BOSTON (CBS) — Jon Keller’s guest on Keller @ Large this week was once a staunch opponent to marijuana legalization. He has now called for the federal government to legalize the drug. Rep. Joe Kennedy III’s op-ed was published Tuesday, the first day of legal marijuana sales in Massachusetts.
“The status quo just ain’t working. It’s not working for folks that have criminal records because of marijuana arrests. It’s not working for folks that believe that marijuana can actually help them with a medical condition. It’s the states that have, like Massachusetts, now gone through these legalization process,” said Kennedy.
He believes states will continue legalizing weed on their own.
Mass. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Republican Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner are co-sponsoring a bill in the Senate to address the concerns states may have about legalizing marijuana. Kennedy wants to go further though.
“I think there needs to be clear federal guidelines and policy around some of these issues, particularly when it comes to advertising, warning labels, dosage, advertising to kids. The federal government saying that this is solely up to the responsibility of the states, I don’t actually think is appropriate.”
Keller also asked Kennedy what his opinions were on the most recent developments in the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. President Trump announced he said was siding with Saudi Arabi and would not punish the country as many European countries have done.
“The idea that the President of the United States is going to ignore the assessment put forth by our intelligence agencies and cast his own lot with the words uttered the crown prince and the Saudi royal family is bizarre. It’s disappointing. The United States — our word should be worth more than that,” Kennedy responded. “Look, Jon, the idea that we would somehow turn the other way when an individual living in the United States is murdered going in to get information to be able to get married abroad is stunning. And you shouldn’t be able to buy us off just because you’ve got a business deal.”
Kennedy also said he cannot see how the crown prince would not have known about what was going on.
Mass. Rep Seth Moulton has publicly spoken out against Nancy Pelosi regaining the speakership when Democrats take charge of the House in January. On the contrary, Kennedy supports her.
“I have been in office now for six years. We are at this extraordinary opportunity in the Democratic caucus to try to deliver on some promises, hold administration accountable, but recognize that we aspire to be a big tent party and you’ve got to find ways to build that consensus, empower our members, and unify behind values and policies. There is nobody that’s better at doing that than Nancy Pelosi. Period.”
Kennedy continued to say he believes younger, and newer members need more opportunities in Congress, but that Pelosi does not have control over that. “If you have any idea, if you have a value, a mission, that you want to go out there and sell? You can go do that. Nancy Pelosi ain’t getting in the way of anybody.”
Kennedy also said he does not envision himself running for Senate against Democratic Sen. Ed Markey any time soon.