On February 7, California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher reintroduced the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act. Although the full text of the bill, H.R. 975, is not yet available, it appears from the press that the new bill is substantially the same as the bill that Congressman Rohrabacher introduced twice before.
As I noted in a prior post, this bill would solve a huge problem for the cannabis business. As things stand right now, there is a major conflict between federal law, which makes cannabis totally illegal, and the laws of many states that provide for legal medical and/or recreational cannabis. This conflict between federal and state law breeds legal uncertainty which is bad for the cannabis business and bad for the cannabis consumer. Rohrabacher’s bill would solve this problem by requiring the federal government to respect the laws enacted by the states.
When he introduced the bill on Tuesday, Congressman Rohrabacher made this argument:
“I would ask my Republican colleagues to join me in supporting the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act. It presents us with a unique opportunity to support legislation that responds to our constituent demands because across America, people are understanding the reality of this. They don’t want to put people in jail, they don’t want to have Federal law strike forces in their community just to prevent adults from consuming a weed in their backyard. It makes no sense at all. They know that people, once they are arrested for just smoking a weed that is not hurting anybody else, their lives are damaged and it is harder for them to become a decent citizen. Americans are concerned about each other, and we know we can’t just leave it up to the government to control our lives.”
This is the third time this bill has been introduced. The previous two times, it died in committee. Maybe the third time is the charm.