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Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff). (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Gottheimer might face weed vote next week

New Jersey Democrat has side-stepped marijuana issues so far

By David Wildstein, March 20 2019 5:43 pm

Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) has avoided taking a position on the legalization of marijuana during his first two years in Congress – the only Democrat in the New Jersey delegation to not declare his support on any cannabis policies, according to the Cannabis  Voter Project.

That could change next soon.

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to consider their first cannabis-related legislation next week when a bill to stop federal regulators from penalizing banks that serve the marijuana industry from will be considered by the House Financial Services subcommittee

Gottheimer is the only New Jersey congressman on the panel, which is scheduled for a markup next Tuesday.

The two-term congressman represents a Republican-leaning district and has carefully positioned himself as a centrist — sometimes to the frustration of Democrats.

Three New Jersey House members – Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson), Albio Sires (D-West New York) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Ewing) – are co-sponsors of the bill.

“For six years, Congress has failed to act on the issue of cannabis banking, putting thousands of employees, businesses and communities at risk,” said Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colorado), the sponsor of the bill that has bi-partisan support.  “The issue is finally receiving the attention it deserves with the first-ever congressional hearing and now a scheduled committee vote.”

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