Last updated on: 10/19/2009 | Author: ProCon.org

Lamar Smith, JD Biography

Title:
Former US Congressman (R-TX)
Position:
Con to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"
Reasoning:

“The [Obama] Administration’s new guidelines directing federal prosecutors to ignore local medical marijuana dispensaries that allegedly operate in compliance with state laws fly in the face of Supreme Court precedent and undermine federal laws that prohibit the distribution and use of marijuana.

For the past ten months, the Obama administration has promised robust drug enforcement efforts to help address cartel-operated marijuana fields in our national parks and drug-related violence along the U.S.-Mexico border. But we cannot hope to eradicate the drug trade if we do not first address the cash cow for most drug trafficking organizations – marijuana. Illegal marijuana sales in the U.S. help fund the illegal drug trade.

By directing federal law enforcement officers to ignore federal drug laws, the Administration is tacitly condoning the use of marijuana in the U.S. If we want to win the war on drugs, federal prosecutors have a responsibility to investigate and prosecute all medical marijuana dispensaries and not just those that are merely fronts for illegal marijuana distribution.”

“Smith: Enforce Federal Marijuana Laws,” lamarsmith.house.gov, Oct. 19, 2009

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
    Experts
Individuals with MDs, PhDs, JDs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to medical marijuana. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to medical marijuana issues.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Lobbyist, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
  • US Congressman (R-TX), 1987-Jan. 3, 2019
  • Ranking Republican Member, House Judiciary Committee
  • Member, Homeland Security, and Science & Technology Committees, US House of Representatives
  • Member, House Republican Steering Committee, US House of Representatives
  • Former Chairman, Ethics Committee, US House of Representatives
  • Former Member, Budget Committee, US House of Representatives
  • Commissioner, Bexar County, Texas, 1982-1985
  • State Representative, Texas House of Representatives, 1980-1982
  • Practicing attorney, 1975-1980
  • Financial writer, Christian Science Monitor, 1970-1972
  • Management Intern, US Small Business Administration, 1969-1970
Education:
  • JD, Southern Methodist University School of Law, 1975
  • BA, Yale University, 1969
Other:
  • Named 100 most influential people in Washington by National Journal
  • Named one of the nation’s top “influencers and innovators” by Fast Company Magazine