In another big endorsement of cannabis legalization, the National Association of Counties (NACo) called on the federal government to allow states to legalize marijuana without interference.
At its 83rd Annual Conference in Davidson County/Nashville, Tennessee, the organization, which represents the 3,069 county governments across the United States, issued a new platform plank that was adopted on Monday, reported the Marijuana Moment.
“The federal government should largely be responsible for regulating and enforcing against illegal drug trafficking, while respecting states’ right to decriminalize cannabis under state law,” reads NACo’s platform plank.
“NACo urges Congress to enact legislation that promotes the principles of federalism and local control of cannabis businesses with regard to medical and adult-use of cannabis under state law,” a related provision states. “Congress should allow and encourage state and local governments to enact and implement cannabis laws, regulations, and policies that appropriately control production, processing, sales, distribution and use, as well as promote public and consumer safety, should they choose to decriminalize and regulate cannabis under state law.”
The group is also calling on the federal government to expand banking access for marijuana businesses and broaden research on cannabis’s medical effects.
The county officials’ new stance is similar to resolutions adopted last month at the 86th annual U.S. Conference of Mayors in Boston when mayors met to establish a first-of-its-kind government-led coalition to establish a national framework to prepare governments for implementation of legalized marijuana.
NACo’s announcement also follows an analysis released Friday July 13 by the New York state Health Department, which concluded that the benefits of cannabis legalization outweigh potential risks.
Then, along came the country’s largest alcohol association - the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America - and announced that it was throwing its support behind cannabis legalization.