U.S Senators, Dem. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Cory Gardner held a press conference to explain a draft bill they introduced on Thursday to alter the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
The bipartisan bill is to allow states to make their own decisions regarding marijuana legislation.
Warren of Massachusetts said 46 states and the District of Columbia have legalized some aspect of marijuana yet the federal law still outlaws cannabis.
“The science is clear that medical marijuana treatments are effective. There is absolutely no reason that patients should be prevented from seeking scientifically proven care, but right now that is the reality for millions of people across this country,” Warren said.
“These archaic laws don’t just hurt individual people. They also prevent businesses in the marijuana business from getting access to banking services. That forces a multibillion dollar industry to operate all in cash. That’s bad for business and bad for safety.”
The two said the “Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Entrusting States” or STATES Act is set to protect financial institutions that work with legal cannabis businesses, and allow states, territories, and tribes decide for themselves how best to regulate marijuana – without federal interference.
Full text of the bill can be viewed here.
Previously, Gardner of Colorado said he had a conversation with President Donald Trump, saying he respects state laws on marijuana but evidence on the ground is not showing that.
During the press conference, he said:
“This is not a legalization bill; I think that’s very important. This is an approach that allows states to move forward.”
He added: “If a state like Oklahoma or Kansas or Nebraska chooses for themselves not to do this, they do not have to. The federal law remains the same. But for those states like Massachusetts and Colorado, this is the opportunity our founders intended; it allows states to become those laboratories of Democracy.”