A bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers introduced a bill Thursday to clear away some of the weedier legal issues between federal marijuana law and states that have legalized cannabis.
The bill, co-sponsored in the Senate by Colorado Republican Cory Gardner and Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren and in the House by Oregon Democrat Earl Blumenauer and Ohio Repbublican David Joyce, would amend the federal drug law so its marijuana provisions no longer apply to individuals acting in compliance with state or tribal laws.
“The STATES Act simply says that if you are operating in conformance with your state laws, what you are doing is legal under federal law,” Blumenauer said.
The bill has attracted broad, bipartisan support: Reps. Barbara Lee, a California Democrat, and Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican, bookend the ideological spectrum in Congress, yet both spoke in the bill’s favor Thursday morning.
The bill’s sponsors are confident the bill can pass — if it comes up for a vote.
“If we get it on the floor of the Senate, it passes,” said Gardner. “If we get it on the floor of the House, it passes.”
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Gardner acknowledged the bill will have a harder time in the GOP-controlled Senate than in the Democrat-led House, saying he was working to convince Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham to advance the bill and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to eventually allow it to come to a floor vote.
Graham, asked about the bill, said he hadn’t thought about marking it up. “I’m not very excited about it,” the South Carolina Republican said.
If the bill advances through the Senate Judiciary Committee and on to the floor, a wide swath of senators have already signed