On Friday, the Democrat-led House of Representatives passed the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, which—if passed by the Senate and signed by President Joe Biden—would decriminalize marijuana, removing it from the federal controlled substance schedule and opening a pathway to expunge federal marijuana convictions dating back to 1971.
Though marijuana decriminalization and legalization enjoys increasingly bipartisan support, House Republicans vigorously opposed the bill in floor debate. Republican Congressman Steven Palazzo of Mississippi said the bill was a "vote to get America high." His Republican colleague, Buddy Carter of Georgia, further promoted the questionable characterization of marijuana as a "gateway drug."
Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin took his conservative colleagues to task during a moment in his floor speech, especially with one incendiary dig.
"I concede our party is not for the kind of cocaine-fueled orgies that a freshman Republican representative bragged about this week, but we do understand that their marijuana prohibition laws don’t work for our people."
Raskin was referring to a recent anecdote delivered by far-right Congressman Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, who suggested on the Warrior Poet Society podcast that Republican members of Congress had invited him to an "orgy" and that some who had worked to reduce addiction in the U.S. did key bumps of cocaine in front of him.
His comments were met with immense backlash from fellow House Republicans, some of whom urged him to name the representatives in order not to characterize the whole party. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy sat down in private to reprimand Cawthorn, whom he said admitted the claims were "exaggerated/untrue," according to CNN reporter Melanie Zanona. Conservative provocateur and convicted felon Roger Stone said that Cawthorn denied that ever conceded the claims were untrue.
Social media users cheered Raskin's expert trolling.
But Raskin wasn't the only one to call out the GOP's opposition to federal marijuana reform.
Only three Republicans—Representatives Matt Gaetz of Florida, Brian Matz of Florida, and Tom McClintock of California—voted in favor of the legislation.