Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) took a shot at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Tuesday, criticizing her latest comments in defense of cannabis regulations, which included in the chamber’s latest coronavirus mitigation legislation.
The majority leader has always opposed the inclusion of marijuana bank protection in the House of Representatives COVID-19 bill. In a speech in the Senate, he said that Pelosi “still agitating for strange, new special interest carve-outs for the marijuana industry and even claiming they are COVID-related .”
McConnell bitterly added: “I hope she shares her breakthrough with Dr. Fauci,” he refers to Anthony Fauci, director of the American Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who has been leading the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
McConnell referred to Pelosi’s comments last week when he asked about the House Democrat’s bill, which was criticized as insignificant by the Republicans, including the wording of marijuana.
The spokesperson said that she questioned the suggestion that marijuana banking reform is not related to the pandemic, and noted that marijuana “is a therapy that has proven successful.” Prohibitionists captured this argument and interpreted it as Pelosi’s opinion Marijuana can treat COVID-19.
That said, it is not clear from the short comment whether this is the case or whether Pelosi has extensively mentioned the therapeutic benefits of cannabis.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration made it clear that there is currently no conclusive evidence that cannabinoids have a therapeutic effect on COVID-19, and it warns companies that make this claim.
Pelosi supported the addition of bank language to the Coronavirus package of the House of Representatives before introducing the legislation. In his 2018 statement, Pelosi stated that doctors could prescribe medical marijuana and yoga instead of just prescription opioids.
The Senate leadership announced the latest round of coronavirus mitigation policies last week, which does not include marijuana regulations. Given that McConnell pays particular attention to these components, any attempt to insert the language into a bicameral meeting may be resisted by the Senate.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) also recently criticized Pelosi’s latest cannabis comment on Twitter, saying, “let’s focus on the pandemic. Not pot.”
Simultaneously, since the House of Representatives initially approved the bill, the independent Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act has continued to serve on the Senate Banking Committee without taking any action.
Last month, the bipartisan coalition of state finance ministers sent a letter to congressional leaders asking them to include cannabis bank protection measures in the next round of coronavirus relief legislation.
In May, a bipartisan coalition of 34 state attorneys general sent a letter to Congress urging COVD-19 legislation, which includes regulation of marijuana banks.
McConnell’s latest comments were also issued a week after the House of Representatives approved an amendment to protect state, territory, and tribal cannabis laws from federal interference.
This article is issued by Marijuana Moment.