Federal Lawmakers Introduce Measure To Respect State Marijuana Laws

Federal Lawmakers Introduce Measure To Respect State Marijuana LawsWashington, DC: United States Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), along with a bipartisan coalition of three Republicans and three Democrats, introduced legislation in Congress last week to protect those who engage in the state-authorized use and/or distribution of cannabis.

House Resolution 1523, the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act, amends the federal Controlled Substances Act to exempt from federal prosecution those individuals and businesses, including marijuana dispensaries and/or retail outlets, who are compliant with the marijuana laws of their state.

Eighteen states and the District of Columbia regulate the consumption of marijuana for therapeutic purposes and several of these states also license facilities to produce and dispense cannabis to qualified patients. Two additional states, Colorado and Washington, allow for the adult, non-medical use of marijuana and are in the process of finalizing regulations regarding the licensed commercial production and retail sale of the plant.

"This bipartisan bill represents a common-sense approach that establishes federal government respect for all states’ marijuana laws," Rohrabacher said in a prepared statement, "It does so by keeping the federal government out of the business of criminalizing marijuana activities in states that don’t want it to be criminal."

Full text of HR 1523 is not yet available on the Library of Congress’ legislative website, Thomas.loc.gov.

House Resolution 1523 is one of several marijuana law reform bills now pending before the United States Congress, including House Resolution 499: The Ending Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013, House Bill 689: the States’ Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act, and Senate Bill 359: the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013.

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, or Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director, at (202) 483-5500.