New House Rules Chairman To Allow Votes On Cannabis Amendments

By Benjie Cooper

IG: @nuglifenews

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Representative Jim McGovern [D-MA] will assume the role of House Rules Committee Chairman in 2019 and replace Pete Sessions [R-TX] who currently holds the seat. Sessions lost his re-election bid to Colin Allred [D-TX] in the November midterm elections.

But McGovern says that, unlike Sessions, he will be allowing a more open dialogue on cannabis policy reform to occur in the House by allowing lawmakers to discuss and vote on marijuana-related amendments in light of the growing number of states that permit the plant’s medicinal and adult use.

“Unlike my predecessor, I’m not going to block amendments for marijuana,” said McGovern. “Citizens are passing ballot initiatives, legislatures are passing laws, and we need to respect that. Federal laws and statutes are way behind.”

Texas Cannabis Industry Association board member Patrick Moran criticized Sessions in September for hindering marijuana reform in the United States, accusing him of being a bigot and defying the principles that Abraham Lincoln fought for in the Civil War.

During Sessions’ time as House Chair, he has used his position to prevent votes on nearly three-dozen cannabis amendments.

“This just seems like common-sense stuff,” said McGovern. “Especially on the issue of medical marijuana—people who are opposed to that are just on the wrong side of public opinion, overwhelmingly. It’d be nice if every once in a while, Congress acted in a way people wanted”

McGovern says that he will work to change federal policy to honor state marijuana rights and allow the cannabis industry to use the banking system.