U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has filed a series of marijuana-related amendments in recent days, attaching the measures to other business in front of the legislative body.
A senior aide to the senator revealed the strategy of these filings: force Paul’s colleagues in the Senate to go on the record about their position on marijuana reform.
“There’s no way to make any progress on this issue until the Senate takes a vote and the American people can know where their senators are,” the aide told U.S. News and World Report. “That’s the reason to file amendments to every bill that comes up – there might be an opportunity to force a vote and put the Senate on record.”
Paul, a possible contender for the Republican nomination for president in 2016, has long been known as a friend to the marijuana reform movement.
The measures he has filed in recent days include legislation to explicitly allow state marijuana laws to be implemented without federal intervention, to lower penalties for individuals guilty of repeat federal marijuana offenses, and to change how law enforcement calculates cannabis content in baked goods.
These recent actions come on the heels of the U.S. House approving an amendment to explicitly allow banks to work with marijuana businesses. Paul has also worked to introduce that measure in the Senate.