By: Sabrina Eaton, cleveland.com (Jan. 31, 2019)
WASHINGTON, D.C. – After Rep. Dave Joyce brought Ohio-based Scott’s Miracle-Gro representatives to meet former House Speaker Paul Ryan to discuss obstacles to marijuana growers’ use of their products, Ryan greeted Joyce in the House gym the next morning with the teasing refrain: “Smoke ’em if you got ’em.”
As it happens, the Congressional Cannabis Caucus co-chair insists he hasn’t “got em.” He does have some Yuengling beer that he won from betting a Pennsylvania colleague on September’s football showdown between Ohio State and Penn State. And he’s actually trying to get rid of that beer because he prefers Bud Light. When asked if he’s referring to the marijuana kind of bud, Joyce guffaws and professes allegiance to the Anheuser Busch product.
“I am talking about the king of beers,” says the Bainbridge Township Republican.
In addition to beer, Joyce has optimism that Congress will finally pass laws to keep the federal government from interfering with state efforts to legalize marijuana now that Ryan and other opponents to marijuana legalization like former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions have left office.
Although federal laws still treat marijuana as a dangerous “Schedule 1” drug akin to heroin, 47 states including Ohio have legalized its use in some form. In Ohio, medical marijuana is legal, and there have been efforts to allow it recreationally. But growth of the legal marijuana industry has been hampered by the possibility of federal crackdowns, by banks’ unwillingness to process transactions that could be regarded as drug trafficking, by problems doing business across state lines and barriers to conducting medical research on controlled substances