Sessions Move Backfires! New Bill to Protect U.S. State Rights Introduced

New bill to protect U.S. states' rights to operate legal cannabis was introduced on Friday
New bill to protect U.S. states' rights to operate legal cannabis was introduced on Friday. (File image via Reuters)

A new bill to protect U.S. state rights is introduced in one of most the recent moves against the Sessions crackdown on marijuana legalization. In addition, more U.S. states seem to be en route to legalize marijuana.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was accused of being a liar and belligerent against “liberty” after he rescinded an Obama-era rule that allowed the sale of legal marijuana without any federal government intervention.

Sessions created some kind of split within his own party especially with Republican Gov. Cory Gardner of Colorado – one of the earliest states to legalize marijuana – Gardner said that Sessions had promised him that marijuana won’t be on the Trump Administration’s agendas.

Now Sessions has a new bill to face. The U.S. House bill introduced on Friday by a California congresswoman that would protect state-legal cannabis from “excessive federal enforcement,” Leafly reported. 

With its almost 40 million in population, California on Jan. 1 became officially the largest U.S. state to legalize marijuana. But right after California’s marijuana legalization, Sessions dropped his bomb.

The new bill, meanwhile, would forbid federal agencies from spending money to “detain, prosecute, sentence, or initiate civil proceedings against an individual, business or property, that is involved in the cultivation, distribution, possession, dispensation, or use of cannabis” when those actions comply with state law or local regulations.

New bill to protect U.S. states' rights to operate legal cannabis was introduced on Friday
A man waves a Colorado flag with a marijuana leaf on it at Denver’s annual 4/20 marijuana rally in front of the state capitol building in downtown Denver April 20, 2015. (Image via Reuters)

Bipartisan Letter

Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of members of the U.S. House sent a letter to congressional leaders on Friday asking for protections for state marijuana laws in federal funding legislation that is currently being negotiated, Marijuana Moment reported.

“[W]e are concerned with several attempts to apply federal law upon commerce related to cannabis that is conducted entirely within the boundaries of states that have legalized such commerce,” the group of 69 lawmakers, led by Reps. Tom McClintock (R-CA) and Jared Polis (D-CO), wrote in the letter.

“While the federal government is legitimately empowered to regulate interstate commerce, the measures adopted by states such as California, Oregon, and Colorado are aimed solely at intrastate commerce and as such should not be interfered with,” they wrote. “Indeed, this is exactly the mechanism Louis Brandeis referred to when he wrote of the states as laboratories for innovation and experimentation.”

More states En Route to Legalization

In spite of Sessions, more U.S. states are buckling up to continue their fight to legalize marijuana.

On Thursday, lawmakers opened the floor to debate the legalization of marijuana in New York on Thursday. Last week, Vermont and New Hampshire moved to legalize cannabis for adult use.

A legislation has also been proposed to legalize medical marijuana in Kentucky, and a new bill coming later this month will also open the door to debate cannabis legalization in New Jersey.

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