The 118th Congress is off to a rocky start off. And as Republicans in the Household wrestle to coalesce all-around a speaker, one particular GOP congresswoman who backs marijuana legalization took a strike at a colleague who also supports legalization with an accusation that he may possibly be significant on prescription drugs.
For advocates, it is not the most reassuring sort of get together infighting. Reps. Nancy Mace (R-SC) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL) are among the the couple Residence Republican champions of cannabis reform, and the early conflict could chance depressing attempts to build on bipartisan momentum to shift the challenge forward this session.
Mace has long gone just after Gaetz from several angles in modern days around the congressman’s role in rallying opposition against Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who obtained the GOP nomination for speaker but has failed in several votes to safe vast majority assist in the chamber to take on the top rated function. This is the initial time in a century that the Dwelling has not elected a speaker in the initial round of voting.
On Wednesday, as just just before Property held its fourth vote for speaker in two times, Mace delivered another critique: “I know individuals feel I’m the weed lady…but critical question @repmattgaetz, what are you on?”
I know men and women think I am the weed lady…but major concern @repmattgaetz, what are you on?
— Rep. Nancy Mace (@RepNancyMace) January 4, 2023
Mace sponsored a complete legalization invoice very last session and has designed a identify for herself as just one of the most vocal proponents of reform in the chamber, submitting legislation to enact cannabis coverage changes up until eventually the very last days of the prior Congress.
But though she advised Marijuana Minute next very last year’s election that she’s optimistic about advancing the issue even immediately after Republicans took the the greater part in the House, the intraparty conflict raises some thoughts about the extent to which associates will be capable to collaborate constructively.
Cannabis Instant reached out to Gaetz for comment on the congresswoman’s assault, but he did not answer by the time of publication.
Both Mace and Gaetz also stand out as associates who are specifically active on Twitter and willing to use their platforms to raise cannabis coverage challenges.
As bipartisan lawmakers worked against the clock to shift marijuana banking legislation for the duration of the the latest lame duck session, Mace lamented “misinformation about how its passage was imminent” and explained “we need to appear ahead and look beyond” the hashish banking reform “next Congress.” The tweet was deleted shortly thereafter, and staff members advised Marijuana Second that the strategy was to submit a further thread on the topic the adhering to day, but that did not transpire.
An additional commonality in between the congressional lawmakers: they equally filed cannabis laws with days still left in the previous session. Mace introduced a monthly bill to give federal tax reduction to the marijuana sector Gaetz filed a hashish exploration invoice. Even though it was evident that neither would progress right before the session ended, it reflects their mutual desire in the issue—a shared legislative purpose that advocates hope will not be compromised by this week’s unrelated rut.
Mace’s drug-centered assault on Gaetz on Wednesday did not have everything to do with his precise policy positions on cannabis reform. But for what it is value, the selection for speaker—whenever that comes—will have considerable implications for federal marijuana difficulties. Marijuana Second analyzed McCarthy’s document, as nicely as those people in other House leadership positions in the Republican and Democratic get-togethers.
It’s not apparent if McCarthy will in the long run prevail towards the intractable opposition of Gaetz and a lot more than a dozen of his colleagues. What is crystal clear, on the other hand, is that congressional marijuana reform isn’t taking place until somebody is elected speaker, as no Home users can be sworn in until that takes place.
Whether there is long-time period fallout in between the two GOP marijuana reform allies, and what they could signify for upcoming laws, is a further problem.
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Photo courtesy of Philip Steffan.