Science

This Federal Bill Could Fully End Marijuana Prohibition In The United States This Year

A new federal bill called the “Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2015” was introduced to Congress earlier this week by Representative Dana Rohrabacher, a Democrat from California. It would provide immunity against prosecution at the federal level for individuals and businesses abiding by state marijuana laws. It's a short document, but its implications are huge.

“The American people, through the 35 states that have liberalized laws banning either medical marijuana, marijuana in general, or cannabinoid oils, have made it clear that federal enforcers should stay out of their personal lives," Rohrabacher said in a statement. "It’s time for restraint of the federal government’s over-aggressive weed warriors.”

The Obama administration has largely laid off of states that have legalized marijuana, but there are no laws on the books that make it a promise. The next administration could put a swift end to the states that have legalized marijuana, and others with medicinal marijuana.

The House bill would bring the federal government to the level of state governments that have legalized the plant. It would amend the Controlled Substances Act to no long apply to any person or business acting in compliance with state laws.

"Unlike other bills that address only some aspects of the conflict between state and federal marijuana laws," Dan Riffle, with the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement. "This bill resolves the issue entirely by letting states determine their own policies. It's the strongest federal legislation introduced to date, and it's the bill most likely to pass in a Republican-controlled Congress. Nearly every GOP presidential contender has said marijuana policy should be a state issue, not a federal one, essentially endorsing this bill."

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