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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

BIPARTISAN BILL BRINGS U.S. ONE STEP CLOSER TO LEGALIZATION

BIPARTISAN BILL BRINGS U.S. ONE STEP CLOSER TO LEGALIZATION


In a move that can only be described as historic, two U.S. senators – Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) and Cory Gardner (R-Colorado) – introduced a bipartisan bill that will make life much easier in legal cannabis states, according to U.S. News.
The U.S. political system is unique, giving states the ability to make laws that Canada could only change at the federal level. Unfortunately, these locations seem to run afoul of the federal government, where cannabis remains illegal.
But this new legislation, called the States Act, hopes to change the game.
Over the years, federal drug enforcement agencies and police have raided and shut down dispensaries in states where medical and/or recreational marijuana is legal. The Obama administration passed legislation to prevent such actions, but the new government under Donald Trump rescinded it, thanks to the zealous beliefs of then Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
But now, without Jeff Sessions to contaminate the waters with his extremist anti-cannabis policies, President Trump is actually on board with the bill.
If Warren and Gardner’s proposed bill passes – and it is quite likely – legal states will finally breathe a sigh of relief.

Trump Likely to Support Bill

In a rather unexpected move, Donald Trump expressed support for the States Act. Prior to leaving for the G7 summit in Canada, he told reporters:
“I really do. I support Senator Gardner. I know exactly what he’s doing. We’re looking at it. But I probably will end up supporting that, yes.”
But Trump is not the only Republican who supports sweeping marijuana reform. According to U.S. News:
“The Senate version of the measure has a bipartisan list of high-profile cosponsors, including Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski, from Alaska, and Rand Paul, from Kentucky, as well as Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar, from Minnesota. The House bill is co-sponsored by Reps. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and Tom Graves, R-Ga., among others”.
Even the biggest Republican on the House Judiciary Committee expressed support for the States Act.
With such sweeping momentum and co-operation among two sides who, in most cases, view each other with hostility, the passage of the States Act seems all-but guaranteed.

Still Some Limitations

Unsurprisingly, the bill does impose certain limitations, but they are mostly common-sense and certainly not as restrictive as Canada’s.

U.S. News explains:
“The measure would still bar the distribution or sale of marijuana to anyone under 21 years old and would maintain a standing prohibition on the distribution of marijuana at transportation facilities like rest areas and truck stops. The bill would also mandate that the Government Accountability Office conduct a study on the effects of marijuana legalization on traffic safety”.
It is important to note that this is not full legalization. Marijuana will remain federally illegal, meaning that individuals in non-legal states are still subject to prosecution. But if the States Act is any indication, cannabis possession convictions could soon be a thing of the past.

WeedAdvisor’s Interest in International Developments

The relationship between Canada and the U.S. is incredibly close on many levels. But cannabis legalization in Canada did bring up some issues with our neighbour to the south.
But the States Act effectively shrinks the elephant in the room. Considering the critical nature of this legislation – and U.S. legalization in general – WeedAdvisor will continue to follow these developments to keep the public informed on what could very well be the brightest cannabis development since 1937.

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