Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., will host a series of conversations focused on the need to pass legislation that legalizes marijuana at the federal level. The Marijuana Big Thinker Talks will bring medical experts, analysts, business leaders, professional athletes, and federal, state, and local officials together to highlight the robust cannabis industry. The format for the expo will feature several panels on a variety of subjects relating to the marijuana industry. The event will take place in the Rayburn House Office Building Foyer on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 from 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. EST.
“Times have changed over the past few years, and I’m thrilled to be hosting the first ever Marijuana Big Thinker Talks at the United States Capitol,” Polis said. “I hope lawmakers will use these discussions as a resource to understand the legitimacy of the cannabis industry. Now that a majority of Americans reside in a part of the country that has legalized medical or recreational cannabis, it’s time for Congress to act and pass federal cannabis legislation.”
Marijuana Big Thinker Talks and Expo Speaker Schedule
8:30 a.m. Authenticity and Advocacy: Gail Rand, Patient Advoate for ForwardGro
9:00 a.m. How to Neutralize Third Rail Issues like Drug Policy Reform for Elected Officials: Sanho Tree, Director of Drug Policy Project at Institute for Policy Studies
9:30 a.m. The Use of Medical Cannabinoids & Health Care Options in Regulated States: Dr. Ken Miller& Nial DeMena, Manna Molecular Science
10:00 a.m. Marijuana Business 101: How to pay your 80% Income Tax Rate in Cash to the IRS – A Primer: Rachel Gillette, Cannabis Attorney with Greenspoon Marder P.A.
10:30 a.m. Immigration Policy and Marijuana Convictions: Stan Garnett, Boulder County D.A.
11:00 a.m. Let’s Stop Asking “Should we Legalize Marijuana?”: Andrew Freedman, Co-Founder and Partner Freedman Koski, Inc
11:30 a.m. Marijuana, Veterans, and Healthy Living: Mikey Sorensen and Keven Roelfs, Veteran Philanthropists
12:15 p.m. Keynote Conversation: Congressman Jared Polis, NFL Legend Rick Upchurch, Founder of the Gridiron Cannabis Foundation, and Al Harrington, Former NBA Player and Cannabis Activist
Following the November election, 95 percent of Americans now live in states or territories that permit, to varying degrees, legal access to medical marijuana and/or cannabis derivatives with even more states considering expanded access this year. Additionally, nearly a fifth of all Americans now live in a state with legal access to recreational marijuana for adults.
Polis recently reintroduced the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, which would end the federal prohibition on marijuana. Specifically, this bill removes marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act; transitions marijuana oversight from the jurisdiction of the Drug Enforcement Agency to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and treats marijuana similar to alcohol under federal statute.
This year, Polis, along with three other members of Congress, launched the bipartisan Cannabis Caucus. The Caucus will provide a forum for members of the U.S. House of Representatives to discuss, learn, and work together to establish a better and more rational approach to federal cannabis policy.