Congressional Lawmakers Introduce Legislation To Halt Federal Interference In State Marijuana Laws

United States Representatives have introduced bipartisan legislation in Congress — House Bill 6606, The Respect States’ and Citizens’ Rights Act of 2012 — to amend the US Controlled Substances Act to provide that federal law shall not preempt state marijuana laws.

The measure is sponsored by Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado, and is co-sponsored by Reps. Blumenauer (OR), Coffman (CO), Cohen (TN), Farr (CA), Frank (MA), Grijalva (AZ), Lee (CA), Paul (TX), and Polis (CO). It has been referred to Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.

“I am proud to join with colleagues from both sides of the aisle on the ‘Respect States’ and Citizens’ Rights Act’ to protect states’ rights and immediately resolve any conflict with the federal government,” said Rep. DeGette in a prepared statement. “In Colorado we’ve witnessed the aggressive policies of the federal government in their treatment of legal medicinal marijuana providers. My constituents have spoken and I don’t want the federal government denying money to Colorado or taking other punitive steps that would undermine the will of our citizens.”

Added Rep. Polis, “The people of Colorado and Washington voted in overwhelming numbers to regulate the sale of marijuana. Colorado officials and law enforcement are already working to implement the will of Colorado voters, and I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in Congress and officials in the administration to deliver clear guidance that ensures the will of the people is protected.”

House Bill 6606 states, “In the case of any State law that pertains to marihuana, no provision of this title shall be construed as indicating an intent on the part of the Congress to occupy the field in which that provision operates, including criminal penalties, to the exclusion of State law on the same subject matter, nor shall any provision of this title be construed as preempting any such State law.”

While it is unlikely that members of Congress will address this measure in the final days of the 112th session, it is anticipated that Representatives will reintroduce the measure in 2013.

Please visit NORML’s ‘Take Action’ page for updates on contacting your members of Congress regarding The Respect States’ and Citizens’ Rights Act of 2012.


39 thoughts

  1. My legitimate medical grow was conficsted Sept. 13, 2012…I have been unable to replace my lights and I have not had and pain medicine in several months…I am getting along poorly. Please help…….

  2. When all this mumbo jumbo blows off and people are free some smoke. We really need to work on making green dragon taste better.

  3. If this bill passes (has it got a chance ?) then marijuana is going to be legal pretty much everywhere in the US and worldwide and soon !
    If this passes you guys really have won !

    Any political commentary available on this bill and it’s chances ?

  4. Hey, American politicians, guess what? Next election, whoever supports marijuana decriminalization wins. It’s a done deal.

  5. The Congress actually should pass this bill and make it law.

    Does it have any language in about the kind of state tax stamp needing to be on the packaging?

    Does it require the states to include some kind of public service message about the use of cannabis, such as a health warning and responsible use message?

    The MMJ and RMJ (medical marijuana and recreational marijuana) states should get together to do so, and to come up with a better driving while under the influence test, one that actually shows impairment at the time of the test rather than 7 days ago, last weekend during offtime.

    There is strength in numbers. The more states that participate, the more visible the issue will be, the more pressure to be put on the federal legislatures from those states and wannabe MMJ and RMJ states.

    Self-cultivation must be allowed, too. Set the scale for no license/no permit self-cultivation such as would be for an outdoor garden for vegetables. You don’t need to get anybody’s permission or pay anything if your garden is under x square feet/meters. The personal transfer of x amount is not taxable, like me going down to the store to buy cigarettes for my grandmother, and she pays me back for getting them, or gives me a small amount of money for things out of the garden that are not sales to the general public, you know, nowhere near enough to set up a roadside stand. Once you set up a roadside stand or make deliveries beyond personal maximums and cheap-ass sales to relatives and close friends who are out, yet not enough to supply them for all their usage, you know, that’s not growing it for them as a caregiver. You’re not their complete source if they chose to make you they’re sole provider.

    I mean, the commercial folks know already they’re going to have to have permits and licenses to collect the taxes, etc.

    For recreational purposes, the states that get together can (if they can cooperate and coordinate) lay the base, set the ground standards, for the difference between personal cultivation for personal use and commercial cultivation and sales.

    Keep people OUT of jail.

    Let people OUT of jail.

    Save Money!

    Get Tax Money from People Who Really Want to Pay Taxes!

    Legalize and get off their backs.

  6. Great! My representative, who recently was re-elected with 67% of the vote, responded to one of my letters about medical marijuana by citing irreproducible studies from over 30 years ago. I goggled up a meta-study from 2012 that proved him wrong in less than two minutes. The guy is a physician! I am going to ‘Take Action’ and rub his nose in his own incompetence for every new bill or amendment introduced–very politely, of course.

    I’d like to write a letter to the local paper, but I’m fearful of confronting such a powerful person on this topic. I’ve already had half the local police department going through my underwear drawer once and have no desire to repeat the experience.

  7. its funny hows theres a bunch of news saying how sudents on campus wont be able to light up its like they never heard of pot brownies they can take away your pot but they cant take away your food students will still be geting high on campus no matter what thats a battle that only students can win

  8. Sounds good but this won’t stop other harassment the government is using.

    Getting a bank account for a collective is very hard. The government is scrutinizing all accounts at banks that have collective accounts so banks deny them. Collective owners have to lie to their banks about their business to get accounts.

    The IRS is refusing to allow collectives to claim any expenses associated with their business. No utilities, rent, wages or even cost of goods sold can be deducted since it is an illegal business in their eyes. They are doing this to Harborside right now.

  9. Be vocal with your Congressional Reps! Write, Call, Email, Tweet and Facebook them! Urge them to pass this important piece of legislation, Urge all of your friends to do the same. Make the voice of the people heard and Respected.

    52yo and very proud to have voted in Amendment 64!

  10. if congress starts claiming they are going to withhold funding to these states then these states ought to withhold money that they would normally send to congress to make up for it.Go on and grab them by the balls.

  11. Awesome that the movement is taking the next step! Of course this has a small chance of actually passing. It would be awesome, but it allows federally approved de facto legalization, and I just don’t think enough legislators are ready. With luck it will stir up some attention though.

    It seems to me that the next steps to happen will be a couple more states legalize it, a couple more approve medical marijuana, possible reclassification from schedule 1 to schedule two. I think all those things are more likely to happen.

    Brick by brick we dismantle the war…

  12. Oh yeah, like Obama won’t veto that legislation…why bother when the toker in chief is a hipocrite?

  13. What is Norml doing to assist in this effort besides publishing a story? Hiring Lobbyists? Contacting Representatives? Anything ?

    [Editor’s note: NORML is a lobby organization….and it has been meeting with members of Congress for 42 years. If you’re not a member of your local NORML chapter, you’re probably not involved in the cannabis law reform effort.]

  14. There is no turning back, a government of the people, by the people, for the people. The lie of reefer madness is dead !
    We the people, declare our independence, from the tyranny of federalism. The choice of using this plant is bestowed upon us by our creator, and has always been , & shall always be, one of personal responsibility. We the people, declare our right, to make the normal human choice of using this plant, without further government interference in our personal lives, and to abstain immediately from trampling upon our rights from this day forward.

  15. Blumenauer is my Rep. and he is Awesome! He has served us very well for well over 20 years now. I am so happy to have him as my Rep. Thank You Mr. Blumenauer for your faithful dedicatation and service.

  16. OOPS! I just sent a letter, assuming it was going to my representative… which it is, but not my NEW representative. I just congratulated Charlie Bass on “her” election and on becoming one of the leaders of “The first state to have an entirely woman delegation on the national stage.” OH well- maybe he’ll get the point as to why I did not vote for him!!!

  17. have done that many times with boehner and other ohio politicians and always get the same response, they are always dead set against legalizing marajuana, they always use the same lame excuses and will never change

  18. @Drew This topic has had plenty of attention since the 90’s and has been appealed 4 times since if I’m not mistaken. However FDA and their sub branches deemed no medicinal use/not enough information was gathered to deschedule.But, since it was an illegal plant they would not fund anymore research so it’s been a catch-22 for nearly 20 years.

    @ Galileo I really hope they had a search warrant. Cops themselves are not above the law either. It helps to live with a friend or family member that has no criminal background so it’s much harder for the suits to plant evidence.

    I have been sober for almost a year and I still support rec legalization. Am I under the effect, or withdrawing after this long? Come on feds, make me piss in a cup so I can rub your nose in it.

  19. How can we have a strong economy when people are kept from working because of drug testing at the work place? War on drugs is a Republican’s pipe dream. Can’t and won’t hire American workers because “drugs don’t work”. Remember who said that? George H.W. Bush. How many people have been totally screwed by the drug war? How many have profited from the drug war? A sadistic well planned scheme has done well for the few, while at the same time has brought distrust and degradation to the masses.Stop the drug war yesterday already!!! Unbelievable but true…talk about ethnic cleansing…respect the law, go to Hell!!!

  20. PCP is SAFER and MORE MEDICINAL than marijuana. That is, if you believe the DEA’s drug scheduling accurately reflects the dangers of various drugs. So high schoolers, this is a lesson to you: No drug is more dangerous than marijuana.

  21. We also need to abrogate or renegotiate the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and related treaties.

  22. Man, the one association that was against Pot criminalization in 1937 were the Medical Institutes. Grass has been used medicinally for thousands of years. We never heard of ONE bad effect from Cannabis use until 1936. Marijuana is THE SAFEST drug. Man, Earth would be better if USA legalizes Pot! WE WANT A TRULY FREE COUNTRY!

  23. So today I got a letter from my representative in Arizona and this is what he said:

    “Dear Mr. Reyes:

    Thank you for writing me about your concerns with the federal government’s prohibition of marijuana. I appreciate you taking the time to communicate with me.

    You will be pleased to know that I am now a cosponsor of the HR 6606, the Respect States’ and Citizens’ Rights Act of 2012. HR 6606 does not legalize marijuana. Its goal is to give states the authority to decide how to regulate marijuana.

    Arizona voters have voted twice to allow compassionate use of medical marijuana. Their vote should be respected by the national government.

    House leadership referred H.R. 6606 to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary. I will continue to monitor the progress of this legislation as it moves forward in Congress. Again, thank you for your active participation as a concerned citizen.

    If you would like additional information about my work in the U.S. House of Representatives, I invite you to visit my website: . From this site, you can send a message to me about current events or pending legislation, access my statements and press releases, request copies of legislation and government reports, and receive detailed information about the many services that I am privileged to provide for my constituents. You may also wish to visit to track current and past federal legislation.”

  24. I see a lot of the sponcers of 6606 are gop states. Beware of republicans bearing gifts!
    they are probably working an angle about state rights in order to let all states write their on abortion laws. Cannibus needs to be legalized by the fed.

  25. Just wondering if someone could lead me in the right direction. I’ve never voted I live in Ga. and would like to know how I could Make a difference. I need some details as to how I could help make marijuana legal in my state. Any suggestion would be helpful to get me started. thanks

  26. Good. They need to stop cracking down on all of these non-violent “offenders.” I was extremely relieved to hear the Obama administration finally say they would stop being so vigilant about enforcing these laws. Some day we will see full progress.

  27. It’s about time the federal government stops interfering with the independence of states. If a state votes to allow medical use, they should be allowed to create their own laws without threat that the federal government will shut them down. One step forward!

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