Cannabis reform group CPEAR adds two former Congress members

Two former members of Congress signed on as co-chairs of a national cannabis reform group, further adding to the ranks of ex-lawmakers who are now advocating for federal marijuana legalization.

Democrat Tom Daschle, a former U.S. Senate majority leader, and Republican Greg Walden, a 22-year veteran of the U.S. House of Representatives who retired this year, are joining the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education and Regulation (CPEAR), according to a news release.

“I joined CPEAR because of their data-driven approach to cannabis legalization that provides a comprehensive regulatory framework that also recognizes the need to address the disparities caused by the War on Drugs,” Daschle said in the release.

“Congress needs to get this right the first time and end the patchwork system across the country.”

Walden added, “As former lawmakers, we appreciate the importance of finding realistic opportunities for cooperation and unified action.”

Daschle and Walden are hardly alone among former federal officials who have signed on with marijuana advocacy groups and businesses.

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Other noteworthy recruits to the legalization cause include:

  • Ex-House Speaker John Boehner and former U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, both Republicans, who now work closely with the National Cannabis Roundtable (NCR).
  • Former Obama-era officials Kathleen Sebelius and ex-Deputy Attorney General James Cole, who also work with the NCR.
  • Former Florida Congressman Carlos Curbelo, a Republican who joined the Cannabis Trade Federation in 2019.