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Many people in Wyoming may have glanced at their phones Thursday to see a surprising robotext.
In the message, a group known as Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) Action accuses U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis of working with New York Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to legalize marijuana and cut away Second Amendment rights.
Lummis has never publicly espoused either position.
“Cynthia Lummis is working overtime in D.C. to help Chuck Schumer legalize pot and roll back our Second Amendment rights,” the text reads. “Anti-drug groups and the Gun Owners of America have come out against what she’s doing.”
The SAM robotext tells people to ask Lummis “why she is working so hard for the Democrats.”
A spokesperson for Lummis told Cowboy State Daily on Friday that the text is a “bold-faced lie.”
“Senator Lummis is interested in getting things done for the people of Wyoming and protecting our gun and energy industries, not pandering to out-of-state special interest groups that know nothing about Wyoming,” the spokesperson said.
SAM did not respond to Cowboy State Daily’s request for comment.
Lummis recently co-sponsored legislation with Montana Republican Sen. Steve Daines to ensure that neither President Joe Biden’s administration nor any other future president can circumvent Congress to change marijuana laws at the federal level.
According to its website, SAM Action is a nonprofit dedicated to promoting healthy marijuana policies that do not legalize drugs. The group is based in Washington, D.C., and its website is still under construction. It’s not clear what the group’s connections to Wyoming are, but it does have a pilot project in nearby Colorado known as the Marijuana Accountability Coalition.
According to a recent report from the Congressional Research Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration has signaled it will follow a recommendation issued by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration to reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule III substance under the Controlled Substances Act. If approved, this would significantly lower federal marijuana penalties.
Lummis’ Deferring Executive Authority Act would require congressional review of the rules rescheduling marijuana. In a September press release, Lummis took a skeptical perspective toward Biden’s marijuana approach and said these types of changes should be made by Congress.
“The Biden administration’s rush to reschedule marijuana without compelling scientific evidence appears to be political, not about what’s best for the American people,” she said.
A representative for Second Amendment advocacy group Gun Owners of America vehemently denied any connection with the texts and said his group sent a cease-and-desist letter to SAM on Friday, ordering the lobbying group to stop mentioning GOA in its lobbying schemes that it considers “unprecedented.”
“It’s so unprecedented, it kind of caught us off guard, but we have issued a cease-and-desist and threatened legal action,” said Mark Jones, a Wyoming-based lobbyist for Gun Owners of America. “We’re not happy about our name being used in something we didn’t approve.”
As far as the Second Amendment criticisms, Jones suspects SAM is referencing Lummis’ SAFER Banking Act, which is designed to protect energy companies and gun manufacturers from many Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) initiatives.
Although Jones said as currently written the bill does have some loopholes that could be used to harm and overregulate the firearms industry, he said Lummis has been an active and supportive partner on closing them.
“She’s working with us to try and fix it,” Jones said. “We’re not adversarial with her right now at all, and we did not sanction that language in that robotext.”
Lummis has an A+ rating from the National Shooting Sports Foundation and in 2022 received an A grade from the National Rifle Association (NRA). According to The New York Times, she has received $19,000 from the NRA during her congressional career. Last year she opposed legislation expanding background checks on firearms.
Jones said his group has no concerns about where Lummis stands on Second Amendment issues and has never experienced a lobbying group misrepresent his group’s position to further their own cause so blatantly before.
“We haven’t seen anything exactly like this in a long, long time,” Jones said. “This is pretty unusual for a lobbying group to go out on a limb and include another lobbying group without having clear discussions and agreements ahead of time.”