Amidst excitement over voters in two states and the District of Columbia passing marijuana legalization measures on Tuesday, a significant development in the future of national marijuana policy went largely unnoticed.
Aaron Houston | All Articles
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Aaron is a nationally recognized expert on drug policy and marijuana law, having played a key role in many of the recent victories for advocates. As executive director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Aaron Houston oversaw the work of a national staff that coordinates students on more than 200 campuses around the world. Named a “Rising Star of Politics” by Campaigns & Elections’ Politics Magazine in 2008, Aaron has appeared on NBC’s Today show, The Colbert Report, FOX News, CNN, and NPR, and his efforts on Capitol Hill were chronicled in a 2007 Showtime original documentary, In Pot We Trust. A Bloomberg News review of the film noted that, “Anyone wondering how lobbyists operate will benefit from watching Houston. [He] is … clearly comfortable with political combat.” Aaron attended the University of Colorado at Denver, and in his free time, he volunteers on behalf of homeless individuals and the food reform movement.
Alarmed by recent gains we’ve made, including a House vote to stop DEA interference in state medical marijuana laws, one of the most ardent drug warriors in Congress is pushing back with with an effort to block meaningful marijuana reforms recently adopted by the District of Columbia by attaching a rider to the bill that funds the District.
In a historic move, the Republican-led House of Representatives Thursday night passed a medical marijuana amendment to legislation that funds the Justice Department and the DEA. The amendment — which received 219 votes but could have achieved perhaps ten additional votes if certain members had not been absent — limits the DEA’s ability to interfere in states that have adopted medical marijuana laws. The vote astonished observers, leaving many asking the question: How did this happen?
On Tuesday the Washington, DC City Council gave preliminary approval to legislation that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana in the nation's capital. This is an important step worth celebrating, but the limited plan unfortunately leaves many of the most important harms of marijuana prohibition unaddressed.