The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), representing thousands of lawmakers from around the country, is calling on the federal government to end cannabis prohibition so that states can enact their own policies without intervention.
“The federal government should respect state decisions to regulate cannabis, including hemp in non-FDA approved cannabis products,” reads one of two new policy directives adopted on Wednesday August 1, 2018 by the NCSL, reported Marijuana Moment.
“NCSL believes that federal laws, including the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), should be amended to explicitly allow states to set their own cannabis policies without federal interference and urges the administration not to undermine state cannabis policies,” the NCSL directive read.
The statement went on to say that the administration should prioritize its enforcement actions illegal cannabis production and sales, not against citizens who are compliant with state cannabis laws.
“Furthermore, NCSL urges Congress to prohibit the administration from using federal funds to enforce the CSA in a manner inconsistent with these enforcement priorities” referring to the Obama era Cole Memo, which was rescinded in January by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
The other directive, which focused on banking access for cannabis industry businesses, notes that forcing growers, processors and retailers to operate on a cash-only basis, “attracts criminal activity and creates substantial public safety risks.”
Letting state-legal cannabis businesses use banks will provide access to “capital, security, efficiency, and record keeping,” the state lawmakers say.
“Thirty states, the District of Columbia and Guam already allow some form of legal cannabis use,” Oregon Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick, (D), said in a press release.
“We are trying to create an above-board, legitimate industry, where for many years only an unregulated market prevailed. It’s past time for Congress to finally help us do that by removing cannabis from the federal Controlled Substances Act,” said Burdick.
A Republican colleague agreed.
“The cannabis industry is making big contributions to Oregon’s economy, and giving these business owners access to secure banking is critical to their ongoing success,” said Senate Republican Leader Jackie Winters.”
The state legislators’ policy positions are similar to those recently adopted by the US Conference of Mayors this past June and the National Association of Counties, both of which called on the federal government to respect state and local marijuana laws.