Representatives Tom Garrett (R-VA) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) have introduced bipartisan legislation in Congress to exclude marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act. This provides states with the exclusive authority to standardize the plant as best as they can. The “Ending Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017” eliminates the cannabis plant from the CSA so that it is no longer listed under federal law. This legislation gives states the authority and flexibility to establish their own marijuana policies free from federal interference. Individual states are more than capable of choosing their own cannabis policies, Rep. Garrett explained in a prepared statement.
According to polling data released last week by Quinnipiac University, 59 percent of Americans endorse legalizing the adult use of marijuana, and 71 percent of voters, including majorities of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans, believe that state governments, not the federal government, should be the crucial authorities of marijuana policy. With the recent authorization 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, our best defense is a strong offense. Speaking earlier today before the National Association of Attorney Generals, Session’s doubled-down on his reefer rhetoric; denying scientific facts that legalizing cannabis access is associated with lower rates of opioid abuse.