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Michael Capuano on Drugs

Democratic Representative (MA-8)

 


Voted YES on more funding for Mexico to fight drugs.

Congressional Summary:Merida Initiative to Combat Illicit Narcotics and Reduce Organized Crime Authorization Act:
    Provide assistance for Mexico for:
  1. counternarcotics and countertrafficking;
  2. port & airport security to assist in controlling the Mexico-US and Mexico-Central America borders;
  3. intelligence gathering operational technology; and
  4. public security and law enforcement, including assistance to the National Council Against Addiction (CONADIC).

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. HOWARD BERMAN (D, CA-28): The drug crisis facing the US remains a top national security threat. This bill represents a new partnership with Mexico and Central American countries to face the immediate security threat of drug gangs, and help these neighbors build the capacity of their law enforcement agencies.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. MICHAEL McCAUL (R, TX-10): We need a strategy on this side of the border: a two-pronged Approach; a comprehensive strategy that deals not only with the Mexican side but with the US side. And for too long, our border sheriffs and our Border Patrol agents have been outmanned and outgunned. And if we are going to provide assistance to Mexico, it seems to me we ought to be providing assistance to our men and women on our side fighting this war every day.

Rep. TED POE (R, TX-2): I am concerned about drugs and violence on the border, but I am also concerned about corruption. In order to gain control of access corridors in the US, drug cartels are hiring hit men from an elite force in Mexico's military. This group is known as the "Zetas." Some of the Zetas are military deserters that may have been trained in the US. $1 billion in this bill would go to Mexico. And Mexico in its arrogance objects to any conditions we want to put on this money. The administration can offer us no assurance that our equipment and training won't be used against us and neither can Mexico.

Reference: Merida Initiative; Bill HR.6028 ; vote number 2008-H393 on Jun 10, 2008

Voted NO on military border patrols to battle drugs & terrorism.

Amendment to set up a task force on counter-terrorism and drug interdiction and allow military personnel to help patrol U.S. borders.
Bill HR 2586 ; vote number 2001-356 on Sep 25, 2001

Voted NO on prohibiting needle exchange & medical marijuana in DC.

Vote to pass a bill that provides $429.1 million in funds for the District of Columbia and approves the District's $6.8 billion budget. Among other provisions, the bill prohibits the use of federal funds for needle exchange programs, prohibits implementing an approved ballot initiative to legalize the medicinal use of marijuana.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Istook, R-OK; Bill HR 3064 ; vote number 1999-504 on Oct 14, 1999

Legalize medical marijuana.

Capuano co-sponsored the States' Rights to Medical Marijuana Act:

Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 01-HR2592 on Jul 23, 2001

Rated +20 by NORML, indicating a pro-drug-reform stance.

Capuano scores +20 by the NORML on drug reform

OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2006 NORML scores as follows:

About NORML (from their website, www.norml.org):

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law's mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to achieve the repeal of marijuana prohibition so that the responsible use of cannabis by adults is no longer subject to penalty.

NORML is a nonprofit, public-interest lobby that for more than 30 years has provided a voice for those Americans who oppose marijuana prohibition. We represent the interests of the tens of millions of Americans who smoke marijuana responsibly and believe the recreational and medicinal use of marijuana should no longer be a crime.

NORML supports the removal of all criminal penalties for the private possession & responsible use of marijuana by adults, including the cultivation for personal use, and the casual nonprofit transfers of small amounts. This model is called "decriminalization."

NORML additionally supports the development of a legally controlled market for marijuana, where consumers could purchase it from a safe, legal and regulated source. This model is referred to as "legalization."

NORML believes that marijuana smoking is not for kids and should only be used responsibly by adults. As with alcohol consumption, it must never be an excuse for misconduct or other bad behavior. Driving or operating heavy equipment while impaired from marijuana should be prohibited.

NORML strongly supports the right of patients to use marijuana as a medicine when their physician recommends it to relieve pain and suffering.

Lastly, NORML supports the right of farmers to commercially cultivate hemp for industrial purposes, such as food and fiber production.

Source: NORML website 06n-NORML on Dec 31, 2006

Allow rehabilitated drug convicts get student loans.

Capuano co-sponsored allowing rehabilitated drug convicts get student loans

This bill amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 to repeal the provisions prohibiting persons convicted of drug offenses from receiving student financial assistance.

Source: Removing Impediments to Students Education (RISE) (H.R.5157) 08-HR5157 on Jan 29, 2008

Rated 75% by NORML, indicating a pro-legalization stance.

Capuano scores 75% National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law

Scoring system for 2014: Ranges from 0% (opposes all forms of marijuana decriminalization) to 75% (supports marijuana decriminalization and legalization).

About NORML (from their website, www.norml.org):

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law's mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to achieve the repeal of marijuana prohibition so that the responsible use of cannabis by adults is no longer subject to penalty. This model is called "decriminalization."

NORML additionally supports the development of a legally controlled market for marijuana, where consumers could purchase it from a safe, legal and regulated source. This model is referred to as "legalization."

NORML believes that marijuana smoking is not for kids and should only be used responsibly by adults. As with alcohol consumption, it must never be an excuse for misconduct or other bad behavior. Driving or operating heavy equipment while impaired from marijuana should be prohibited.

NORML strongly supports the right of patients to use marijuana as a medicine when their physician recommends it to relieve pain and suffering.

Lastly, NORML supports the right of farmers to commercially cultivate hemp for industrial purposes, such as food and fiber production.

Source: NORML rating on incumbents of 113th Congress 14_NORML on Jan 1, 2014

Immunity for banks offering services to marijuana businesses.

Capuano signed immunity for banks offering services to marijuana businesses

Congressional Summary:This bill provides a safe harbor for depository institutions providing financial services to a marijuana-related legitimate business insofar as it prohibits a federal banking regulator from:

  1. terminating or limiting the deposit or share insurance of a depository institution solely because it provides financial services to a marijuana-related legitimate business; or
  2. prohibiting, penalizing, or otherwise discouraging a depository institution from offering such services.
Immunity from federal criminal prosecution or investigation is granted, subject to certain conditions, to a depository institution that provides financial services to a marijuana-related legitimate business in a state or one of its political subdivisions that allows the cultivation, production, manufacture, sale, transportation, display, dispensing, distribution, or purchase of marijuana.

Argument in Favor: [Cato Institute, March 31, 2016]: Marijuana is now legal under the laws of [several] states, but not under federal law. And this creates huge headaches for marijuana businesses:

Source: H.R.2076 & S.1726 16-HR2076 on Apr 28, 2015

Distribute sterile syringes to reduce AIDS and hepatitis.

Capuano signed Community AIDS and Hepatitis Prevention Act

To permit the use of Federal funds for syringe exchange programs for purposes of reducing the transmission of bloodborne pathogens, including HIV and viral hepatitis.

    Congress finds as follows:
  1. Each year, approximately 12,000 Americans contract HIV/AIDS and approximately 19,000 Americans contract the hepatitis C virus directly or indirectly from sharing contaminated syringes.
  2. A 2005 comprehensive international review of the evidence of the effectiveness of syringe exchange programs in preventing HIV transmission shows that such programs reduce HIV transmission and are cost-effective.
  3. Research has shown that injection drug users who are referred to addiction treatment from syringe exchange programs are more likely to enter and remain in treatment.
  4. Research has shown that, by providing safe disposal of used injection equipment, syringe exchange programs significantly reduce the number of improperly discarded syringes in the community, thereby reducing the exposure of police and others to dangers of blood-borne disease from accidental syringe sticks.
  5. Syringe exchange programs reduce the prevalence of HIV among injection drug users.
  6. Despite the scientific and public health consensus that syringe exchange programs reduce HIV and do not increase substance abuse, a ban on funding syringe exchange has been enacted as part of each Appropriations Act since 1998.
  7. The Public Health Service Act, as added by the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act of 1990, is subject to a statutory ban on funding needle exchange programs.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, nothing shall prohibit the use of Federal funds to establish or carry out a program of distributing sterile syringes to reduce the transmission of bloodborne pathogens, including the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and viral hepatitis.
Source: HR 179 2009-H179 on Jan 6, 2009

2016-17 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Drugs: Michael Capuano on other issues:
MA Gubernatorial:
Bill Weld
Bob Massie
Charlie Baker
Dan Wolf
Deval Patrick
Don Berwick
Jay Gonzalez
Jesse Gordon
Karyn Polito
Lawrence Lessig
Martha Coakley
Marty Walsh
Richard Tisei
Setti Warren
Steve Grossman
Tom Menino
Warren Tolman
MA Senatorial:
Allen Waters
Beth Lindstrom
Brian Herr
Bruce Skarin
Ed Markey
Elizabeth Warren
Gabriel Gomez
Geoff Diehl
Heidi Wellman
John Kingston
Martha Coakley
Shiva Ayyadurai

Special elections in 2017-18:
AZ-8:Franks(R, resigned in sex scandal)
AZ-8:Lesko(R, elected April 24, 2018)
CA-34:Becerra(D; appointed CA Atty General)
CA-34:Gomez(D; elected June 6, 2017)
CA-34:Ahn(D; lost primary)
GA-6:Price(R; appointed HHS Secretary)
GA-6:Handel(R; elected June 20)
GA-6:Ossoff(D; lost election June 20, 2017)
KS-4:Pompeo(R; appointed CIA Director)
KS-4:Estes(R; elected April 11)
MT-0:Zinke(R; appointed DOI Secretary)
MT-0:Gianforte(R; elected May 25)
OH-12:Tiberi(R, resigned to become a lobbyist)
OH-12:Balderson(R, elected Aug. 24, 2018)
PA-18:Murphy(R, resigned in sex scandal)
PA-18:Lamb(D; elected April 2018)
SC-5:Mulvaney(R; appointed OMB Director)
SC-5:Norman(R; elected June 20)
TX-27:Farenthold(R, resigned in sex scandal)
TX-27:Cloud(R, elected June 30, 2018)
UT-3:Chaffetz(R, resigned for unexplained reasons)
UT-3:Curtis(R, elected Nov. 7, 2017)
Retirements as of January 2019 (Republicans):
AZ-2:Martha McSally
CA-49:Darrell Issa
FL-6:Ron DeSantis
FL-15:Dennis Ross
FL-17:Tom Rooney
FL-27:Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
ID-1:Raul Labrador
IN-4:Todd Rokita
IN-6:Luke Messer
KS-2:Lynn Jenkins
MI-11:Dave Trott
MS-3:Gregg Harper
NH-1:Carol Shea-Porter
NJ-2:Frank LoBiondo
NJ-11:Rodney Frelinghuysen
NM-2:Steve Pearce
NY-27:Chris Collins
NC-9:Robert Pittenger
ND-0:Kevin Cramer
OH-16:Jim Renacci
OK-1:Jim Bridenstine
PA-6:Ryan Costello
PA-7:Pat Meehan
PA-9:Bill Shuster
PA-11:Lou Barletta
PA-15:Charlie Dent
PA-18:Tim Murphy
SC-1:Mark Sanford
SC-4:Trey Gowdy
SC-5:Mick Mulvaney
SD-0:Kristi Noem
TN-2:Jimmy Duncan
TN-6:Diane Black
TN-7:Marsha Blackburn
TX-2:Ted PoeTX02'>2
TX-3:Sam Johnson
TX-5:Jeb Hensarling
TX-6:Joe Barton
TX-21:Lamar Smith
TX-27:Blake Farenthold
UT-3:Jason Chaffetz
VA-5:Tom Garrett
VA-6:Bob Goodlatte
WA-8:Dave Reichert
WV-3:Evan Jenkins
WI-1:Paul Ryan
Retirements as of January 2019 (Democrats):
AZ-9:Kyrsten Sinema
CO-2:Jared Polis
CT-5:Elizabeth Esty
HI-1:Colleen Hanabusa
IL-4:Luis Gutierrez
MD-6:John Delaney
MA-3:Niki Tsongas
MI-9:Sander Levin
MN-1:Tim Walz
MN-5:Keith Ellison
MN-8:Rick Nolan
NV-3:Jacky Rosen
NV-4:Ruben Kihuen
NM-1:Michelle Lujan-Grisham
PA-1:Bob Brady
TX-16:Beto O'Rourke
TX-29:Gene Green

Challengers for November 2018 (Democrats):
DE-0:Rochester(D)
KY-6:McGrath(D)
MA-7:Pressley(D)
MI-13:Brenda Jones
MI-13:Rashida Tlaib

Challengers for November 2018 (Republicans):
CA-49:Rocky Chavez
HI-1:Cam Cavasso
ID-1:Russ Fulcher
NV-3:Danny Tarkanian
OH-12:Troy Balderson
PA-14:Rick Saccone
PA-16:Lloyd Smucker
PA-18:Rick Saccone
SC-4:Lee Bright
SC-5:Pope(R)
TX-27:Michael Cloud
UT-3:John Curtis
WA-8:Dino Rossi
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Vacancies for November 2018 election:
MI-13:Conyers(D, resigned in sex scandal)
NY-25:Slaughter(D, deceased March 2018)
OK-1:Bridenstine(R; resigned to head NASA)
PA-7:Meehan(R, resigned in sex scandal)
PA-15:Dent(R; resigned May 2018)


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Page last updated: Oct 09, 2018