A historic bill was introduced this morning to congress which could change the face of U.S. cannabis regulation as we know it. We’ve heard that one before, but wait: this one has bi-partisan support from Republicans like Sen. Cory Gardner and Democrats like Earl Blumenauer, as reported by Leafly. Oh yeah, fuck, wait, we’ve heard that one before too.
But this one could actually pass, experts say. Why? Because Trump says he’ll support it, and absolutely everything he’s ever pledged would happen has come to pass. But also, maybe, because everybody is sick of all these billz already and it’s legal in some form in most of the country so let’s get it over with already.
Here’s how this one works. It’s called the STATES Act (Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Entrusting States) and would it would do is amend the longstanding federal Controlled Substances Act so that most federal cannabis laws just wouldn’t apply in states with legal marijuana programs. That means that if you’re abiding by the your the cannabis laws of the state you are in, then it is virtually impossible that for you to commit a federal crime. Pretty nifty, huh? Here are some other quick facts about the proposed measure:
- The freedom to shed yourself of federal cannabis oversight would apply not only to states, but to Washington, D.C. and to all U.S. territories and federally-recognized tribes.
- It would allow cannabis businesses to bank with a lot more freedom than they have now, since regulated cannabis sales could no longer be considered illegal transactions.
- Industrial hemp would disappear entirely from the federal list of federally controlled substances.
- A few cannabis activities would still be illegal at the federal law. Those include:
- Endangering others while manufacturing cannabis.
- The distribution of cannabis to people under 21 for anything other than medical purposes.
- The employment of people under 18 in cannabis businesses.
- The distribution of cannabis at transportation safety facilities such as truck stops and rest stops.
“In 2012, Coloradans legalized marijuana at the ballot box and the state created an apparatus to regulate the legal marijuana industry. But because of the one-size-fits-all federal prohibition, state decisions like this put Colorado and other states at odds with the federal government,” said Senator Gardner. “The federal government is closing its eyes and plugging its ears while 46 states have acted. The bipartisan STATES Act fixes this problem once and for all by taking a states’ rights approach to the legal marijuana question. The bipartisan, commonsense bill ensures the federal government will respect the will of the voters – whether that is legalization or prohibition – and not interfere in any states’ legal marijuana industry.”
Photo via Flickr user Philip Bump