Home / Be The Change / Landmark Bill Introduced in Congress Would Legalize Cannabis on Federal Level

Landmark Bill Introduced in Congress Would Legalize Cannabis on Federal Level

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.

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!

Find Your Representative Using the Search Function Below

Not sure of your congressional district or who your member is? This service will assist you by matching your ZIP code to your congressional district, with links to your member’s website and contact page.

Alternately, you can find your representative’s contact information using this link.

  • The Cat’s Vagina

    What drug out there legitimately has “no medicinal value”? Don’t say meth, because Adderall is basically the same stuff made in proper labs with sensible ingredients. Don’t say heroin because opiates are a pretty obvious treatment for severe pain. Don’t say PCP, ’cause who the fuck actually uses PCP? OK, the last one can stay on the Schedule I list, but good luck funding your department’s Toy Box with the proceeds from PCP busts!

    • Guy

      I’ll have to get back to you, because as usual you gave me too much to think about ! Damn it ! Now my head hurts and got to lie down for a while, hope your happy !

    • Matthew

      like all things, moderation is the key 😉

      • FiuToYou

        Except a good woman and her magic!!

    • Chris

      Meth has actually been shown to reduce flu symptoms… not that I’d recommend it over Nyquil but you get the point.

    • Daryl Jensen

      Opiate are not medical, all they do is block pain receptors, people get addicted to them because they make them feel numb and they don’t give a damn about anything, opiates are nothing but a legal high.

      • The Cat’s Vagina

        A’ight then.

        • Daryl Jensen

          Most prescribed opiates are semi synthetic or full synthetic, opiates do not cure the problem of chronic pain they only block the symptom, most people cannot afford the alternative for pain relief, so they become customers, long term addicts with no end in sight, that is not medicine, that is legal drug dealing.

          • FradyCat5

            Opiates are not designed to “cure”. Sometimes symptom relieve is all one can expect. Chronic pain is pure hell, and sometimes there is no cure. Opiate addiction scares the heck out of me, I prefer my cannabis for chronic pain, it works for me. 🙂

      • Sevens

        Blocking pain receptors ids medical.

        • Daryl Jensen

          Most common side effects, brain damage, liver failure, constipation, bloating, developed tolerance, oh and the oh so famous epidemic right now dependence. Yep sounds like some damn good medical practice to me!

          • Daryl Jensen

            But don’t worry, they will give you another pill for opiate constipation, the rest I am not so sure.

          • FradyCat5

            They have another pill for everything. lolol It’s bad, isn’t it?

          • Daryl Jensen

            Yes they do, that is how lazy and weak this country has become, most problems can be solved by proper diet and exercise, but one would rather take a pill. I deal with chronic pain daily, I have reduced it with self physical therapy and exercise, which I researched on my own after a MRI found what was going on, before the MRI, my insurance and the VA wanted to do nothing but give me shots and pills, paid for the MRI out of my pocket, the medical and dental associations should take all the blame for this opiate epidemic, but some should fall on the patient as well.

      • FradyCat5

        I’ve used opiates before for pain. They worked very well. Not everyone gets addicted.

      • Vincent Tarver

        Sometimes blocking the pain is the only thing in the world. Ye know not of which you speak, you lucky, but ignorant bastard.

        • Daryl Jensen

          I am far from lucky, I deal with chronic pain daily from an injury while serving in the military, I refuse opiates due to what I stated above, as far as you thinking I am an ignorant bastard..well that is just like, your opinion man. Sorry the truth hurts, but opioids and alcohol are destroying this country and if you can’t see that, well I feel sorry for your ignorance.

          • Drugs don’t kill people, people do, by abusing some drugs to run away from their problems. As far as i know, cannabis is not even as addictive or deadly as caffeine and is used to relieve pain: http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/news/20130422/using-marijuana-to-treat-pain-a-pill-may-outlast-a-puff#1

          • Daryl Jensen

            If the cause of death is complications due to drug use, then yes the drugs killed them, if it was an accidental overdose, then the drugs killed them, intentional overdose, then yes it is their fault, a lot of people with an opiate addiction had no intention or education of becoming addicted, but it happens to a lot of good people due to doctors seeking quick diagnoses and resolution, in turn, pay day and returning customers, and yes I agree, with the right strain of cannabis, it is a very effective and safe pain remedy.

    • FradyCat5

      methamphetamine is schedule 2 like Adderall. PCP is also schedule 2. And I don’t think it’s “no medicinal value”, it’s “no currently accepted medical use”. The difference being “accepted”, which we know is bs.

  • Viride Faenum

    Ending the failed prohibition is good for everybody. Let’s pass this and then follow up with a review of enforcement staffing to match. The truth is the drug war is just an excuse for shaking down the public. For the government who is supposed to be serving and answering to the public, this is a step in the right direction. More of this.

  • Neal Halverson

    If this actually passes, and becomes law, I will not only eat my hat but my entire wardrobe.

    • Bob Btme

      At the same time, its passage is all but inevitable. This horse is well out of the barn.

      It may take a while for the feds to come around – certainly much longer than with alcohol Prohbition, but eventually we’ll hit critical mass and this wall is coming down.

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      • 174thandvyse

        The trouble with Congress is that it is loaded with bible-bangers, who have no self-control at all, making policy that their, ahem, “church” (if you could call it that) forbids. You see, most born-again, so-called “christians” (spelled with a lower-case “c” on purpose) are really weak-willed people who joined that PHONY religion because they had to be, ahem, “saved” — from themselves! Since they have no willpower whatsoever, they believe that everyone else is as weak-minded as they are!

        • toominator

          That’s why term limits should be supported and passed. Many of the objectionable acts of members of congress come from entrenchment of ideas and policies which would be relieved by term limits.

      • Frank L Phelps

        Tax dollars on marijuana sales in Colorado last year were huge, they have to like that and won’t want to give it up….

    • 174thandvyse

      Does that mean that you support decriminalization, or that you don’t?

    • FradyCat5

      I hope your wardrobe is made of hemp. ;0

    • dhartley231 .

      Marijuana wardrobe ?

  • Kelly Phoenix

    The above link to find my state Representative was very difficult to use. I was not able to find a phone number to reach him. It would be extremely helpful to make it easier to find his phone number to call him to attempt room facilitate change, like your article beseeches.

    • FradyCat5

      That link takes one to house.gov, if you clink the reps name, you go to the reps website and contact info is easy to find.

  • James Edwards III

    The Truth is that As along as an individual’s actions do not affect/harm any other individual either intentionally, or directly; than any and all individual’s (Including states, which are collective individuals in the American Community of States) should have the Freedom and Responsibility to govern their own choices. Therefore A) the federal government should not be interfering in the States’ Right to chose whether they want to allow it legally or not, and furthermore B) No government ought to be telling its citizens what they can or cannot put in their bodies. This is significant, because i think cities, ought to be able to ban smoking in public because your right to smoke should not be allowed to harm others who chose not too. But cities and states should not tell me that, because they think it is in my best interest, i should not be smoking Marijuana. Its my body, and its my choice, the same goes for abortion rights, etc. “And ye harm none, do what ye will!!!!”

    • James Edwards III

      Though i will admit that there is potential grounds for a discussion of abortion rights based on Harm to another individual, but then we would have to be quite clear as to when an organic mass of tissues and organs, becomes an Individual; furthermore, we would have to have a discussion of the rights of the mother to decide if she is willing to put her own body at risk for this newly formed individual. Because, let’s be honest, the birthing process can be dangerous. And at least up until that mass of cells becomes sentient, that risk is completely one sided.

      • bchristian85

        I think abortion is one of the few religious right issues where there are actually arguments supporting their position beyond “the Bible says so”. My abortion position is somewhere between banning the practice and legal abortion on demand. That’s another topic though. There is literally no reason to support marijuana prohibition other than “it’s offense to my religion.” That should never be a valid argument for any public policy in our nation, yet here we are.

  • Mike Wensel

    Since when does the AG make laws? It is his job to enforce and prosecute them. It is Congress’ job to create, alter, or remove laws. Neither does the AG have anything to do with managing the list of drugs allowed or disallowed in the USA. I can’t imagine why an AG would make such a silly statement. Don’t you think he should be glad to not have to prosecute and enforce marijuana laws at the federal level? Things like this make one wonder about the legitimacy of this article.

    • Jay Syrmopoulos

      Perhaps instead you should question the legitimacy of Jeff Sessions as AG rather than this article!

      • FradyCat5

        The “article” has a lot of your opinion in it.

        • Jay Syrmopoulos

          Indeed, I’m a practitioner of subjective journalism.

          • FradyCat5

            Explains a lot. I do enjoy reading your articles. 🙂

    • FiuToYou

      Sessions is the main problem here. He’s a crazy in the head, maniac prohibitionist! This is the kind of guy who would hang Cheech and Chong and have a party later. Trump said it’s up to the states to pass the laws, so unless he’s going to start acting like Hillary and lie about everything we should be alright! I think he’s already flip-floped so it’s up to the people to call you congressperson and tell them you want to STOP ALL PROHIBITION and take the Federal list and remove pot.
      Word for word from a Trump Rally Nevada:

      “In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should
      be a state issue, state-by-state,” Trump told The Washington Post in October
      2015. “Marijuana is such a big thing. I think medical should happen — right?
      Don’t we agree? I think so. And then I really believe we should leave it up to
      the states.”
      I guess he caught that nasty “Clinton Disease”.

      • 174thandvyse

        Frankly, I believe Hillary, as imperfect as she is, would leave Marijuana alone. Most Democrats agree with legalization, but when it comes to them standing up to bible-thumping Republicans, most Democrats have proven to be jellyfish. That’s why I’m a registered Socialist…we don’t ask Republicans…we TELL them how things are gonna be!

    • toominator

      When asked about marijuana’s place on the CSA Schedule 1 list by the Congressional committee before his appointment, Sessions said if they wanted it off the list, Congress should make it legal. So we now have proposed legislation. I think it would be a major coup for the Trump administration and Congress to get this done.

  • Dan Moore

    If marijuana was not illegal my nephew who was a sheriff detective, would not have been attacked and shot four times by a grower. He survived and the grower is serving time. Two lives ruined for a plant.

    • 174thandvyse

      Perhaps your nephew should’ve minded his own business, and left the “grower” alone. Maybe then, he wouldn’t have been shot.

      • Dan Moore

        My nephew was on a call to render assistance for someone. As he was leaving he looked over the fence from that persons property and the asshole neighbor grower came out of his house blazing away with his AR15. If the grower had stayed in his house my nephew would have left. He doesn’t give a damn about some plants.

  • Grampa Scott

    Keep growing your own medicine. http://www.weedsthatplease.com will teach you how for FREE. We have to allow the government to grow a brain – It is taking more time than we anticipated.

  • Jason Torres

    There is obviously only ONE reason for such an absurd crusade as the “crackdown” on Marijuana users. The prison system is once again a private money-making industry and they won’t fill themselves.
    Choosing to use the weed smokers as a prison filler is just another way the failed “War On Drugs” is crippling our country and destroying our credibility to the rest of the world.
    If you think about it though, which states (for the most part) are legalizing weed? The blue ones. Which states are fighting this current administration the most? The blue ones….

    • Fernesque Golan

      Good point. The private prisons love to get low-level “criminals” that will not cause them any grief. They are like reform schools for adults. The private prisons do not want violent or dangerous offenders who will give them trouble. If an inmate does become uncontrollable, the private prisons immediately send them back to the state. It is all about EASY money, and is also a business in which many of our elected officials have invested money.

  • Daryl Jensen

    Cannabis was was made illegal due to racism a greed and it still exists today. Money is the only reason cannabis is illegal at a federal level it is due to greed from alcohol, tobacco, and pharmaceutical companies and many textile companies that hemp could replace. It will take a revolution to remove cannabis from the CSA, with asset forfeiture and private prisons those greedy aholes are just grinning with Sessions. But those greedy aholes are so stupid they think keeping it illegal keeps it away from kids, cannabis is the easiest substance to find.

  • yuck_foo

    The bottom line will be; ‘Will my lobbyists profit from this or not’.

    Unfortunately…

  • Apparition1

    It’s about making a rational decision as a country. We all know this particular “war on drugs” has been wrong, and all the while overlooking the merits of a plant of known commercial value of hemp as a renewable resource, clearly demonstrated homeopathic medicinal and health properties, and as an alternative as well as non-addictive substitute for serious drugs or alcohol. It makes sense to remove the criminal element from adult use in a society where tools exist to detect use in people driving. For another thing, our country has a credibility gap not doing what is right by people from members in Congress based on vested interests for example such as the alcohol and pharmacy lobby, a mark of a corrupted government. If both political parties look to their constituents on this one issue our government would have done one thing right for the people.

  • Bee Gordon

    End the drug war my ass… mj isn’t the only drug.

    And they use pesticides/herbicides that kill animal after animal after animal. As a matter of fact, just yesterday I was at a conference where federal and state biologists showed how these chemicals killed these animals… martens, fishers, bears, mice, rats, buzzards, deer, fish… you get the point. The martens and fishers eat poison baited hotdogs, the bears eat anything so they’re easy to kill… then the ravens and buzzards eat them and die right there… then the flies move in and drop dead right there. The endangered and non-endangered raptors and owls eat the easy to catch, dying rats, mice and the like and then they die too. They spray the plants with the same sprays and then mj users smoke their “gift from God”… or from some uneducated, foreign mj grower hiding in one of the thousands of trespass grows in CA alone spraying poisons just like he was told to do. No one needs commercially grown weed at any level, if you can’t grow it yourself, it’s a weed afterall, you’re lazy or an idiot.

    • 174thandvyse

      I understand your environmentalist opinions, but don’t attack us Herb smokers. For the most part, we are allies. Go after the Prohibitionist LOWLIFES…they’re the ones who don’t care about dead animals.

    • FradyCat5

      Sounds like illegal growers. More and more legal weed is grown indoors, which creates different issues.

  • patriot156

    God damned strait, but hope if it does pass crony states don’t elect death penalties for a small amount!
    But god damn right hope this passes. Keep ass hat Sessions out. Or any other cock smoker if he Resigns from mucking up what we’ve done.
    Sessions met with Russians twice during the election and lied about it at his confirmation hearings.

  • Santiaga Marlin

    These supposed leaders are all self proclaimed Christians. Are they saying God made a mistake? Remove all laws pertaining to marijuana and hemp. See new jobs, new sources of revenue, successful family farms, small livestock operations can flourish while being organic and cruelty free.

    God gave us these gifts, these people are spitting in his face.

    • 174thandvyse

      That’s because these fools are not Christians at all…they are “christians”, spelled with a lower-case “c”.

  • 174thandvyse

    I hope that the INTELLIGENT members of Congress can out-vote the brainwashed bible-bangers, and take reefer off the Scheduling garbage.

  • Harold Hern
  • FiuToYou
  • Mauricio Massa

    Cannabis prohibition is one of the greatest crimes against humanity.

  • YearofAction

    As more and more people contact their representatives in Congress, urging them to enact this simple reform of the federal definition of marijuana, we are causing them to respond to us:

    Sec.802.(16). The term “marijuana” means all parts of the smoke produced by the combustion of the plant Cannabis sativa L. which is prohibited to be grown by or sold by any publicly traded corporation or subsidiary company.

    This simple reform of that definition will de-schedule cannabis, while continuing to preclude corporations from enticing children to “smoke marijuana”. Compare it to this statement from the article:

    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.

    Lets keep contacting them.

  • Tom and Tulsi in another article working together for the benefit of the American people and not the Oligarchy.

    Probably won’t be long before they are “redistricted” out of a job like many other boat rockers before them.

    The Choice is Ours (2016) Official Full Version
    https://youtu.be/Yb5ivvcTvRQ

  • dhartley231 .

    All of the drugs on both sides of the counter are designed to destroy our health. POS big pharma/ US government is doing everything they can to prevent MARIJUANA ( health benefiting drug) from becoming legal !!!