Being a politician is a tough, stressful and unrelenting gig. Lawmakers are constantly balancing various opinions and jockeying for position in the political arena. It’s easy to imagine that many of them become consumed by their work. According to one member of the Missouri House of Representatives, sometimes the way to clearing your head is through the clouds. And he was only half-joking when he made the suggestion to his colleagues.
Rep. Andrew McDaniel submitted the measure to a vote as an amendment to the healthcare bill that was currently under debate. The proposal stated that “all members of the Missouri House shall consume a substantial dose of medicinal marijuana prior to entering the chamber or voting on any legislation.”
It was for the real betterment of all Missourians if some people would chill out. #moleg #COVID19 #pandemic https://t.co/kmi83SRsDl— Andrew McDaniel (@drurep150) May 7, 2020
Although, Tynan Stewart of St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported hearing at least a few “ayes” in the room, the measure was voted down by a substantial margin, which did not surprise Rep. McDaniel.
It was just shot down by a voice vote. But pretty sure I heard some "Ayes" https://t.co/9uEFBgb3Mj— Tynan Stewart (@tynanstewart) May 7, 2020
In a phone interview with Marijuana Moment, McDaniel said that his measure was more of a statement against what he describes as a tendency for lawmakers to pile amendments onto bills during this time of year. There’s “a whole bunch of crap” on the healthcare bill under debate, he said, and he wanted to “get everyone to chill out and get a little chuckle” as well as get them to “pay attention” and “quit messing it up.”
“It was just for fun, simmer down, bring up a little bit of laughter in such a somber environment of the times we’re in,” said McDaniel.
Erik Alteri, executive director of NORML, said to Marijuana Moment that while he was appreciative of McDaniel’s statement, he wouldn’t be too opposed to the idea.
“During these trying times we all could certainly use a laugh which this amendment provided. Though having state legislators imbibe before session might not be the worst thing to encourage cooperation for the public good,” he noted. “At the very least perhaps opponents of ending our failed probation on cannabis may finally realize they are ruining hundreds of thousands of lives per year over a plant.”
McDaniel also supports a perhaps more realistic amendment, SB 580, that would offer protections for registered medical cannabis patients from having their program registration reported to the federal government.
The bill states that “no state agency, including employees therein, shall disclose to the federal government, any federal government employee, or any unauthorized third party, the statewide list or any individual information of persons who have applied for or obtained a medical marijuana card.”