Paul Gosar has a lot more free time now, after being censured by the House and stripped of his committee assignments for posting an anime video that showed him killing a colleague.
And so Gosar, a highly-committed poster, continues to post.
The far-right Arizona congressman shared an image on Instagram Thursday that showed a joint photoshopped into his mouth along with a gold chain and pixelated sunglasses, with the words “GOSAR LIFE” under it.
“Can’t keep me down,” Gosar captioned it.
Gosar’s apparent endorsement of weed as something that makes you cool is at odds with everything he’s said and every vote he’s taken over the course of his political career. The pro-legalization group NORML gives Gosar an “F” for his cannabis positions, saying he supports jail time for possession and opposes even medical cannabis.
In 2014, after Colorado and Washington legalized possessing and selling cannabis, Gosar introduced a bill that prohibited SNAP and TANF benefits from being used to buy cannabis products, which was aptly called the “No Welfare for Weed Act.”
“Unfortunately, there are always unscrupulous people looking for ways to game the system, which makes this commonsense update to federal law necessary,” Gosar said at the time. Not necessary enough, apparently—the bill didn’t even get a hearing, and the Republican Speaker at the time, John Boehner, now lobbies for the cannabis industry.
Two years later, Gosar opposed an Arizona ballot referendum to legalize possession and consumption of cannabis for those over the age of 21. (The measure narrowly failed.)
“As a healthcare professional, I oppose Proposition 205 and the legalization of recreational marijuana as it would cause major public safety risks, endanger Arizona kids, and protect a commercial industry that profits from expanded drug use,” Gosar, a dentist by trade, said at the time. “Why would we allow Arizona to be Big Marijuana's next victim when we can point to the catastrophic impacts of legalized recreational marijuana in neighboring states?”
Gosar’s office did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment on whether he’s changed his mind about decriminalization and legalization. But even as a small but growing group of Republicans have become more open to relaxing federal cannabis laws, Gosar has continued to oppose those efforts.
In the past several years, Gosar has voted against bills to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and expunge criminal records of cannabis charges, to stop federal bank regulators from punishing banks who do business with cannabis companies, and prevent states from authorizing the use of medical cannabis.
Though Gosar has been stripped of his committee assignments, every indication is that he’ll be rewarded for his staff’s take on the anime ‘Attack on Titan’ showing him using a sword to kill a character with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Photoshopped face.
Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy indicated Thursday that Gosar could be given even better assignments should the GOP win a House majority next November. “They’ll have committees,” McCarthy said in a press conference, referring to both Gosar and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who was stripped of her assignments earlier this year. “They may have other committee assignments. They may have better committee assignments.”
And a day after the censure vote, former President Donald Trump endorsed Gosar for reelection, calling him “a loyal supporter of our America First agenda, and even more importantly, the USA.”
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