Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) isn’t the most vocal cannabis advocate on the 2020 presidential campaign trail, but you shouldn’t take that as a lack of support for marijuana legalization.
Unlike many of the top contenders for the upcoming Democratic primaries, Ryan hasn’t filed any of his own cannabis legalization bills. Despite this, Ryan has co-sponsored some of the strongest pieces of cannabis reform legislation to hit Congress over the past few years.
Most recently, Ryan has signed on as a co-sponsor of Rep. Ed Perlmutter’s (D-CO) SAFE Banking Act which would allow banks to work with state-legal cannabis businesses without fear of being prosecuted under federal money laundering laws. Ryan is also a co-sponsor of fellow presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) STATES Act, which would see cannabis removed from the Controlled Substances Act.
However, Ryan has not made drug policy reform a central part of his presidential campaign. There is no mention of cannabis one way or the other on his official campaign website and Ryan hasn’t spoken much about cannabis publicly over the past year.
Ryan did make it clear in an op-ed for CNN last July that “marijuana should be legal in all 50 states.”
“You should not be able to legally buy a product in one state, just to be arrested for the very same act in another,” wrote Ryan.
Under a Ryan presidency, voters may not see the Ohio rep take the lead on national cannabis reform, but it seems clear that any strong pieces of legislation that come his way would get his support.