Congressional Black Caucus stepping up?

A piece of good news in Congress. Howard Wooldridge tells me that the Congressional Black Caucus, led by John Conyers, has begun to sponsor HR 2306 (“Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011”) with four signed on and more expected. Also Raul Grijalva is the first, but will not be the last, Hispanic representative to sign on.

This is great news. I’ve given the black caucus a hard time in the past for their opposition to reforms that would help their constituents, but this is a very positive sign.

This isn’t going to happen immediately, but getting more people to sign on to this bill will have an impact down the road.

Here’s one Representative, however, who has said that he will vote “NO” on 2306: Rep. Randy Neugebauer of Texas.

Take a look at what’s important to Neugebauer on his House site:

House Republicans launched the 10th Amendment Task Force this week that is dedicated to developing and promoting proposals that aim to disperse power, decision-making, and money from Washington back to states, local governments, and individuals. I am honored to be one of the 10 original founders of this group.

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.” –James Madison, Federalist Papers, No. 45, January 26, 1788

The goal here is simple: We want to empower the American people to take their place in governing this nation, not bureaucrats in Washington. The 10th Amendment doesn’t support a government run from the top down. It ensures a government run from the bottom up, by the people. The American people want real choice and a real vision for a better government. What we need to is to restore power back to the people and get back in line with the conservative principles of our Founding Fathers.

Except marijuana.

Here’s Congressman Neugebauer’s Facebook Page, in case any of you want to point out that it’s hard to justify supporting the tenth amendment and yet opposing the elimination of federal prohibition of marijuana.

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13 Responses to Congressional Black Caucus stepping up?

  1. claygooding says:

    Until we get a grip on election funds and money talking,,,support for legalization will be up to the people paid to keep it illegal.

    • Duncan20903 says:

      So clay, how would you rewrite the 1st Amendment to accomplish that, and why would you entrust the alteration of the very thing in the Constitution that ensures our existence to the current crop of professional politicians that are in charge in almost every level of government?

  2. darkcycle says:

    I thought that bill was already dead…well, I’ve been wrong before.
    It would be good if pointing out hypocrisy to congressweasels worked like crosses worked on Vampires. It would be nice if it caused them to hiss and slink back to the shadows, but it doesn’t. There doesn’t even seem to be any shame left in those people. They treat hypocrisy like it is just part of the job.
    I will spend hours on a public forum with detailed and carefully written arguments for legalization, because I know that somewhere out there someone may read those words and have the epiphany. But I will not waste one single additional word to those tools in congress. The congress of the United States only represents corporate citizens. The rest of the public face of it, the debates, the crises (even the debt crisis) are manufactured. Just window dressing for the masses. The real decisions are made in board rooms and backrooms and enforced by people who work on K street and write large checks. The rest of us? we’re a nuisance and potential customers of the Corporate Prison complex.

    • Windy says:

      With the single exception of Ron Paul who takes no corporate money, refuses to participate in the government pension plan, and even returns a good portion of his congressional office’s budgetary funds to the Treasury each year!

  3. pfroehlich2004 says:

    The NAACP and now the Congressional Black Caucus? This is great news.

  4. Ben says:

    African Americans are poorly informed and highly socially conservative on this issue. The more black matriarchs, who function as heads of families when so many black males are imprisoned, who are educated about the benefits of legalization, the closer we will get to 100% support from the black community.

  5. Taylor says:

    Logically, you’re right that he’s contradicting himself, but Rep. Neugebauer is not interested in logic. He’s interested in ideology, and that tells him marijuana is bad because – well, it just is, OK?

  6. Swooper420 says:

    This particular bill IS dead….the House Judiciary Chairman, a Rethuglian, has already stated that it won’t even get a hearing in committee.

    It’s too bad that this bill won’t get even a hearing…and Rethuglians are supposed to be for smaller, less intrusive government.

    I don’t think it matters how many sponsors the bill has, there would have to be a lot of Rethuglians signing on as sponsors, then pressuring the Chairman to bring it up…and even then could be turned down.

  7. With all due respect to Swooper 420 the legislative process often requires more than Congress to pass a bill and put it on the president’s desk. This 112th Congress we are gathering our allies, finding our foes and understanding the tactics used by the prohibition crowd.

    A bill is DEAD when the sponsor withdraws it & not before. I would appreciate you not saying what is not true. Thanks.

    What i need is for Swoop 420 and all the others on DrugWarRant to write their Congressman and then email the members’ response…thanks in advance, howard

    • Duncan20903 says:

      With all due respect I don’t believe that HR 2306 is simply pining for the fjords.

    • Windy says:

      Howard, I contact my (Democrat) members of congress on this subject a few times each month, and I even have asked them to co-sponsor this bill a few times since it was introduced. I always get the exact same canned response, if I get any response at all. Here is the contents of the most recent copy of that canned response (I’ve deleted all the previous copies):

      Dear ____ ______,

      Thank you for contacting me regarding the federal regulation of marijuana. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

      As you may know, the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) of 1970 restricts the production of all varieties of Cannabis sativa. Under the federal system of government the Controlled Substances Act is not pre-empted by state medical marijuana laws; similarly, state medical marijuana laws are not pre-empted by the Controlled Substances Act. States can statutorily create a medical use exception for botanical cannabis and its derivatives under their own, state-level controlled substance laws. At the same time, federal agents can investigate, arrest, and prosecute medical marijuana patients, caregivers, and providers in accordance with the federal Controlled Substances Act. President Obama has indicated that he does not support the use of limited federal resources to investigate and prosecute medical marijuana users who are in compliance with their applicable state laws.

      In 1998, Washington State voters approved a ballot initiative legalizing the personal use of marijuana for certain medical patients. These are patients who meet all qualifying criteria, possess no more marijuana than is necessary for their own personal medical use (but no more than a 60-day supply), and present valid documentation to investigating law enforcement officers. A bill concerning the medical use of cannabis (SB 5073) was passed in the Washington State legislature on April 22, 2011. On April 29, 2011, Governor Gregoire partially vetoed the legislation, striking several provisions that would have licensed and regulated medical marijuana dispensaries and established a patient registry.

      For more information on Washington State laws that govern medical marijuana, I recommend that you contact your state representative or state senator by calling the Washington State Legislative Hotline at 800-562-6000 or through the legislature’s website at

      As you may know, Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) introduced the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011, in the House of Representatives on June 23, 2011. This legislation was referred to numerous House Committees and is awaiting further consideration. If enacted, this bill would limit the application of federal laws concerning the distribution and consumption of marijuana. At this time, this legislation does not have a companion bill in the U.S. Senate. I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind if I have the opportunity to consider this or similar legislation in the Senate.

      Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter. You may also be interested in signing up for periodic updates for Washington State residents. If you are interested in subscribing to this update, please visit my website at Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.

      Maria Cantwell
      United States Senator

  8. V4peace says:

    Thank you for your persistence!

    At least you got a response. More optimistically, one that suggested open-mindedness.

    Hopefully the people of Washington will let her know that she has an obligation to her state to defend the law its people made. Legalized medical marijuana is currently trumped by federal law.

    Instead of waiting around for a colleague to put the issue forth in the Senate, she should do it herself and reach out to her buddies who represent the other states that are currently in defiance of federal law.

    I will contact my representatives, again, today. Maybe a letter to the editor as well. Thanks to all for doing the same.

    For whatever its worth, I’ll send one to Senator Cantwell, too.

    Just found this site. I look forward to spending more time on it.

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