Another year is coming to an end—and this was a big one for marijuana reform. Advocates scored a handful of legalization wins at the ballot box, an entire country did away with prohibition and politicians of all stripes became more vocal about the need to change the way we approach cannabis policy.
True to 2018 form, many lawmakers broadcast their views on the issue on Twitter. Here are some of the year’s best marijuana-related tweets from the people who are actually responsible for setting cannabis policy:
1. Remember when former Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era memo providing guidance on federal marijuana enforcement policy? While the move might have unnerved the legal industry, it also spurred significant pushback and vows to protect states from federal interference.
I am prepared to take all steps necessary, including holding DOJ nominees, until the Attorney General lives up to the commitment he made to me prior to his confirmation.
— Cory Gardner (@SenCoryGardner) January 4, 2018
2. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) invited Fox News host Tucker Carlson to visit California to see Disneyland and try the state’s “awesome” cannabis.
Dear @TuckerCarlson: CA has now grown to the 6th largest economy in the world, and we have a budget surplus. The unemployment rate is at a record low. And we have Disneyland. Who doesn’t like Disneyland?
Also, our cannabis is awesome. Come visit my district & I will show you. https://t.co/rIMLUXQzbi
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) April 7, 2018
3. Former New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon (D) made cannabis reform a cornerstone of her platform—calling for full legalization in the Empire State. Could that explain why her opponent, incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), rapidly evolved on the issue, going so far as to endorse legalization this month?
For me, what it comes down to is this: we have to stop putting people of color in prison for something that white people do with impunity.
— Cynthia Nixon (@CynthiaNixon) April 11, 2018
4. “No one should go to jail for a joint,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) wrote, promoting a bill that would grant states the autonomy to legalize without federal interference. The legislation, cosponsored by Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), received the President Trump’s blessing as well.
No one should go to jail for a joint. But more Americans are arrested for marijuana possession than all violent crimes combined. And black Americans are nearly 4x more likely to be arrested for it than whites. My new bill will help put an end to this two-tiered justice system.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) June 7, 2018
5. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) got into a Twitter spat with prohibitionist Kevin Sabet, noting racial disparities in marijuana enforcement.
White kids don’t get arrested, go to jail, or go to prison at the same rate for marijuana possession.
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) April 16, 2018
6. Of course, the unofficial cannabis holiday April 20 (4/20) saw a flood of weed tweets from the country’s leading lawmakers. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) delivered a “cannabis state of the union” address, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) used the opportunity to announce decriminalization legislation and Colorado Gov.-elect Jared Polis (D) toured marijuana dispensaries.
This 4/20, my thoughts on the state of cannabis reform in America, and where this growing movement is going next: pic.twitter.com/UR8C4fmWH7
— Earl Blumenauer (@repblumenauer) April 20, 2018
7. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) complained about the Drug Enforcement Administration’s decision to allow the importation of cannabis products from a Canadian company at the same time the agency is delaying action on applications from more would-be domestic marijuana producers. “What happened to ‘buy American, hire American?’” he tweeted.
Unbelievable…#DEA gives approval to import #cannabis compounds from Canada, while AG Sessions is sitting on 2 dozen+ applications from domestic manufacturers. What happened to “buy American, hire American”?https://t.co/SAiftyoN32
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) September 19, 2018
8. Big pharma is “pushing back” against efforts to legalize medical marijuana because “in many cases they want to continue to sell addictive drugs and dominate the market for drugs that address chronic pain,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) wrote.
Big pharma keeps pushing back against legalizing medical marijuana because, in many cases, they want to continue to sell addictive drugs and dominate the market for drugs that address chronic pain. That’s wrong.
It is time to rework our cannabis laws. https://t.co/g23trjnJcT
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) February 28, 2018
9. Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D) touted the fact that he was the first Florida gubernatorial candidate to endorse legalizing marijuana during the 2018 primaries. “I did so because it is the right thing to do—I didn’t need a poll to tell me how to lead on such an important criminal justice issue,” he said.
I’m proud to be the first candidate in this race to support legalizing marijuana. I did so because it is the right thing to do – I didn’t need a poll to tell me how to lead on such an important criminal justice issue. pic.twitter.com/3MdLBNlTfB
— Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) June 8, 2018
10. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) tweeted that decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level is a top 10 reason to get out and vote.
Reason #6 why you should vote: to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. Too many lives have been ruined because of our regressive policies.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) October 16, 2018
11. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) challenged his Democratic colleagues to join him in support of a bill that would legalize firearm ownership for people who use marijuana in compliance with state law. The congressman expanded on the legislation, which he plans to introduce in the next Congress, in an interview with Marijuana Moment.
I’ve drafted, but haven’t yet introduced, a bill to remove the marijuana question from ATF form 4473 — the question that requires anyone who uses marijuana (crime) to lie (crime) in order to purchase a gun (crime) from a gun dealer. Any Democrats who would support such a bill? https://t.co/5cAmsTPLoX
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) October 20, 2018
12. “When a white student in a suburban school is caught with marijuana, they will usually get a warning,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted. “If you’re a black or brown student in an urban environment, law enforcement is called and your future could be destroyed for use. Marijuana legalization is a racial justice issue.”
When a white student in a suburban school is caught with marijuana, they will usually get a warning. If you’re a black or brown student in an urban environment, law enforcement is called and your future could be destroyed for use. Marijuana legalization is a racial justice issue.
— Ro Khanna (@RoKhanna) May 20, 2018
13. Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) ended his longstanding opposition to marijuana legalization, calling the existing federal cannabis policy “badly broken” and “failing to benefit those the drug may help and protect those the drug may harm.”
Our federal policy on marijuana is badly broken — failing to benefit those the drug may help and protect those the drug may harm. It’s time to legalize and regulate at the federal level.https://t.co/9QknhLLFYv
— Joe Kennedy (@joekennedy) November 20, 2018
14. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) celebrated the inclusion of his hemp legalization provision in the final version of the 2018 Farm Bill by signing the official conference report with his very own hemp pen. President subsequently signed the bill into law.
Making it official with my hemp pen!🖋️ Proud to have served as conferee on #FarmBill & to fight for #Kentucky priorities. With today’s signature, my provision to legalize industrial #hemp is 1 step closer to reality. Looking forward to voting YES on this bill & sending to @POTUS pic.twitter.com/8ypwBebXy7
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) December 10, 2018
15. The passage of a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill earlier this month was a good first step, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) said. But the next step for Congress should be to federally decriminalize marijuana.
Thanks to @RepDougCollins @RepRichmond, the administration and a strong left-right coalition (the unusual suspects), historic criminal justice reform legislation is now law. Next step, Congress should DECRIMINALIZE MARIJUANA #FirstStepAct #EndMassIncarceration pic.twitter.com/PpJ1uku53C
— Hakeem Jeffries (@RepJeffries) December 21, 2018