Sens. Warren And Gardner On Why Marijuana Policy Should Be Left To States
June 14, 2018Updated Jun 14, 2018 3:03 PM
A bipartisan bill that would allow states to pass their own marijuana laws without interference from the federal government is gaining momentum in Congress.
It’s an issue because the Department of Justice, under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has returned to prosecuting marijuana as a banned substance, even though recreational cannabis is legal in 10 states and most states allow it for medical use. President Trump has signaled he’d sign the bill.
The STATES Act, as it’s called, was filed last week by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts — where recreational pot sales start on July 1 — and Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican from Colorado, which in 2012 became the first state to legalize recreational marijuana.
“This is a bill that says, when the states have passed different laws about marijuana — maybe it’s about medical marijuana, recreational marijuana — it will conflict with the federal law on marijuana, because nothing has been changed,” Warren says. “And this bill says the federal government will treat the state’s law as the law of that state. In other words, no interference.”
On if there’s another law like this on the books on a different issue where states disagree with the federal government
Sen. Cory Gardner: “You’ve got a lot of ideas in law where the state’s given some ideas of where they can lead — highway bills where the funding comes from the federal government, and the highway bill gets spent, the money gets spent, by the state, or perhaps there’s speed-limit restrictions, those kinds of things.