April 04, 2019

Senator Gardner and Congressman Neguse Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Reduce State-Federal Conflict in the Colorado Cannabis Industry

Washington, D.C.— Today, Senator Cory Gardner and Congressman Joe Neguse introduced the STATES Act, Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States Act of 2019. This bipartisan legislation would eliminate conflicts between state and federal laws, enabling states to determine their own cannabis laws. Specifically, the legislation would amend the Controlled Substance Act so that any person acting in compliance with a state or tribal law would no longer see most of the Act’s provisions apply to them.

“In 2012, Coloradans legalized marijuana at the ballot box and the state created an apparatus to regulate the legal marijuana industry. But because of the one-size-fits-all federal prohibition, state decisions like this put Colorado and other states at odds with the federal government. This is an issue across America, with states like Utah, Oklahoma, Michigan, Vermont, and Missouri approving new or expanded programs just last year," said Senator Gardner. “The federal government is closing its eyes and plugging its ears while 47 states have acted. The bipartisan STATES Act fixes this problem once and for all by taking a states' rights approach to the legal marijuana question. The bipartisan, commonsense bill ensures the federal government will respect the will of the voters – whether that is legalization or prohibition – and not interfere in any states’ legal marijuana industry.”

“The STATES Act would end the current conflict between federal and state law, allowing states like Colorado to continue effectively regulating our cannabis industry,” said Congressman Neguse. “This affirmation in federal law would help ease the challenges currently faced across our state and open up the cannabis industry’s access to banks and loans. This legislation will also remove the threat of federal prosecution for actions that have been legal in our state since 2014. As we work towards cannabis legalization at the federal level and re-writing our outdated laws on this issue, I’m proud to support this important first step to ensure harmony between our federal and state laws.”

Watch video from the press conference here.