Tim Evanson

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, A Presidential Hopeful, Calls for Federal Legalization

In an op-ed piece on Friday, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) declared that “Marijuana should be legal in all 50 states.” Rep. Ryan was recently revealed to be assembling a team of political consultants and operatives in preparation for a bid for the presidency, The Intercept reports.

In the op-ed, Rep. Ryan rails against cannabis prohibition and the negative consequences it leads to, especially for minorities.

“After meeting with countless Ohio families and youth whose lives have been irreparably harmed by a marijuana arrest, I find the social and economic injustices of our marijuana policy too big to ignore. I firmly believe no person should be sentenced to a lifetime of hardship because of a marijuana arrest. It is morally wrong and economically nonsensical. That is why I am calling for an end to marijuana being used as an excuse to lock up our fellow Americans.” — Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), in the op-ed

Rep. Ryan also notes the financial benefits of legalization, claiming a potential $13.7 billion net savings that would lead to more investment into national highway infrastructure and a more effective battle against the opioid crisis. Rep. Ryan called for his colleagues to support the “Marijuana Justice Act,” which is currently pending in the legislature and would remove cannabis from its Schedule I classification.

Rep. Ryan’s presidential hopes are pinned on what some are calling the “Yoga vote.” He has worked previously with the advocacy group “Yoga Votes” as well as made a lifetime practice of mindfulness meditation and similar pursuits. He also authored “A Mindful Nation: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance, and Recapture the American Spirit.” Cannabis legalization would be in line with such a platform.

“The War on Drugs failed the American people. It is time for us to take the necessary steps to right our nation’s wrongs. We cannot afford to leave people behind and money on the table. If we are truly a nation that believes in second chances, our federal marijuana laws must change. America is speaking. Congress must act.” — Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), in the op-ed

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