Marijuana: Jared Polis signs on to latest bill asking feds to respect state pot laws
Despite ramped-up pressure from national media outlets, the federal government still has not offered a response to the December 10 signing of Amendment 64, which allows adults 21 and over in Colorado to use and possess small amounts of marijuana.
Photos, documents below.
Into this vacuum have stepped a number of legislators, including Colorado Representative Jared Polis, who's co-sponsoring a bill calling for the feds to let state cannabis measures stand.
The latest bill, introduced on Friday, is entitled the "Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2013."
Sponsored by California Representative Dana Rohrbacher and on view below, it's a very succinct proposal. The legislation calls for an amendment to one section of the Controlled Substances Act, which currently treats marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic with no acknowledged medical efficacy. The new section, featuring the antiquated "marihuana" spelling used in the CSA, reads:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the provisions of this subchapter related to marihuana shall not apply to any person acting in compliance with State laws relating to the production, possession, distribution, dispensation, administration, or delivery of marihuana.Democrats like Polis aren't the only ones behind Rohrbacher's measure. Fellow Dems Earl Blumenauer (Oregon) and Steve Cohen (Tennessee) are joined in co-sponsorship by Republicans Justin Amash (Michigan) and Don Young (Alaska) -- and Rohrbacher is also a member of the GOP.
"This bipartisan bill represents a common-sense approach that establishes federal government respect for all states' marijuana laws," Rohrabacher maintains in a statement. "It does so by keeping the federal government out of the business of criminalizing marijuana activities in states that don't want it to be criminal."
Polis agrees. In a comment shared by his staff earlier today, he says, "With a majority of Americans supporting marijuana legalization and nineteen states and jurisdictions having already moved forward with decriminalizing marijuana for medical or personal use, it's long past time for the federal government to acknowledge that the war on drugs has failed.
"This bill represents a big step forward in protecting from federal prosecution Americans engaging in activity that is legal in their state, and I'm pleased to join my colleagues from both sides of the aisle in this important effort."
What are the odds that this bill gains traction? Well, it's not the first measure of its type to be introduced since Colorado voters pushed Amendment 64 to victory -- and neither is it the first to win Polis's stamp of approval.
Continue for more about the latest federal marijuana bill plus a previous proposal, complete with photos, a video and original documents.