This Bill is Worse Than You Think

September 1

This month, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on whether to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act. The bill is even worse than you may think: please contact your representative TODAY through our Action Center.

Currently, marijuana is an illegal substance under federal law. (While some states have legalized recreational marijuana in their own states, this only “works” to the extent that federal law enforcement turns a blind eye to offenses.) Still, the federal status of marijuana hasn’t stopped Pelosi’s House from trying to support Big Marijuana: last fall they attempted to fund the illegal industry through the SAFE Banking Act, and they tried the same trick with emergency COVID funding this spring.

Now, Pelosi’s House wants to go further by legalizing marijuana at the federal level. While that doesn’t automatically make marijuana legal throughout the states, it would certainly send a strong message that marijuana just isn’t a big deal. But we know it is a big deal. That’s why it’s on Schedule I, a federal list of drugs that have “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.*


Indeed, marijuana is not the harmless drug some paint it to be. Here are the facts:

  • One study found that regular recreational marijuana users had psychotic disorders at a greater rate than users of any other drug (more than cocaine, methamphetamine, amphetamine, LSD, PCP, or alcohol).
  • Following legalization, central Oregon hospitals saw a nearly 2,000% increase in emergency room visits due to marijuana poisoning.
  • When THC (the psychoactive, “high”-inducing substance in marijuana) is present in vaping products, it can be dangerous and even fatal: as of this February, states reported 2,807 hospitalized cases (including 68 confirmed deaths) of a lung disease linked with vaping and in particular with products containing THC.

And it’s not just medical concerns. Here’s what happened in Colorado when it legalized pot:

The bill would open the floodgates for what happened to Colorado to begin to happen nationwide. And the bill isn’t just about removing criminal penalties. Here are some of the other things the bill would do:

  • Eliminate criminal penalties for the manufacture and distribution of marijuana
  • Expunge records for previous marijuana offenses, including manufacture and distribution
  • Legitimize Big Marijuana by charging the Small Business Administration with creating a “Cannabis Opportunity Program” giving loans to the cannabis industry, and an “Equitable Licensing Grant Program” designed to “minimize barriers to cannabis licensing”

The bottom line? This bill is dangerous.

Representatives have been asked to indicate by Thursday whether they will support the bill. Please visit our Action Center today to contact your Representative and ask them to NOT support this dangerous legislation!

Pressing On,

Meridian Baldacci

*Hemp, a cannabis plant with a very low content of THC, is sometimes used for medical reasons and is already exempt from the Controlled Substances Act.