United States Representative Tulsi Gabbard is an American hero on many levels. Prior to becoming a federal Representative Gabbard was elected to the Hawai’i State Legislature in 2002 when she was just 21 years old, making her the youngest person ever elected in the state. Gabbard is also a military veteran, having served two tours of duty in the Middle East, and she continues her service as a Major in the Army National Guard according to her bio on her Congressional website. Also according to her bio, in 2004, Gabbard volunteered to deploy with her fellow soldiers, becoming the first state official to voluntarily step down from public office to serve in a war zone.
In February 2016 Representative Gabbard stepped down from her position as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), so she could endorse Bernie Sanders for president. That was very courageous and inspiring at the time, and with what has become publicly known between the DNC and the Sanders campaign since the election ended, Gabbard’s move is that much more inspiring. I have to assume that was not an easy decision to make. Tulsi Gabbard is considered a leading presidential candidate for 2020, and it’s easy to see why.
In addition to fighting for her country, serving her country in public office, and standing up for Bernie Sanders, Gabbard is also a staunch cannabis reform supporter. She introduced a bipartisan bill that would reform cannabis laws at the federal level. Below is more information about it, via a press release Gabbard issued back in March:
Continuing her commitment to common sense criminal justice reform, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) spoke on the House floor today urging Congress to pass bipartisan legislation to federally decriminalize marijuana. If passed, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act (H.R.1227) would take marijuana off the federal controlled substances list—joining other industries such as alcohol and tobacco. Gabbard introduced the legislation with Rep. Tom Garrett (VA-05), an Army veteran and former prosecutor.
Full video of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s speech on the House floor is available here
Full transcript of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s speech is available here
“Our outdated policies on marijuana are having devastating ripple effects on individuals and communities across the country. They have turned everyday Americans into criminals, torn apart families, and wasted huge amounts of taxpayer dollars to arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate people for non-violent marijuana charges,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “Differences in state and federal law have also created confusion and uncertainty for our local businesses, who face contradictory regulations that affect their bottom line and ability to operate. I urge our colleagues to support our bipartisan legislation which would decriminalize marijuana, bringing about long overdue and common sense reform.”
“There is growing consensus acknowledging that the effects of marijuana are less harmful than its criminal prohibition, which has increased incarceration rates, divided families, and burdened state governments with the high cost of enforcement, prison and probation. It’s clear that there are more vital needs that we as a society need to allocate our precious resources towards, such as education, mental health, and homelessness. Decriminalization is a step forward in making needed criminal justice reforms, which should also include more diversion to substance abuse treatment,” said Karen Umemoto, Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and juvenile justice researcher.
“As long as marijuana is federally illegal, FDIC regulations make it impossible for banks to provide any services to the eight Hawaiʻi Medical Marijuana Dispensary licensees. Federal decriminalization will enable professional dispensaries to provide much needed patient access and cost savings,” said Richard Ha, CEO of Lau Ola, a medical marijuana dispensary on Hawaiʻi Island.
“Descheduling cannabis will benefit Hawaiʻi patients by allowing for more rapid research to identify the best medical marijuana strains and dosages for individual medical conditions. Also, eliminating the barriers to banking will make it easier and safer for Hawaiʻi patients to purchase the medicine they need and eliminate unnecessary expense and complexity for dispensaries,” said Brian Goldstein, Founder and CEO of Mānoa Botanicals, a licensed medical marijuana dispensary on Oʻahu.
Background: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard supports the full legalization of marijuana on the federal level as part of her overall effort toward criminal justice reform. Last month, she visited correctional facilities throughout the state, and met with inmates, criminal justice advocates and experts, health professionals, educators and others to discuss reducing recidivism and her continued efforts to pass federal criminal justice reform legislation like the SAFE Justice Act and the Sentencing Reform Act.
The congresswoman has also supported legislation like the Industrial Hemp Farming Act to support the cultivation of industrial hemp in Hawaiʻi and nationwide.
Tulsi Gabbard is going to be speaking at the upcoming International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC), which is in Kauai December 1-3, followed by a golf tournament on the 4th. She will be joined by a number of other amazing speakers. The ICBC in Kauai is going to be the first event of its kind combining cannabis industry, education, policy, and a destination vacation venue. If I wasn’t expecting my second child around that time I would absolutely be all over this event. Tickets to the event are currently reduced for early bird pricing, but that ends soon (end of Friday). Below is more information about the event (tickets of which can be purchased at this link here):
After a long year of working hard, you deserve a paid vacation. We’re offering room rates at the Grand Hyatt Kauai that are less than half price, which means if you stay three or more nights, the savings will pay for your conference admission to the International Cannabis Business Conference in Kauai Dec. 1,2,3.
And since this can be written off as a business expense for 2017, you’ll be getting paid to attend an amazing networking event! With a VIP Reception featuring Doug Benson, and a conference featuring Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, and Senator Will Espero, this will be the networking event for the cannabis industry in Hawaii, which is just now opening its first dispensary doors!
The ICBC After Party features Grammy Award winning Jamaican reggae band Morgan Heritage, with Doug Benson in attendance as well.
And if that’s not enough, we’re also offering the first ever ICBC Golf Tournament, Dec. 4 at the Po’ipu Golf Course at Grand Hyatt, with amazing ocean views and an amazing all-inclusive package!
So get set to spend December in paradise, networking and learning about the emerging Hawaiian cannabis market, at the International Cannabis Business Conference!