Federal: Bill Introduced To End Federal Marijuana Prohibition
Representatives Tom Garrett (R-VA), Scott Taylor (R-VA) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) have introduced bipartisan legislation to exclude marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, thus leaving states the authority to regulate the plant how best they see fit.The “Ending Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017” eliminates federal criminal penalties for possessing and growing the plant. This legislation gives states the power and flexibility to establish their own marijuana policies free from federal interference.
Representative Garrett says that marijuana prohibition disproportionately impacts those residing in jurisdictions of lower socioeconomic status, and believes that state governments are plenty capable of setting their own marijuana policies.“Virginia is more than capable of handling its own marijuana policy, as are states such as Colorado or California,” he said in a prepared statement.
The intent of the “Ending Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017 is consistent with the view of most voters. According to recent polling by Quinnipiac University, 59 percent of Americans support full marijuana legalization and 71 percent believe that states, not the federal government, should set marijuana policy.
With the recent confirmation of militant marijuana prohibitionist Jeff Sessions to the position of US Attorney General, and with comments from the Trump administration warning of a coming federal crackdown in adult use states, passage of this Act is necessary to ensure that medical marijuana patients and others are protected from undue federal interference.
Federal: Bipartisan Leaders Reintroduce the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act
Update: (2/27) Indicating to reporters that a federal crackdown is forthcoming, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said "I'm definitely not a fan of expanded use of marijuana," he said. "States they can pass the laws they choose. I would just say it does remain a violation of federal law to distribute marijuana throughout any place in the United States, whether a state legalizes it or not."
Update: (2/23) White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer suggested that the Trump administration will step up enforcement of federal laws against marijuana. “I do believe that you’ll see greater enforcement,” Spicer said, and added that the exact policy is “a question for the Department of Justice.”
Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), along with six other Republicans and six Democrats, has reintroduced bipartisan legislation, ‘The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act,’ to prevent the federal government from criminally prosecuting individuals and/or businesses who are engaging in state-sanctioned activities specific to the possession, use, production, and distribution of marijuana.
HR 975 states, ‘‘Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the provisions of this subchapter related to marihuana shall not apply to any person acting in compliance with State laws relating to the production, possession, distribution, dispensation, administration, or delivery of marihuana.’’
Passage of this Act would halt federal officials from prosecuting individuals and businesses for violating the Controlled Substances Act in the 29 states that permit either the medical or adult use and distribution of marijuana. According to national polling, 71 percent of voters believe that the federal government should respect these laws and not interfere with them.
With the recent confirmation of militant marijuana prohibitionist Jeff Sessions to the position of US Attorney General, passage of this Act is necessary to ensure that medical marijuana patients and others are protected from undue federal interference.
We often get asked, why can’t we just put marijuana on the ballot in Virginia? Why can’t we let the people vote on it?
If we could, we’d probably have legal cannabis a lot sooner. After all, 54% of Virginians support allowing adults to legally possess it.
But unfortunately, we can’t put cannabis on the ballot, because Virginia law doesn’t allow it.Read more