Friday, June 8, 2018

Senate finally proposes cannabis bill that will protect states and remove Federal interference

When the media asked President Trump a few months ago whether his administration would support states choosing to legalize marijuana, his response was that it was up to Congress to legislate a solution.  Now on June 7 this may finally be getting some traction as two bi-partisan sponsors have introduced the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States Act (STATES Act) which would eliminate Federal interference in any state that passes a law to legalize cannabis as long as the production and distribution remains within that state's borders.

Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) held a press conference today (June 7) to announce the introduction of a bill which would allow states the right to choose whether to legalize marijuana without interference from the federal government. The bill is also sponsored in the House by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). 
The bill, known as the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States Act (STATES Act), would amend the Controlled Substances Act to prevent its enforcement in states, non-state territories like Washington D.C., overseas territories like Puerto Rico and Guam, and tribal lands. 
“States like Massachusetts have put a lot of work into implementing commonsense marijuana regulations—and they have the right to enforce their own marijuana policies,” Warren said. “The federal government needs to get out of the business of outlawing marijuana.” - Herb
While this is certainly a great first step in both strengthening state's rights and helping to expand the cannabis industry, the legislation still lacks the necessary power to allow marijuana to reach its full potential thanks to the interstate commerce powers the Federal government holds.  However once all 50 states eventually pass their own individual laws to legalize marijuana, then the Federal government will have little choice but to remove this remaining restriction.

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