National Conference of State Legislatures Passes Resolution “In Support of States Determining Their Own Marijuana and Hemp Policies”

The National Conference of State Legislatures passed a resolution yesterday urging the federal government to amend the Controlled Substances Act and to refrain from interfering with state laws permitting the legal production and use of cannabis.

The National Conference of State Legislatures is a bipartisan, non-governmental organization founded in 1975 to unite members of legislature’s from around the United States. The council works to improve the quality and effectiveness of state legislatures, promote innovative policy and communication among state legislatures, and to magnify their voice in the federal system.

The NCSL resolves “[S]tates and localities should be able to set whatever marijuana and hemp policies work best to improve the public safety, health, and economic development of their communities.” Members passed the resolution overwhelmingly by a voice vote.

The vote represents a strong consensus among state lawmakers that the federal government should embrace, not impede the progress states have made to amend their marijuana laws, and encourages federal lawmakers to consider rescheduling marijuana in order for states to safely and effectively move forward in their reforms.

Currently 23 states and the District of Columbia have medical marijuana laws on the books, and half of all US states recognize industrial hemp. Four states plus Washington D.C. have legalized marijuana for recreational use.  There is no doubt states have recognized the failed efforts of marijuana prohibition and are eager to try out other policies. NORML commends the resolution adopted by the National Conference of State Legislatures and will continue to advocate for the federal government’s compliance.

14 thoughts

  1. America would be a better place if the National Council of State Legislatures could replace our Congress! Seriously! We don’t need Congress. They are mostly a bunch of rich people who make rules that mostly help themselves. They’re useless at best and very harmful to our country at worst. I have no respect for that Govt body. I’m sure that part of our Govt made sense at one point in time, and would make sense now, if only we had decent human beings serving us as a part of it.

  2. Kudos to Danielle on this thoughtful and well-written article.

    A team National Council of State Legislatures representatives should join the panels of people who are interviewed on the pseudo-news on Fox News and other media that continue to perpetuate the lies about cannabis and the cannabis community.

    CNN is airing a special on Morton Downey Jr., and I hope the show some footage of him practically foaming at the mouth taking the side of prohibition. I remember watching his show on Channel 9 out of Secaucus, New Jersey. He and Chris Christie share the same view and bullying style.

    I am hoping there will be NEW pro-potumentaries produced that include Oregon and Alaska, and the progress and events since the last CNN and Harry Smith specials, updates in Colorado, Washington, California, DC, and other states & territories (Guam) and portray cannabis in a positive way. Theses shows and others, as well as articles in the print media, need to debunk the prohibitionist arguments of prohibitionist presidential and congressional candidates so that the next president is not going to allow the positive pot progress to be undone. Legalization needs to continue to move forward until it actually happens at the federal level and at the international level. Period.

    Any way of getting a free pitch in there for viewers to join NORML, MPP, DPA etc.? Just need a cameo from Keith Stroup or Rob Kampia or Ethan Nadelmann (he’s so hot!) and let them tell viewers to check out joining at the website.

  3. “[S]tates and localities should be able to set whatever marijuana and hemp policies work best to improve the public safety, health, and economic development of their communities.”

    You say you want a revolution…

  4. The Federal Government never had the power to prohibit substances in the first place. According to their own constitution the ninth and tenth amendment (bill of rights) those things are reserved to the states and “people”.

    When alcohol was prohibited, the constitution had to be amended.

    …Not that I believe the right of self ownership comes from a piece of paper. or for that matter ca ever be protected by a piece of paper.

  5. The Federal Government never had the power to prohibit substances in the first place. According to their own constitution the ninth and tenth amendment (bill of rights) those things are reserved to the states and “people”.

    When alcohol was prohibited, the constitution had to be amended.

    …Not that I believe the right of self ownership comes from a piece of paper. or for that matter can ever be protected by a piece of paper.

  6. At first this sounds like good news, but alas! I fear that this will be yet another voice in the vast but impotent chorus that calls for a reform of our nation’s drug policies. Congress is not listening to any of us!

  7. We would better trust the legislators’ efforts if the knowledge base on the subject was accurate and scientific.

  8. Why not nullify the Controlled Substances Act all together and treat drug policy like the health issue that it is? I mean for Crissake, we’re having a mental health and violent law enforcement crisis in this nation! Send LEAD teams into every city that treat domestic violence and drug policy not with arrest, but with social workers (and NOT the kind that take your kids away for treating your illness with marijuana after bedtime… I mean ones that can actually prescribe an alcoholic or an addict some marijuana and get parents to behave like real parents and police to investigate real crimes like rapes and murders!), …And for f*c*sake, stop the cops from arresting without due process!

    One of the worst results of the war on drugs and the C.S.Act is that it gave states like Texas, without voter initiatives, the idea to EXPAND on civil asset forfeitures and EXPLOIT the sick and the unjustly incarcerated. The Federal government has only been supporting this disproportionate disgrace, and would be able to continue to do so in states like Texas even as we cross the half way mark of legalized medical marijuana states… but for how long? Throw a few more grams of marijuana on the statue of the scale in front of the Supreme Court, and lets see what happens! (That lady may be blindfolded, but I bet she can smell that freedom!)

    For as long as I have been drawn to the issues of legalization and NORML, I never thought it was constitutional to give legislative authority over our drug policy to the executive branch, specifically the DOJ and the President’s “Drug Czar” (If the title “Drug Czar” isn’t a clue that Nixon was inspired by his trip to China to create a Communist police state in the U.S. and “weed out” the hippies I don’t know what is…)

    But if anything has inspired me over the success of NORML’s citizen lobbying, membership drives, and persistent fight for our rights even in the slowest times for legalization, it has been watching how individual activists and their families have made our representatives listen and respond. Despite the overwhelming parasitic organization behind prohibition, states where voter initiatives provide real Democracy are providing movement and marijuana legalization in the places of our nation that have the LEAST representation. And no where else is that more evident than the city of my birth, our nation’s capitol the District of Columbia. By God, if in a land where Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton, after fighting for a legal vote in Congress for DECADES can help bring legalized marijuana to the disproportionately incarcerated, taxed by NIDA and underrepresented people of D.C., then who knows? Maybe there’s even hope for Texas…

  9. I think the states can govern themselves, and I agree with Miles that the federal congress is unnecessary in our digital communications age. Mental health among “We the People” means self-reliance and control of your family situations, and you can feel that in your stomach as you help to end federal Prohibition. People are biomechanical energy that evolved from the first volcano eruption, crawled from the ocean, and built a fire. We should use natural medicine.

  10. The federal gov’t is obviously controlled by those that can buy OUR representatives. Ultimately we citizens MUST consistently remind the Congress we voted them in. We must certainly vote them out of office. Thus threat to their continued acceptance of bribery payments would end. End prohibition. Obama has the pen he can order the DEA to remove cannabis from THE LIST. Congress said so last year. So Mr. Obama get err done. Immediately. End the war Nixon started. His actions proved he was against democracy.

Leave a Reply