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Purple Haze: Bipartisan Support in Congress for Weed Reform Grows

Do you support marijuana reform by Congress?

by Countable | 4.19.19

Public support for marijuana legalization is at an all-time high, and as a result there is bipartisan momentum for reform legislation that’s growing in Congress. Here’s a look at a few cannabis bills in Congress now that some lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have embraced.

Recently referenced by Attorney General William Barr in a committee hearing as a better alternative than the status quo of states with legal weed flouting federal law, the STATES Act would let states, territories, the District of Columbia, and federally-recognized Indian tribes regulate marijuana as they see fit. It’d also prohibit the sale of weed to individuals under age 21 and give cannabis businesses access to banking services.

The STATES Act isn’t only bipartisan, it’s bicameral as well: the Senate bill (S. 1028) was drafted by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) and is backed by another eight cosponsors who are equally divided along party-lines; while the House version of the bill (H.R. 2093) has 30 cosponsors who are also evenly split on a partisan basis.

Much like the STATES Act, the Sensible Enforcement of Cannabis Act (H.R. 493) draws on the principle of federalism by preventing the federal government (through the Dept. of Justice) from prosecuting marijuana-related activities that don’t violate state law. It’s currently supported nine cosponsors in the House, including seven Democrats and two Republicans.

On the medical side of the marijuana policy debate, there’s the Medical Cannabis Research Act (H.R. 601) which would increase the number of cannabis manufacturers permitted to grow the substance for legitimate research purposes and allow Dept. of Veterans Affairs healthcare providers to recommend marijuana to veterans in federally-approved cannabis trials. The bill has the support of five Democratic and two Republican cosponsors.


— Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: iStock.com / FatCamera)


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