Respect the States, the Citizens and the Herb
The “Respect States” and “Citizens Rights Act” if passed would amend the controlled substances act. This amendment would prevent federal law from taking precedence over state law when it comes to marijuana. The controlled substances act classifies cannabis as a Schedule 1 Narcotic which puts it in the realm of hard illicit drugs such as heroin and cocaine. This classification also implies no medicinal value. As it stands today if the newly elected president does not roll with the momentum being seen in this industry, all of the victories we celebrate and progress made towards legalization could quickly go up in flames.
Recalling the Origination of this Bill
The bill was first introduced by Diana and Rep. Mike Coffman from Colorado’s 6th district in 2013. The bill gained seven other co-sponsors including Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D) from Oregon’s 3rd District and Rep. Mark Pocan (D) from Wisconsin’s 2nd district. The bill was introduced in March of 2014 and was denied by Congress in a session shortly after. Rep. DeGette will be reintroducing this bill shortly after a slight revision to the text. These individuals are doing America a great justice in seeing that all of our work is solidified and cannot be ended at the drop of a dime.
Why This is Important and What it Could Mean for the Future
It is crucial that we take measures to ensure that the victories we celebrate today in states such as Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska, are not reversed by the next presidential administration. If passed this bill would protect the next president and each administration after that from overturning state laws surrounding cannabis. This is huge as it would ultimately lead to more states passing legalization measures once the fear of federal interference is gone. This bill will protect the successes that we celebrate today as well as the many that are sure to follow. Thank you, Representative Diana DeGette, for helping our cause and being a pioneer in marijuana reform laws. With the help of more politicians like you, we can win this fight and end the Fed’s ability to inforce prohibition against cannabis once and for all.