STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, JUNE 6, 2019 (State House News Service) – Gov. Charlie Baker and 11 of his counterparts from other states are asking Congress to pass legislation that would put the power to regulate marijuana in the hands of state governments.
The bill, filed by Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Cory Gardner of Colorado and Reps. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and David Joyce of Ohio, would amend the Controlled Substances Act so its provisions would no longer apply to any person acting in compliance with state or tribal marijuana laws.
Though marijuana is illegal under federal law, 47 states permit some form of medical marijuana use and 10 states have made it legal for broader adult use, the governors wrote.
The governors said the bill “is not about whether marijuana should be legal or illegal; it is about respecting the authority of states to act, lead and respond to the evolving needs and attitudes of their citizens.”
“Whether a state maintains its prohibition of cannabis or chooses a different path, the STATES Act ensures that the federal government is a partner rather than an impediment — an objective the federal government should always strive to achieve,” the letter said.
Besides Baker, the signatories are Govs. Gavin Newsom of California, Kate Brown of Oregon, Gary Herbert of Utah, Jay Inslee of Washington, Phil Scott of Vermont, Andrew Cuomo of New York, Doug Burgum of North Dakota, Jared Polis of Colorado, Steve Sisolak of Nevada, Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania and Larry Hogan of Maryland.
“I’m glad Governors Baker and Newsom are leading their colleagues from across the country in support of the STATES Act,” Warren said in a statement. “It’s long past time to pass this bipartisan bill to protect our states, territories, and tribal nations as they implement their own marijuana laws without federal interference while we pursue broader policy reforms.”