Oregon Rep. Blumenauer to Retire from Congress

Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D), a 27-year veteran of Congress and founding member of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, announced this week that he will not seek reelection.

Full story after the jump.

Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D), a founding member of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, on Monday announced he will not seek reelection. In a Facebook post, Blumenauer, who served as a member of Congress for 27 years, said “Now, it is time to refocus on a narrower set of priorities.”  

“There will be time later to reflect on our many accomplishments and where we go from here. But I’m not done with Congress yet. There are 14 months left in this congressional session and a critical election. I will take every opportunity to make progress on the issues that matter most to our families and community. I deeply appreciate and thank you for putting your trust in me. I look forward to our next chapter.” — Blumenauer in a Facebook post 

Blumenauer served as an Oregon state lawmaker in 1973 when the state decriminalized cannabis and has been an ardent supporter of federal cannabis reforms since his election to the House of Representatives in 1996. He was a key supporter of the SAFE Banking Act, a bill to normalize banking services for cannabis industry operators which passed the House six times but was never given a vote in the Senate, and the MORE Act, which would have decriminalized cannabis federally and passed the House twice but was never taken up by the Senate.  

The MORE Act remains the first and only comprehensive cannabis reform to pass either chamber of Congress.  

“I have dedicated my career to creating livable communities where people are safe, healthy, and economically secure. This mission has guided my involvement in Congress on a wide range of issues. I may best be known in Portland for work on light rail, streetcars, and bicycles,” Blumenauer said in a press release. “But our work also included critical issues of war and peace, championing the fight to end the failed war on drugs, helping to write the Affordable Care Act, rescuing independent restaurants, food and farm policy, animal welfare, and writing the single largest investment in renewable energy in history.”

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