Colorado Reps File Bill to Protect Legalized Marijuana in CO, WA from Feds

Colorado Reps File Bill to Protect Legalized Marijuana in CO, WA from Feds

'Respect States' and Citizens' Rights Act' would exempt states that have passed marijuana legalization from the marijuana provisions of the federal Controlled Substances Act

WASHINGTON, DC — Colorado’s congressional delegation is demonstrating that it heard the voice of the voters loudly and clearly on the topic of marijuana legalization.

In the wake of this month’s vote in Colorado to legalize marijuana, which won with 55% of the vote, a bipartisan group from the state’s congressional delegation is stepping up in support of the voters’ choice.

Last Thursday, three Colorado members of the House (as well as 15 other representatives) sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking him to respect the state’s new marijuana law. The following day, one of the same members of the Colorado delegation filed a bill that would ensure that the federal government does not override the vote in Colorado and in Washington, where a similar measure also passed.

The Obama administration should “take no action against anyone who acts in compliance with the laws of Colorado, Washington and any other states that choose to regulate access to marijuana,” the letter penned by Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) said. “The voters of these states chose, by a substantial margin, to forge a new and effective policy with respect to marijuana. The tide of public opinion is changing, both at the ballot box and in state legislatures across the country. We believe that the collective judgment of voters and state lawmakers must be respected.”

Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO). Her bill, the Respect States’ and Citizens’ Rights Act, filed with bipartisan support, would exempt states that have passed marijuana legalization from the marijuana provisions of the federal Controlled Substances Act. (Wikimedia)

Urging the administration to have a light touch is one thing; legislation requiring it to do so is another, and that’s what Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) has introduced. Her bill, the Respect States’ and Citizens’ Rights Act, filed with bipartisan support, would exempt states that have passed marijuana legalization from the marijuana provisions of the federal Controlled Substances Act.

“Today I am proud to join with colleagues from both sides of the aisle on the ‘Respect States’ and Citizens’ Rights Act’ to protect states’ rights and immediately resolve any conflict with the federal government. In Colorado we’ve witnessed the aggressive policies of the federal government in their treatment of legal medicinal marijuana providers. My constituents have spoken, and I don’t want the federal government denying money to Colorado or taking other punitive steps that would undermine the will of our citizens,” DeGette, of Denver, said in a statement.

“I strongly oppose the legalization of marijuana, but I also have an obligation to respect the will of the voters given the passage of this initiative, and so I feel obligated to support this legislation,” said Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO).

The bill has support from outside of Colorado and Washington, too.

“Residents of Colorado and Washington have made it clear that the public is ahead of the federal government in terms of marijuana legalization,” said Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). “It’s time for Congress to pass legislation — such as the ‘Respect States’ and Citizens’ Rights Act’ — that allows states to implement their own laws in this area without fear of federal interference.”

“All across the country, states are choosing to reform their marijuana laws. As Justice Brandeis observed, states are the ‘laboratories of democracy’ and they should be given the opportunity to go forward with this social experiment,” said Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN). “I’m proud to cosponsor this important bill, which will ensure that the federal government respects the people’s judgment.”

You May Also Enjoy These Articles

  • MikeParent

    So much for marijuana being a political third rail. Thank you, Rep. Diana DeGette.

  • Pingback: Colorado Reps File Bill to Protect Legalized Marijuana in CO, WA from Feds – The Daily Chronic

  • Amadeus Frison

    This bill should have bipartisan support. As a veery conservative Republican, I’m tried of my tax dollars being wasted and my rights being violated to suppress a plant that God put on this earth. Enough is enough!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andy-OConnor/1423802225 Andy O’Connor

    That is funny that Amadaus is a republican as republicans believe in removing rights from people. It is also ironic after years of politicians talking bullshit about tough on crime Colorado and Washington finally become tough on crime. With Marijuana being legal there will be far less criminals and people in prison. First bite out of crime since the end of alcohal probition. Too bad I hate pot now, but I hate alcohal to. Legalizing marijuana might be bad for diabetics though seeing as it seems to be always sold in the form of sugary baked goods so there is a real risk there.

  • Pingback: Colorado Reps File Bill to Protect Legalized Marijuana in CO, WA from Feds | WeedBusinessDaily