come for the federal government to stop impeding the doctor-patient relationship in states that have decided their own medical marijuana policies.”

  • Harry Reid (D)

    NEVADA

    NORML Grade: B

    Votes

    ?

    Cosponsor

    S. 1726: Marijuana Businesses Access to Banking Act of 2015

    Comments

    "If you'd asked me this question a dozen years ago, it would have been easy to answer -- I would have said no, because (marijuana) leads to other stuff," Reid said in the interview posted online Thursday. "But I can't say that anymore." "I think we need to take a real close look at this," Reid continued. "I think that there's some medical reasons for marijuana." "I guarantee you one thing. We waste a lot of time and law enforcement going after these guys that are smoking marijuana."January 2014

  • Jeanne Shaheen (D)

    NEW HAMPSHIRE

    NORML Grade: B

    Votes

    ?

    No sponsorships or comments

  • Kelly Ayotte (R)

    NEW HAMPSHIRE

    NORML Grade: D

    Votes

    ?

    Comments

    (Link)

  • Cory Booker (D)

    NEW JERSEY

    NORML Grade: B+

    Votes

    ?

    Cosponsor

    S. 2557 SUCCESS Act

    Comments

    "The so called War on Drugs has not succeeded in making significant reductions in drug use, drug arrests or violence," Booker said during an "Ask Me Anything" with Reddit users. "We are pouring huge amounts of our public resources into this current effort that are bleeding our public treasury and unnecessarily undermining human potential." December 2014 (Link)

    (Link)

  • Bob Menendez (D)

    NEW JERSEY

    NORML Grade: D

    Votes

    ?

    No sponsorships or comments

This information is continually being updated. If you have an additional public comment that we do not have record of or any additional information please email politics@norml.org.