Cannabis advocate, Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), introduced the Respect States Marijuana Laws Act of 2017 this week. The bill is aimed at protecting individuals in the cannabis industry against threats of federal prosecution.
The bill, HR975 was introduced by the longtime Congressional ally to the cannabis industry, and Trump supporter Rep. Rohrabacher. A coalition of six Democrats and seven Republicans are co-sponsoring the measure.
The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2017 bill would basically place state law above federal when it comes to the Controlled Substances Act – as long as the individuals follow their state’s laws regarding the federally illegal plant.
It’s not the first time a bill like this was filed. HR1940 was introduced to last year’s Congress, but didn’t get any traction.
The move by the California Republican wasn’t out of fear of the new Trump administration, as was made clear by his comments in January, after the confirmation hearing for America’s next Attorney General.
Rep. Rohrabacher praised President Donald Trump’s then-nominee for Attorney General, Sen. Jeff Sessions, from the floor of the House, for his performance in his Senate confirmation hearing.
“Senator Sessions is a patriot and a man of the highest moral integrity. I have complete confidence that, if confirmed as the next Attorney General, he will faithfully enforce our laws—not just those that he agrees with, but all laws duly enacted by Congress.”
“As it pertains to marijuana policy, Senator Sessions promised to do the same. During exchanges on the topic of marijuana policy with both Senators Leahy and Lee, Senator Sessions indicated his intention to follow federal law. At one point, he indicated that if Congress no longer desires to make the possession and distribution of marijuana illegal act, “Congress should pass a law to change the rules.”
Many of the Respect States Marijuana Laws Act of 2017 supporters hail from states with marijuana reforms, while others from non-cannabis states like Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) also endorsed the measure with their signatures.
California provided three of the co-sponsors, more than any other state. The bill’s Golden State supporters include; Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA), and Rep. Rohrabacher.