Eight U.S. states and the nation’s capital have made marijuana legal for all adults and an additional 20 states have enacted medical marijuana laws that allow certain individuals to use and possess marijuana with recommendations from their doctors. On the federal level, the House has voted twice to end the crackdown on medical marijuana, demonstrating bipartisan support for real federal marijuana policy change.
The President-elect himself recognizes the benefit of these reforms. While on the campaign trail, Donald Trump was asked his view on state marijuana policy reform, and he consistently said it should be a states’ rights decision. There is now more momentum than ever for ending marijuana prohibition.
Legislation we tracked in the 114th Congress
Protecting the Principle of Federalism in Marijuana Policies: Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) reintroduced H.R. 1940, the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act with strong bipartisan support. This legislation would modify the federal Controlled Substances Act to protect anyone acting in compliance with state marijuana laws from federal prosecution and resolve the conflict between state and federal marijuana laws, ensuring states can determine their own policies.
Taxing and Regulating Marijuana: H.R. 1013, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, introduced by Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), and H.R. 1014, the Marijuana Tax Equity Act, introduced by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), would replace marijuana prohibition with a comprehensive licensing and oversight system to tax and regulate the production, distribution, and sale of marijuana.
Making Medical Marijuana Legal Under Federal Law: The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act, introduced by Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), would make production, distribution, and possession of marijuana for medical purposes that’s legal under state law legal under federal law. The bill would also remove barriers to scientific research, allow Veterans Administration physicians to recommend medical marijuana, allow interstate transportation of CBD oils, ensure medical marijuana dispensaries are taxed fairly, and allow all marijuana businesses — including adult-use stores in Colorado and elsewhere — to access the banking system and no longer be forced to operate on a cash-only basis.
Making Medical Marijuana Legal Under Federal Law: H.R. 1538 is the House companion bill to the Senate’s CARERS Act and was introduced by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Rep. Don Young (R-AK). Like the Senate version, H.R. 1538 would make medical marijuana that is legal under state law legal under federal law. The bill also addresses banking issues that force legal marijuana businesses to operate on a cash-only basis, removes research barriers, allows interstate transportation of CBD oils, and allows Veterans Administration physicians to recommend medical marijuana.
Medical Marijuana for Veterans: Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) introduced the Veterans Equal Access Act, H.R. 667, which would expand access to medical marijuana to our national heroes by removing the gag order on VA health care providers preventing them from discussing and recommending participation in state medical marijuana programs with their patients.