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house Bill H.R. 2093

Should the Feds Not Interfere if People & Businesses Comply With State Marijuana Law?

Argument in favor

States should be able to devise systems for regulating marijuana without putting their citizens in a position where they have to worry about breaking federal law.

jimK's Opinion
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07/10/2020
Federal institutions located within State boundaries already have to comply with State laws. Different States have different laws for the sale and distribution of alcohol and differing legal limits defining intoxication. I cannot see any reason to treat marijuana differently. Like the policies for alcohol, agencies may require stricter adherence to agency standards for people in hazardous duty, who may be on call to provide critical services, or those called upon to publicly represent the agency - things which would all be put at risk by any intoxication related mental impairment. This is already established policy for alcoholic substances and there is no reason why State legalized marijuana should be treated any differently.
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07/10/2020
Legalization of marijuana at the federal level will be a huge boost to our economy, creating jobs and providing non-opioid relief for many, many medical conditions. Let’s get this done for America! It’s way past time.
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Brian's Opinion
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07/10/2020
It seems to me that this should be a states' rights issue, since over half of states now allow at least some form of marijuana use. It's time to end the federal restriction on marijuana, and Congress should write a bill about it.
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Argument opposed

The federal government shouldn't allow states to normalize the use of marijuana. It needs to enforce laws designed to protect the public health.

B.R.'s Opinion
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07/10/2020
As long as marijuana is illegal at the Federal level, the Feds should enforce the law. The way to solve this issue is for Congress to make a decision.
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operaman's Opinion
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07/10/2020
Another case of creating laws that are optional in States. Time to rewrite Federal Law and allowing states to allow or disallow marijuana. Frankly, I'll pass a drag. I prefer reality.
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Stickyfingers's Opinion
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07/10/2020
No. No one is above the LAW, Remember liberals?
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What is House Bill H.R. 2093?

This bill would change federal marijuana law to protect those who are in compliance with state laws while producing, possessing, distributing, dispensing, administering, or delivering marijuana. Basically, if a person's pot use/production/distribution is allowed under state law for recreational or medical purposes — the federal government won't prosecute them. 

Impact

People who use, distribute, produce, or administer marijuana products in compliance with state law; the Controlled Substances Act; and law enforcement the local, state, and federal levels.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2093

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to ensure that each state has the right to determine for itself the best approach to marijuana within its borders:
“Forty-seven states have legalized some form of cannabis and the majority of Americans support its legalization. Our outdated laws have ruined lives, devastated communities, and wasted resources for critical medical treatment and research. Congress needs a reality check. The STATES Act is an important part of the blueprint for more rational federal cannabis policy.”

During a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing in April 2019, Attorney General William Barr expressed support for this bill over the status quo, while still expressing a preference for a uniform federal rule against marijuana:

“Personally, I would still favor one uniform federal rule against marijuana, but if there is no sufficient consensus to obtain that, then I think the way to go is to permit a more federal approach so states can make their own decisions within the framework of federal law, so we’re not just ignoring the enforcement of federal law.”
The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and American Bankers Association (ABA) support this bill. NCAI's president, Jefferson Keel, says marijuana federalism would benefit tribes
"The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) strongly advocates for the recognition of tribal sovereignty and inclusion of tribal governments in national legislation. We appreciate the re-introduction of the STATES Act, which would bring certainty in federal law for tribal nations as separate jurisdictions. Tribal nations, as sovereign governments, and in the spirit of self-determination, must be able to make independent  decisions about their own economic, cultural, and social futures at the local, tribal level.”
“While ABA does not take a position on the legalization of cannabis and the STATES Act is not a banking specific bill, removing the federal prohibition on cannabis in states that have legalized its use would allow banks to accept deposits and provide basic financial services to state licensed cannabis businesses and their service providers. That, in turn, would help those communities reduce cash-motivated crimes, increase the efficiency of tax collections, and improve the financial transparency of the cannabis industry."
President Trump expressed his support for this bill in the 115th Congress. However, Janet Seiberg, an analyst at Cowen Washington Research Group, cast doubt on how much the president's endorsement would matter to this bill's odds of passage, saying, "Despite the president's remarks, we don't see the White House fighting for this legislation."

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has expressed his opposition to marijuana legalization in any form, despite introducing a hemp legalization bill in the 115th Congress. At that time, Sen. McConnell drew a distinction between hemp and marijuana, saying, "I do not have any plans to endorse the legalization of marijuana... [Hemp] is a different plant. It has an illicit cousin which I choose not to embrace."

This bill has 27 bipartisan House cosponsors, including 14 Republicans and 13 Democrats. A Senate version with nine bipartisan Senate cosponsors, including five Republicans and four Democrats, has also been introduced in the current session of Congress.

Last Congress, then-Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) introduced this bill with 46 bipartisan House cosponsors and it didn't receive a committee vote. This bill also had the support of 12 bipartisan governors last Congress.

Of Note: Eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized and regulated recreational marijuana for adults — although Congress has prevented D.C. implementing it — while 29 states, D.C., Guam, and Puerto Rico permit the medical use of marijuana. 

If you're wondering how many people agree with your position on legalizing marijuana, Pew Research has the numbers:

"Support for marijuana legalization is rapidly outpacing opposition. A slim majority (53%) of Americans say the drug should be made legal, compared with 44% who want it to be illegal. Opinions have changed drastically since 1969, when Gallup first asked the question and found that just 12% favored legalizing marijuana use." 

An omnibus spending package passed in 2015 included an amendment from then-Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), who sponsored the 115th Congress version of this bill, that prevented federal funds from being used to prosecute people who act in compliance with their state's medical marijuana laws. That was subsequently reauthorized by a continuing resolution passed in December 2016 which funded the government through April 28, 2017.

Media: 

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Cannabis Culture via Flickr / Creative Commons)

AKA

STATES Act

Official Title

To amend the Controlled Substances Act to provide for a new rule regarding the application of the Act to marihuana, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Highways and Transit
      Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
    IntroducedApril 4th, 2019
    Just legalize it. This is way overdue.
    Like (199)
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    As long as marijuana is illegal at the Federal level, the Feds should enforce the law. The way to solve this issue is for Congress to make a decision.
    Like (40)
    Follow
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    Federal institutions located within State boundaries already have to comply with State laws. Different States have different laws for the sale and distribution of alcohol and differing legal limits defining intoxication. I cannot see any reason to treat marijuana differently. Like the policies for alcohol, agencies may require stricter adherence to agency standards for people in hazardous duty, who may be on call to provide critical services, or those called upon to publicly represent the agency - things which would all be put at risk by any intoxication related mental impairment. This is already established policy for alcoholic substances and there is no reason why State legalized marijuana should be treated any differently.
    Like (128)
    Follow
    Share
    Legalization of marijuana at the federal level will be a huge boost to our economy, creating jobs and providing non-opioid relief for many, many medical conditions. Let’s get this done for America! It’s way past time.
    Like (94)
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    Legalize, decriminalize, regulate & tax!
    Like (59)
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    It seems to me that this should be a states' rights issue, since over half of states now allow at least some form of marijuana use. It's time to end the federal restriction on marijuana, and Congress should write a bill about it.
    Like (46)
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    It's high time the feds decriminalize marijuana.
    Like (41)
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    The legalization of marijuana at the Federal level should have come decades ago. The criminalization of marijuana only led to the mass incarceration of people of color. Non-violent drug offenders should be released immediately with their records expunged.
    Like (36)
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    Taxed and regulated marijuana would be better than what the feds are doing now. Prohibition on alcohol was and should’ve been a failure. The same goes for marijuana. I’m not an advocate for either, but firmly believe that legal, not decriminalized, marijuana would be a better outcome than the damage opioids have resulted in. Alcohol does more damage to your health than marijuana. The biggest concerns for me would be having accurate tests available to determine if a driver is “too high to drive” and access to minors. If you’re an adult in America and want to use marijuana responsibly, you should have the ability to do so.
    Like (31)
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    Pot law is only imprisoning people. Has it done any good?
    Like (31)
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    Pot is not harmful and if it’s being made legally then there shouldn’t be a problem.
    Like (30)
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    Too many people in jail. Too many people who have a criminal record because of marijuana which is not as bad as alcohol because it makes people mean. Marijuana mellows people out. Legalize it & tax it.
    Like (29)
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    Yes the Feds should NOT interfere with this issue. They can’t be bothered with interfering in this Covid issue other than to confuse everyone and kill people, so they can stay the hell out of the marijuana issue which is improving the lives and well being of countless people. Feds fuck off.
    Like (22)
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    Update! Another poorly written question! There should be no interference. There should be not federal law. If I have my card, I should be free to take my medication with me to another state without worry of being arrested. Legalize, regulate, and tax! ✨ NEW! Want to guess why the Federal Gov keeps these laws on the books? DO NOT BE FOOLED - IT IS Pressure from big pharma. If it were made legal tomorrow and the federal government put a federal tax on it - imagine what could be done with that $$$$ - and all the funds spent on this portion of the war on drugs - just think! ✨ I have a medical card; I had cancer - it helped with the pain so I did not have to take man-made drugs with those side affects; for example, I'm not worried about damage to my liver. ✨ Big pharma does NOT want us to use a natural grown substance to help reduce pain or help when there's a loss of appetite - what's in for them? Nothing, so deals are made in DC to help big pharma and screw us. They want to fill their pockets! ✨ I partook when it was not legal. I am not now nor ever been 'hooked' as it is not physically addictive - emotionally - yes. I didn't use it until my late 20s and I do not think it should be available to anyone under 25 unless prescribed; need to wait for the brain to fully develop. ✨ The father of our country grew it. ✨ I so prefer being in situation with people that are high than with people that are drunk. ✨ In addition to the health benefits, I remember reading that the seeds could be used as fuel - so we have the gas/oil/coal lobbyists too. ✨ I've provided a link to the health benefits - know what you're talking about before speaking and posting. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/medical-marijuana-2018011513085
    Like (18)
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    When are we going to stop this nonsense....People are out there getting robbed, raped, overdosing on hard drugs, while an officer is stopping someone with weed. We have seen the economic growth and wealth in states that have legalized it. It’s a plant for god sakes! I mean, God did make it if you want to get all religious... The medical uses go on for miles. You can now go to University’s and get a degree in the medicinal use of Marijuana. DOES THAT NOT SAY ANYTHING?!?! The only thing that will not benefit from making weed legal is the prison system, which ironically America has the most people in jail than any country. So they would loose a ton of money..... so what’s the real reason why you won’t make weed legal? Is it really cause it is “bad for you” or is it because the money will no longer be going into your pockets?
    Like (17)
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    Time to legalize nationwide!
    Like (16)
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    I personally think that marijuana should be legal. I also believe it should be taxed and regulated, so the consumer knows what they are getting when they purchase any product with marijuana or its components. Legalization would allow more much needed research on the benefits (and risks) of marijuana and its components.
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    Yea, so long as the fed legalizes marijuana at the federal level as well. Currently, the banking issues alone are causing major havoc.
    Like (12)
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    Another case of creating laws that are optional in States. Time to rewrite Federal Law and allowing states to allow or disallow marijuana. Frankly, I'll pass a drag. I prefer reality.
    Like (11)
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    If pot is legalized it will be taxed to death and the dealers will still Make a living. After all it’s a weed anybody can grow it The government should keep their noses and grubby little hands out If the pot business. Leave it to the states and for gods sake let those people out of jail
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