US Conference of Mayors Unanimously Pass Resolution Calling for the Feds to Respect Local Marijuana Laws

The US Conference of Mayors unanimously approved a resolution this morning that calls on the federal government to respect local marijuana laws. Resolution No. 32 “reaffirms the USCM’s support of fair and effective criminal justice and drug policies, states that federal laws, including the Controlled Substance Act, should be amended to explicitly allow states to set their own marijuana policies without federal interference; and that until such time as federal law is changed, The United States Conference of Mayors urges the President of the United States to reexamine the priorities of federal agencies to prevent the expenditure of resources on actions that undermine the duly enacted marijuana laws of states.”

The resolution was introduced with 18 co-sponsors, including Bob Filner of San Diego, Mike McGinn of (Seattle), Carolyn Goodman (Las Vegas), Jean Quan (Oakland), Steve Hogan (Aurora), Marilyn Strickland of (Tacoma), Kitty Piercy of (Eugene), and William Euille of (Alexandria). You can read the full text of the resolution here.

“In November, voters in my city and state strongly approved a ballot measure to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana,” said co-sponsor Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan. “The bipartisan resolution we passed today simply asks the federal government to give us time to implement these new policies properly and without interference. Cities and states across the country are enacting forward-thinking reforms to failed marijuana prohibition policies, and for the federal government to stand in the way is wasteful and contrary to the wishes of the American people.”

We would like to thank all of you who took action on this effort and joined NORML and our allies at the Marijuana Majority (who coordinated this action). Speaking on the success of the resolution, Tom Angell of the Marijuana Majority stated, “It’s time for President Obama to enact the changes he promised during the 2008 campaign. A strong and growing majority of Americans want states to be able to set their own marijuana laws without federal harassment. Local officials are enacting policies that serve to protect the health and safety of their communities better than the failed policy of prohibition has, and they deserve the respect they are asking for from the Obama administration.”

“NORML applauds the US Conference of Mayors for unanimously approving this measure that calls for a federal policy on marijuana that is in line with the desires of the majority of American citizens. Over 50% of Americans support legalizing and regulating marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol and even more believe the federal government should leave decisions related to marijuana to states and their municipalities. This resolution calls for a rational policy that would empower local and state governments to set marijuana laws that work for them, without fear of federal incursion,” stated NORML Communications Director Erik Altieri, “It is encouraging to see that these mayors, many of whom are on the ascendancy of their political careers, engage this important issue directly. Even while many of our elected officials working in Washington, DC continue to drag their feet on the topic of reform, the unanimous passing of this resolution shows that many others working their way up from the local level are no longer willing to sit idle and that they will take action to put our country on the right side of history when it comes to marijuana.”

42 thoughts

  1. Please please change lawmakers to understand the need us seniors & others in pain & anxiety who need medical marijuana to help. We do not or cannot take pain pills.only asking for herb that god made naturally. Ohio please hear this !!!

  2. The Federal government has fewer and fewer friends. Those who are powerful and want (or accept) change are letting groups like the USCM blaze a trail. It is part of them saving face after all the years of lies they need a graceful way to do an about turn on this subject. I think the Federal government and Obama know prohibition is all but dead that is why they have gone quiet on the subject

  3. Even if the Feds finally wise up and realize the futility of marijuana prohibition, giving the states the right to respect local marijuana laws is still not a good thing. I live in VA and I’m pretty sure the politicians here would still want to continue their policy of locking people up. It really needs to be made legal at the national level before I will consider this country to be at least semi-free again!

    Noone should be locked up for any marijuana violation in my opinion. It doesn’t matter if they are using or selling. The only reason the black market exists is because of stupid racist predjudicial laws.

  4. I sincerely hope Mr. Rusty Bailey, the Mayor of Riverside, Ca was one of those unanimous votes! The city has arrogantly shut down every dispensary in the city and recently adopted an ordinance prohibiting Mobil delivery services to patients. They do not care about the patients right to obtain medicine of their choice…they have spent millions of dollars fighting MMJ that is legal in the state of California … They will soon be presented with the will of their citizens!

  5. @Anonymous – I wish I could stop paying taxes without ending up in a taxpayer funded prison! God knows that once they get our money they don’t spend it the way we want them to…

  6. Miles, the federal government can’t tell a state to make something legal/illegal. The us gov can only lift or enact laws pertaining to the us as a whole. Confusing yes, there is often conflict between federal prohibition and state leniency while if a state or county wants to make something illegal (such as dry counties) they get no argument. You have to vote the bastards out of office in your area to get change locally.

  7. It seems like we should have reached that tipping point by now, should only be a matter of time before the floodgates open.

  8. Thank you to the mayors for seeing the wisdom of what has become a genuine “Grassroots” approach. It makes no sense for the federal government to interfere with what always should have been a state’s rights matter.

  9. It seams localized politicians have better vision on this issue than washington politicians. I THINK THE GOVERNMENT HAS NOT BEEN HONEST WITH US ON MARIJUANA. IT PURPOSELY DISALLOWED RESEARCH SO THEIR POSITION OF A CLASS ONE SUBSTANCE COULD NOT BE CHALLENGED. It is hard to watch feet being dragged on the decriminalization of marijuana. I understand it will take time to work out a system to retail POT. But the other states should follow suite in not jailing people for can-ibis even if they do not want to legalize pot in their state.

  10. The East Coast mayors need to get out front on this instead of leading from behind. The article mentions “unanimously” which means Bloomberg voted for it. Really? After his goofball remarks that medical marijuana is a farce. I’m thinking that the wording is a mistake.

    “NORML applauds the US Conference of Mayors for unanimously approving this measure that calls for a federal policy on marijuana that is in line with the desires of the majority of American citizens.”

    When the Big Apple stands up to the feds and allows MMJ clubs or even recreational cannabis shops, cannabis prohibition is over. Then the feds are fighting a “THEIR” war on the American people who consume cannabis on two fronts: West Coast and now the East Coast. If the DEA had any plans of raiding DC dispensaries, those in NJ and elsewhere, trying to force NYC to comply is a Gordian knot. Can’t be done. They’ll just have to cut cannabis prohibition and legalize altogether.

    Stock market dropped like a ton of bricks.

    The cannabis community is the only sector that wants to pay taxes, and it both makes jobs and revenue streams while reducing street crime involving cannabis. Nobody else is making the jobs. If they could, the jobs reports would be better. Nobody else wants to pay taxes other than our community. If they would, you’d be hearing about it left and right. Nobody else has any large-scale plans to make jobs, make money, and cut crime. If they did, they’d be implementing it, and a crummy piss test wouldn’t prevent people from working.

    I saw Morgan Spurlock’s CNN show with Steve DiAngelo, loved it. Looks like a great re-run ratings booster. Sorry about Matt Davies. Looks like there is strength in numbers the way Harborside is structured.

    I really was hoping that the hemp language in the farm bill would allow the trade and research in all cannabis strain seeds, not just those for low THC industrial hemp, instead of just allowing research by colleges and universities other than just the Mississippi facility alone. If you’re going to let them develop hemp varieties for different growing conditions in the U.S. then you’re going to let farmers plant and grow it, which means the buying and selling of cannabis seeds has to be legal. Period. Someone could be selling White Widow seeds as hemp seeds and they only way you could tell would be by destroying the seeds or growing them. The feds probably figure the farmer will need to get a permit, and then they’ll come along around flowering time to check the trichome/potency levels for compliance.

    The longer cannabis is prohibited the longer the feds will waste money and more lives will be destroyed or lost.

    If you think cannabis will be legal within 10 years or so, then why not just skip wasting all that money and save all those lives (especially on the Mexico side of the border and in our inner cities) and legalize. You know you can’t immigration reform past the right-wingers and English-only crowd without accounting for their fears that if you give them amnesty and then legalize and then their illegal income is cut off that they’ll then seek social safety net services, free money, whatever. As hairbrained as it sounds, there are people out there who go for that sort of tripe, when the illegals making an illegal income could continue making their incomes off of cannabis, BUT as long as the cannabis they have isn’t Mexican shitweed and can compete with the U.S. quality standards for cannabis. Street weed is you basically get whatever, with no quality controls or testing. You know what I mean. Vincente Fox would be well-advised to grow quality strains for export out of Mexico and elsewhere.

  11. @Anonymous After my father went to jail for tax evasion, I don’t think that’s the best idea. 😉 It’s really unfortunate when they spend it not how we want it, but it beats the other alternative.

    Also, this article is awesome. It sounds like yet another good step forward!

  12. Sorry, but states do have these rights. We cannot take them away. What would be better than making marijuana legal federally, would be to make it illegal to arrest anyone for selling, growing or possession without aggravating actions like selling at a school to underage children. Simple laws that correctly allocate police resources–without massive expense.

  13. Yes. Restore the Tenth Amendment. The CSA is unconstitutional, and “Schedule I Cannabis” is a Damned lie.

  14. Somethings that should be considered as more then evident by now, that any substance that is prohibited or in this particular case (concerning Cannibas) wherein prohibition is ending (seemingly related to region and the timing involved therein); Mass manipulation and control is the primary stratagem utilized by powers not as yet acknowledged, nor recognizable by what many perceive as reality. Politicians are often unbeknownst to themselves methodically manipulated puppets involved in this grand scheme, much as governments comprised of the aforementioned, seemingly govern. Simply said, careful what many ask for, as ya’ll may get…something… Question I would ask is; exactly what are you getting? This isn’t what I originally was introduced to in the 80s, as I am sure it has changed over many, many years. I firmly believe in experiential learning as opposed to scientific analysis and misuse/abuse of a sacrament/medicine is very real in a shamanic sense.

  15. Medical Marijuana is absolutely BOGUS. So sad to see our youth standing inline with war Vets that lost their limbs or aside terminally ill cancer patients. Poor little 20 year old Sally suffers from joint pain from her cheer lead moves WTF. Little 24 year old Tommy suffers from severe back pain, ok Sure. Get the hell off the line and let those that actually have a VALID reason to be on it get served you week dependent Fibromyalgia fakes.

  16. I think you missed this part“BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the United States Conference of Mayors recognizes that its members have differing views on how to treat marijuana in their cities, and believes that states and localities should be able to set whatever marijuana policies work best to improve the public safety and health of their communities” so in those cities that want a ban of pot shops they should have one.

  17. The laws must change- the time has come today! According to his college friends Pres. Obama not only inhaled, he inhaled deeply. So what happened to his promise not to go after patients, caregivers and clinics providing medical marijuana in states where it is legal?! Why did he & the feds bust twice as many people in his first 4 years, than Bush did in 8 years? Is this some sort of secret deal he made with health insurance & big pharmarcy companies to pass Obamacare? Follow the money trail, police, prisons, judges, lawyers-who else are making profits off of other peoples misery? In California they have let violent offenders out of prison to free up space while they keep non violent pot users locked up! It’s Reefer Madness continuing all these years. Nixon wanted to stop the hippies & yippies Peace protests so he had MJ scheduled like heroin! He himself was kicked out of office and his policy still remands- why? There is over whelming evidence and more emerging about the many medical benefits of marijuana, yet the Feds go against the AMA and even their own Judge and keep it scheduled as having no medical use. We need the money being spent on black market for tax revenue, to both rescue the economy and shut down the mafias involved. There is not another plant on Earth that does so much good, with the potential to do so much more. Both medical marijuana and it’s cousin industrial hemp can literally help save the planet, if only the selfish greedy people profiting from it being wrongly cast as a harmful substance would grow hearts and conscious and admit the truth. The truth is out marijuana is the safest drug on the planet and this is suppose to be a majority rule democratic country. The people have spoken Pres. Obama when will you do the right thing and obey the will of the people and keep your campaign promises?!

  18. I think they should legalize it how many people that are high get in a car and kill someone, not as many that drink and drive and its legal

  19. also its not a gateway drug I smoked pot 20 years ago in high school and it did not make me wanta do any other drugs

  20. For such a free country we sure lock up a lot of our own people and ruin any chance they have at a “normal” life.. I had a discussion with some friends because we are around military “drafting” age, long short the discussion came to “how do the military get away with blatant murder or taking a life without any blow-back at all”? I mean we as the public are told to support our troops but when you put people in the spot of it is you or me then who is the aggressor?. The string puller? While “criminals” are supposed to be the scum of the world?. Who makes that decision? Just wondering.. By the way watch out for the DUI limit to go down from .08 to .05.. They need more income again..Seat-belt laws ring a bell?

  21. For Elaine and Anon. here’s what we did a while back. Have a legal friend draw up a statement to the effect that as a Tax Paying Citizen you are bringing to the said governments attention the FACT that you are protecting your conscience, which it is your inalienable right to do, by deducting that portion of your taxes that go to among other matters : Wrongful arrest for posession of Cannabis, and the Prisoner funding thereof. My portion of the Wall St. & Bank Bailout Inc. payments. Any susidies to any Oil, Pharmacuetical, Agricultural and such businesses as cause my tax dollar to be used to supplement inadequate wages as stipulated by yourself but ignored by Wallmart for one, an extremely large one at that ! Said portion of my contribution to the running of federal reserve (lol mebbe we change that to Feral Res.) will also specifically be utilised in home education, and the remainder held in a trust you will not get your hands on. Untill there is Honesty and Integrity in our Government I am re-investing in something a lot more viable than what you intend to do with my money. Till then, Yes we can and we will.

  22. This U.S. Conference of Mayors will send a strong message to Wa. Dc. because it’s noted on the international press releases. The same goes for any selfrespecting Law Officer that’ll refuse to dis-arm a fellow American and states so publicly. That’s democracy in action.

  23. Great… that’s all we need is for state to keep the absurd laws they have. I’m stuck in Utah Mormon Hell and this state will NEVER legalize for medical use or any other use for that matter. These brainwashed backwards hicks are too ignorant to do something worthwhile to help the people. Separation of church and state my ass.

    The Feds need to make this legal on a national level and stop all this lollygagging. In the mean time, I’m moving my ass to Colorado. And moving forward… not backward.

  24. To keep up the pressure I started a new petition at please sign the petition to decriminalize marijuana and pardon all marijuana convictions, the petition needs 150 signatures to become searchable.

  25. @Tielman – That is very interesting! I wonder if the legal minds at NORML might draw up something of that nature and post it on the NORML site so that we can all use it! If so, I for one would be willing to donate a huge portion of that tax savings to NORML and other like-minded organizations like The Drug Policy Alliance.

  26. This is a peaceful revolution by the people using reasoned argument and plain old common sense, instead of guns, to persuade legislators to listen and change antiquated laws. Will they finally wake from their drug war stupor? Stay tuned.

  27. Would state law supersede local laws in this instance?. For instance, Ithaca, NY or Austin, Texas? To give an example, Ithaca’s Mayor has already declared marijuana a lowest law enforcement priority. Yet state law is to arrest anyone with more than 25 grams. What if Ithaca wanted to legalize completely, yet it’s state doesn’t even have medical marijuana? I’m aware of particular instances historically, such as Ann Arbor, MI’s fine system, but not clear to me how that functioned.

  28. Truth is Tough:

    if wasn’t for the ‘bogus” Medical Marijuana initiatives that started some 17 years ago,i highly doubt that we would have two states–voted in for legal recreational use,as we stand today.

    You’re assumption’s that you have to be a Vet with amputation’s or cancer, to be legit, are rules that you and other’s are making up as we go along…maybe it’s a threat to pharmacy companies that are afraid of losing their youth demographic as well as the prison -industrial complex. Since cannabis has medicinal value as a preventive-curative and analgesic, as well as psychological effects including “getting high”(the dreaded catch word).Make it very difficult to define cannabis in to one neat little category…i know,but so what..

    It should never have been illegal in the first place.

  29. Obama’s Justice Dept. just threatened states with retaliation if they followed the new Supreme Court decision on the VRA. Do you think Obama gives a tinker’s damn what city Mayors think?

    P.S. I’m stunned that they got a unanimous vote on this. Apparently, actual Hope and Change only happens at the state and local level. Once politicians are elected to federal office, they become Borg.

  30. Anonymous

    this is TiT:

    Please get your information off something other than a 2 day ago special on CNN.

    Again Legalize it and be done with it

  31. They should make ice cream illegal and weed legal so the government can make money off something illegal. You toke, I toke, everybody loves to smoke.

  32. They’re probably so against weed because there IS nothing wrong with it. Some people try to destroy good things so they’re just making a negative-equilibrium. Every other drug is dangerous and no one says anything about it. Drug tests, it’s all on pot. Legalize the dam plant for Christ’s sake!

  33. What we can do! There are 52% of Americans that say legalize Cannabis. I say “No more two term politicians, until Cannabis is fully legal”. By 2020 Cannabis will be legal. Any elected representative of the people will not be reelected unless Cannabis has been made legal during their first term. Up to and including POTUS! Obama lied to us, but it’s too late for him. Stop the lies…. No more two termed politicians!
    Signed, 52%er

  34. Well it seems to me that the has much much more serious problems to worry about than MMJ,they try to control what cant be controled.Look over the years how much money have they spent on trying to stop the flow of drugs that come across the boder? millions, and have they stoped it hell no.I live 35 miles from the border and i see more drugs come across and more guns and money go back across to the cartels and our fed. gov. not doing a damn thing to stop it.If they would legalize MMJ they would not have this problem the cartels would be out of buisness and it would be better for everone involved in this buisness.

  35. The Virginia government, although generally conservative, understands some medicinal value of Marijuana. Since 1979, The Marijuana Prescription law has been in Virginia (§ 18.2-251.1). Although similar, the law is still different than medical marijuana states. It’s the wording of the law that gets the doctor’s, patient’s, and pharmacist’s hands tied up. Around 1998, the Commonwealth’s government attempted to repeal the law, but it is still well in place.

    That was then. Especially now that public opinion has drastically changed in favor over the past few years to go as far as recreational use, Virginia should have a potential of improving Marijuana laws for residents and patients (and taxpayers). If there is voter initiative, I believe the legal condition of Marijuana use will improve in the Commonwealth of Virginia, as well as create a huge push for legalization.

  36. To all who favor freedom,

    Our nation watches and the resolve builds to end Marijuana Prohibition in the United States of America.

    We have to keep the pressure on our government to decriminalize marijuana.

    Please sign the new whitehouse petition,

    Decriminalize marijuana, and pardon all marijuana convictions. Over 100,000,000 U.S. Citizens have used marijuana.

    With over 500,000 marijuana arrests costing over $13 billion annually, and with more than half of U.S. Citizens favoring legalization the time is here to end marijuana prohibition.

    Marijuana prohibition is very costly to society, wasting billions of dollars and billions of hours in law enforcement, justice system and penal system time, it also destroys families and personal lives and futures.

    The effects of marijuana both physically and socially are less harmful than alcohol or tobacco, and adults should be entitled to make the decision whether or not to consume marijuana.

    It’s time to finally put an end to the criminalization of marijuana, This would not only allow our government to save billions of dollars, but could be a source of income and bring in billions of dollars in revenue.

    Please help to spread the word on any social media you can, we need this petition to go VIRAL!

    Thank you,


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