141 House Members Flunk Drug Policy Report Card But conservative Republicans are among the 49 who earned an A+.
Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., left, earned an A+ in a report on House drug policy votes. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., earned an F. The report looked at House votes on hemp, medical marijuana, DEA funding and banking rules.
By Steven Nelson Oct. 29, 2014 | 2:37 p.m. EDT
Each seat in the U.S. House of Representatives is up for grabs when Americans go to the polls Tuesday, and the Drug Policy Alliance wants voters who care about drug policy to check out a new report card for incumbent members.
The pro-reform organization’s advocacy arm, Drug Policy Action, issued the report card Wednesday, and scores don’t neatly match partisan affiliations.
Hard-line conservatives such as Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, are among the 49 House members who earned an A+, while Democratic National Committee head Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., is among the 141 members who earned an F.
The grades are based on an analysis of seven House votes – one in 2013, six in 2014 – including three votes on hemp, two on banking rights for marijuana businesses, one that would have cut Drug Enforcement Administration funding and another to protect medical marijuana in states that allow it.
Members who voted consistently for more liberal policies received an A+. The 116 representatives who voted in favor of reform in six votes earned an A. Those who voted for reforms in either one or none of the votes earned an F.
In a press release, the Drug Policy Action noted 56 percent of House members – 179 Democrats and 64 Republicans – earned a C or better, meaning they voted for reform in at least three of the votes.
“Unprecedented support now exists on both sides of the aisle in Congress for ending the federal war on drugs and letting states set their own drug policies,” Grant Smith, deputy director of national affairs for Drug Policy Action, said in a statement. “Drug policy reform is a winning issue for elected officials.”
The highest-profile vote tabulated in the report was on an amendment offered by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., that would have blocked the Department of Justice – including federal prosecutors and DEA agents – from spending funds to go after medical marijuana in states where it’s permitted.
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The Rohrabacher amendment sailed through the House in a 219-189 vote in May that blurred party lines, but the Senate didn’t consider a companion amendment from Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., and it wasn’t enacted into law.
The drug policy organization didn’t grade senators, citing a paucity of drug policy votes in the chamber.
Read the full report card: