Congressional Lawmakers Introduce Legislation To Halt Federal Interference In State Marijuana Laws

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director November 30, 2012

    United States Representatives have introduced bipartisan legislation in Congress — House Bill 6606, The Respect States’ and Citizens’ Rights Act of 2012 — to amend the US Controlled Substances Act to provide that federal law shall not preempt state marijuana laws.

    The measure is sponsored by Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado, and is co-sponsored by Reps. Blumenauer (OR), Coffman (CO), Cohen (TN), Farr (CA), Frank (MA), Grijalva (AZ), Lee (CA), Paul (TX), and Polis (CO). It has been referred to Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.

    “I am proud to join with colleagues from both sides of the aisle on the ‘Respect States’ and Citizens’ Rights Act’ to protect states’ rights and immediately resolve any conflict with the federal government,” said Rep. DeGette in a prepared statement. “In Colorado we’ve witnessed the aggressive policies of the federal government in their treatment of legal medicinal marijuana providers. My constituents have spoken and I don’t want the federal government denying money to Colorado or taking other punitive steps that would undermine the will of our citizens.”

    Added Rep. Polis, “The people of Colorado and Washington voted in overwhelming numbers to regulate the sale of marijuana. Colorado officials and law enforcement are already working to implement the will of Colorado voters, and I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in Congress and officials in the administration to deliver clear guidance that ensures the will of the people is protected.”

    House Bill 6606 states, “In the case of any State law that pertains to marihuana, no provision of this title shall be construed as indicating an intent on the part of the Congress to occupy the field in which that provision operates, including criminal penalties, to the exclusion of State law on the same subject matter, nor shall any provision of this title be construed as preempting any such State law.”

    While it is unlikely that members of Congress will address this measure in the final days of the 112th session, it is anticipated that Representatives will reintroduce the measure in 2013.

    Please visit NORML’s ‘Take Action’ page for updates on contacting your members of Congress regarding The Respect States’ and Citizens’ Rights Act of 2012.


    39 Responses to “Congressional Lawmakers Introduce Legislation To Halt Federal Interference In State Marijuana Laws”

    1. It’s about time the federal government stops interfering with the independence of states. If a state votes to allow medical use, they should be allowed to create their own laws without threat that the federal government will shut them down. One step forward!

    2. Good. They need to stop cracking down on all of these non-violent “offenders.” I was extremely relieved to hear the Obama administration finally say they would stop being so vigilant about enforcing these laws. Some day we will see full progress.

    3. =) smile says:

      Just wondering if someone could lead me in the right direction. I’ve never voted I live in Ga. and would like to know how I could Make a difference. I need some details as to how I could help make marijuana legal in my state. Any suggestion would be helpful to get me started. thanks

    4. Robert K says:

      guys watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zkg0bjfHMw it is fox news trying to prove driving under the influance of marijuana is bad and they have a bunch of diff people to do the driving simulator and intentionaly crash them.

    5. Don Wright says:

      I see a lot of the sponcers of 6606 are gop states. Beware of republicans bearing gifts!
      they are probably working an angle about state rights in order to let all states write their on abortion laws. Cannibus needs to be legalized by the fed.

    6. Omar Reyes says:

      So today I got a letter from my representative in Arizona and this is what he said:

      “Dear Mr. Reyes:

      Thank you for writing me about your concerns with the federal government’s prohibition of marijuana. I appreciate you taking the time to communicate with me.

      You will be pleased to know that I am now a cosponsor of the HR 6606, the Respect States’ and Citizens’ Rights Act of 2012. HR 6606 does not legalize marijuana. Its goal is to give states the authority to decide how to regulate marijuana.

      Arizona voters have voted twice to allow compassionate use of medical marijuana. Their vote should be respected by the national government.

      House leadership referred H.R. 6606 to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary. I will continue to monitor the progress of this legislation as it moves forward in Congress. Again, thank you for your active participation as a concerned citizen.

      If you would like additional information about my work in the U.S. House of Representatives, I invite you to visit my website: http://grijalva.house.gov . From this site, you can send a message to me about current events or pending legislation, access my statements and press releases, request copies of legislation and government reports, and receive detailed information about the many services that I am privileged to provide for my constituents. You may also wish to visit http://thomas.loc.gov to track current and past federal legislation.”

    7. St. Nick says:

      Man, the one association that was against Pot criminalization in 1937 were the Medical Institutes. Grass has been used medicinally for thousands of years. We never heard of ONE bad effect from Cannabis use until 1936. Marijuana is THE SAFEST drug. Man, Earth would be better if USA legalizes Pot! WE WANT A TRULY FREE COUNTRY!

    8. jon jon says:

      420 in d.c. yes a great idea. Would need massive numbers of peeps though. lets ROLL with it.

    9. David says:

      We also need to abrogate or renegotiate the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and related treaties.

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