Blumenauer, Joyce, Warren and Gardner Introduce Bicameral, Bipartisan Legislation to Protect State Marijuana Policies
April 4, 2019
U.S. Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Dave Joyce (R-OH), co-chairs of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, along with U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Cory Gardner (R-CO), today introduced the bicameral, bipartisan Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act to allow states to determine their own marijuana policies within their borders. The bill also extends these protections to Washington D.C., U.S. territories, and federally recognized tribes, and contains common-sense guards to ensure states, territories and tribes regulate it safely.
“Forty-seven states have legalized some form of cannabis and the majority of Americans support its legalization” said Representative Blumenauer. “Our outdated laws have ruined lives, devastated communities, and wasted resources for critical medical treatment and research. The STATES Act is the next logical step in a comprehensive blueprint for more rational federal cannabis policy. It’s time for Congress to catch up with the rest of America and fix a badly broken system.”
“The current federal policy interferes with the ability of states to implement their own cannabis laws, and the resulting system has stifled important medical research, hurt legitimate businesses and diverted critical law enforcement resources needed elsewhere,” said Representative Joyce. “It’s past time for Congress to clarify cannabis policy on the federal level and ensure states are free to make their own decisions in the best interest of their constituents. The STATES Act does just that by respecting the will of the states that have legalized cannabis in some form and allowing them to implement their own policies without fear of repercussion from the federal government.”
Currently, all but three states have legalized the use of cannabis or cannabis-based products, and following the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is no longer a Schedule I controlled substance. Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and a number of tribes have similar laws.
You can find the full text of the bill here.