Why an Anti-Pot Lawmaker Is Pushing for Marijuana Research

Rep. Andy Harris, M.D., is a towering, surprisingly skinny 60-year-old, but as he walks the halls of Congress no heads turn. Tourists haven’t heard of him, national reporters mostly ignore him and rarely does a single one of the thousands of camera phones on the Capitol grounds come out to capture a shot of the four-term Republican from Maryland. While that seemingly perpetual level of anonymity is par for the course for most of the nation’s 435 members of the House of Representatives, Harris has gained notoriety in Washington. Not the Washington we see on T.V., adorned in marble, starched collars and bullshit banter, but the gritty little city surrounding the seat of the federal government that struggles with segregation, high incarceration rates and a few residents still struggling to kick their PCP or opioid habits.

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