cannabis

Washington, D.C. – In an effort to push back against repressive federal control of marijuana policy, bipartisan legislation was introduced in Congress by representatives Tom Garrett (R-VA) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) to exclude cannabis from the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA), which absurdly lists marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance — a classification that denotes a substance being dangerous and having no known medicinal value.

Passage of this legislation would provide states with the exclusive authority to regulate marijuana how they see fit – without the ominous threat of federal criminalization. In a prepared statement, Rep. Garrett explained that states are “more than capable” of deciding what policies best benefit their own citizens – without the need for federal oversight. If passed, this bill would take marijuana off the federal controlled substances list – joining other industries such as alcohol and tobacco.

Passage of the “Ending Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017” would remove cannabis from the CSA so that it would no longer be listed as a substance regulated by federal law. This bipartisan legislation would empower states to establish their own marijuana regulations, which would allow for more flexibility in creating policy.

This piece of legislation comes at an important time, as the Trump administration is walking back his campaign promise of leaving marijuana policy up to the states, which he strongly noted on the campaign trail as shown below.

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Although President Trump ran on a state’s rights policy during the election regarding marijuana policy, recent comments by militant marijuana prohibitionist, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, have warned of a coming crackdown on states that have legalized recreational use of marijuana. Ironically, Sessions has attempted to absurdly equate legalization with increased violence – the opposite of the truth – as a substance being illegal is what actually creates a black market where criminal elements can thrive.

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The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) noted that when speaking yesterday, before the National Association of Attorney Generals, Session’s doubled-down on his drug warrior rhetoric — denying scientific facts that legalizing cannabis access is associated with lower rates of opioid abuse (“Give me a break,” he responded) and urging state AGs, “[W]e don’t need to be legalizing marijuana.”

Contrary to Sessions sentiments, recent polling shows strong support across the United States for legalization of marijuana for both recreational and medical purposes. Just last week, a poll released by Quinnipiac University revealed that 59 percent of Americans endorse legalizing the recreational use of cannabis for adults.

Incredibly, a full 71 percent of voters — including a majority of Republican, Democrats and Independents, believe that state governments – and not the federal government — should ultimately decide marijuana policy.

Upon introduction of this legislation, Rep. Garrett released the following statement:

“I have long believed justice that isn’t blind, isn’t justice. Statistics indicate that minor narcotics crimes disproportionately hurt areas of lower socio-economic status and what I find most troubling is that we continue to keep laws on the books that we do not enforce. Virginia is more than capable of handling its own marijuana policy, as are states such as Colorado or California.”

 

Garrett went on to say, “this step allows states to determine appropriate medicinal use and allows for industrial hemp growth, something that will provide a major economic boost to agricultural development in Southside Virginia. In the coming weeks, I anticipate introducing legislation aimed at growing the hemp industry in Virginia, something that is long overdue.”

Since the U.S. Department of Justice refuses to adhere to the will of the people, after Trump’s bait and switch on marijuana policy, then we must take this issue out of the hands of the Washington, D.C. elite and empower the states.

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With the DOJ moving to blatantly disregard the will of the people, the time is now to pass the “Ending Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017” to ensure that states have the right to create policies that best benefit their residents and are protected from being criminalized by an out of control federal bureaucracy beholden to special interests.

This is a call to action!

Please take the time to contact your federal elected officials and urge them to act on passage of the “Ending Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017.”

Please help get the word out and share this information with your fellow Americans!

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Jay Syrmopoulos is a geopolitical analyst, freethinker, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at the University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs and holds a BA in International Relations. Jay's writing has been featured on both mainstream and independent media - and has been viewed tens of millions of times. You can follow him on Twitter @SirMetropolis and on Facebook at SirMetropolis.
  • J.G. D’Amico

    phoenix tears.ca

  • James

    Hard to see what your stance is on the subject at hand since you used the article as an oppurtunity to take your personal anger towards Christian’s. (and I capitilized the C on purpose), But as a full blown “Bible-Banger” myself I support FULL legalization as well as many of my friends, which if I’m reading through the chemicals that “randomly formed” the opinion in your brain I’m assuming that you do to. Attacking people that support the same cause as you is idiotic. But if your brain is just a random collection of chemicals, evolved from millions of years of accidents, then how can you trust your own opinion let alone mine. And really, does it even matter anyway?

    • 174thandvyse

      “you used the article as an opportunity to take your personal anger towards Christians”.
      As they said in that movie, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, “Ah, forgive”. I have no problem with TRUE Christians…y’know, the ones that mind their own business…but most of the bible-bangers that I have known were VERY MUCH against Marijuana use, this is a fact. If they would mind THEIR own business, I would have no problem with them, either. Perhaps your friends are rather libertarian on the subject of Marijuana legalization, but I have never met even one who supported legalization.

  • Louis Byron

    Give me Term limits for all National offices–including the Supreme Court AND a Balanced Budget Amendment with real teeth, and I will give you folks back your country!