Trump Finally Shared His Opinion About Federal Cannabis Law, Could Signal Fate Of Congressional Effort

There is a lot of confusion currently in the law when it comes to the use of cannabis across the United States. Federally, its sale and use are illegal; but, more than two dozen states allow medical marijuana sales and nine states (including Washington D.C.) have legalized recreational use.

President Trump has largely been silent on the matter, that is until Friday when he hinted at supporting a congressional effort to change federal law and allow states to dictate whether or not to legalize the substance.

The effort is being led by Republican Senator Cory Gardner and Trump is very familiar with the details of the proposal. Furthermore, Trump hinted he will “probably” sign the bill.

“I support Sen. Gardner. I know exactly what he’s doing,” Trump said, as Washington Examiner reports. “We’re looking at it. But I probably will end up supporting that, yes.”

Check it out:

Here’s more from Washington Examiner:

In April, Trump told Gardner in a pair of private phone conversations that he would back such legislation, but Trump did not publicly discuss his position.

More than two dozen states allow medical marijuana sales. Nine states and the nation’s capital have recreational legalization laws, though neither Vermont or D.C. regulate sales.

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During the 2016 campaign, Trump said he favored a states-rights approach to recreational pot and that he supported medical marijuana. But his nomination of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a longtime reform opponent, generated concern among the state-legal industry.

In addition to allowing states to dictate how they wish to handle the issue, the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States Act, or the STATES Act, sets an age requirement of 21-years to purchase marijuana for recreational use. The legislation also reportedly makes low-THC cannabis legal to grow across the nation.

Here’s even more on the bill, from Forbes:

On Thursday, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) announced the introduction of the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act, which seeks to protect states that legalize marijuana from federal interference. Representatives David Joyce (R-OH) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) also announced the introduction of a companion bill in the House today.

According to the bill’s cosponsors, the STATES Act would protect states from federal interference by creating an exemption to the U.S. Controlled Substances Act, which prohibits marijuana alongside dangerous drugs like heroin (and some basically safe ones like LSD), for those states that have enacted legal cannabis laws, and would remove industrial hemp from the Controlled Substances Act entirely.

Supporters say the bill would also allow cannabis businesses to take advantage of safe banking practices enjoyed by most other legal businesses, and which cannabis’ federally illegal status has effectively prevented to date.

Continued:

The STATES Act would also create legislative “guardrails” to maintain certain federal limits for states’ budding cannabis industries; they include a minimum age of 18 to work in marijuana, a minimum age of 21 to purchase it unless prescribed by a doctor, and room to define and prohibit “unsafe production conditions.”

“Outdated federal marijuana laws have perpetuated our broken criminal justice system, created barriers to research, and hindered economic development,” commented Senator Warren in a statement. “States like Massachusetts have put a lot of work into implementing common sense marijuana regulations – and they have the right to enforce their own marijuana policies. The federal government needs to get out of the business of outlawing marijuana.”

The proposal has bipartisan support in both legislative chambers as Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren is a co-sponsor. A similar bill in the House is co-sponsored by Republican Congressman David Joyce and Democrat Congressman Earl Blumenauer.

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