Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 3, 2015

Posts in "Marijuana policy"

July 16, 2015

McConnell Uses Clout to Help Hemp Industry

McConnell wants to expand the market for industrial hemp grown in Kentucky. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

McConnell wants to expand the market for industrial hemp grown in Kentucky. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may be the best friend in Washington for the nascent industrial hemp industry.

The Kentucky Republican announced Thursday he had secured hemp-processing language in an Agriculture Department spending bill.

“Kentucky’s industrial hemp pilot programs continue to prosper and I want to make sure our legal hemp producers can safely transport their crops between states, including to States that maintain processing facilities, so they can fully capitalize on the commercial potential for this commodity,” McConnell said in a statement.

Full story

July 13, 2015

Senators Call for More From Feds on Medical Marijuana Research

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s high time to look closer at medical marijuana research, eight Democratic senators wrote in a letter sent Monday to several departments in the federal government.

Acknowledging that 23 states and the District of Columbia allow medical marijuana use and an additional 15 states allow cannabadiol  all without federal involvement  the senators argue that the federal government has an “opportunity and a responsibility to craft a sensible research and public health strategy that allows us to generate meaningful data and conclusions.” Full story

June 22, 2015

Toomey Applauds Medical Marijuana Research

Toomey backs a streamlined process for medical marijuana research. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Toomey backs a streamlined process for medical marijuana research. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Obama administration’s decision to streamline medical marijuana research Monday drew praise from Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, one of the more endangered Republicans up in 2016.

According to The Washington Post, eliminating the Public Health Service review from research proposals will cut an additional layer of bureaucracy from an already onerous process. Full story

March 19, 2015

Marijuana Bill Gains Steam in Senate

Boxer is latest to back medical marijuana legislation in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Boxer is latest to back medical marijuana legislation in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When it comes to pot, political winds may be shifting in the Senate.

Joining a new generation of senators such as Cory Booker, D-N.J., Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., veteran Democrat Barbara Boxer has added her name to a bill rolled out on March 10 aimed at protecting state medical marijuana operations from federal interference while rescheduling the drug. Full story

March 10, 2015

Senate Trio Launches Medical Marijuana Effort

(Niels Lesniewski/CQ Roll Call)

Booker greets four-year-old Morgan Hintz. (Niels Lesniewski/CQ Roll Call)

It isn’t every day that a child can steal the show from three of the Senate’s most visible members.

But that’s what happened when Democratic Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York joined with Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky in unveiling legislation to reschedule marijuana to make it more available for medicinal and research purposes. Full story

October 21, 2014

10 Questions for Eric Holder’s Replacement as Attorney General

immigration reform ted cruz jeff sessions border attorney general

Cruz, left, and Sessions both sit on the Judiciary Committee and will have a change to grill the nominee for attorney general. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Eric H. Holder Jr.’s replacement as attorney general will face a grilling from the Senate Judiciary Committee after the elections, with the position key to enabling President Barack Obama’s pen-and-phone executive agenda and with numerous hot-button issues under the purview of the Justice Department.

The nominee to replace Deputy Attorney General James Cole, who is also leaving, will also face much the same treatment.

Here are 10 questions the nominees will likely hear:

1. What is the limit of the president’s executive authority on immigration? Full story

June 19, 2014

Senator: Protect Gun Rights of Medical Marijuana Users

Walsh was sworn in on Feb. 11. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Walsh was sworn in on Feb. 11. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If you use marijuana in a state that has legalized pot for medicinal purposes, Sen. John Walsh wants to make sure you don’t lose your guns.

The Democratic senator from Montana, appointed earlier this year and facing a difficult race on Nov. 4, has filed an amendment to a spending package being considered on the Senate floor.

Walsh joins libertarian leaning Sen. Rand Paul in attaching a marijuana-related provision to the broad spending bill that includes funding for Commerce-Justice-Science, Transportation and Housing and Urban Development and Agriculture-FDA. But questions are arising over whether the Senate can complete work on the package because an agreement on amendments remains elusive.

Paul’s legislation would prevent the Department of Justice from blocking states attempting to implement their own laws related to medical marijuana.

Full story

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