National Conference of State Legislatures Urges Federal Government to Respect State Cannabis Laws

nclsThe National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) approved a resolution Thursday urging the federal government to allow states to determine their own cannabis policies. It was supported by a majority of participating legislators in each of 75% of the states represented at the conference’s general business meeting.

The preamble to the resolution, introduced by New Hampshire State Representative Renny Cushing, notes that “states are increasingly serving as laboratories for democracy by adopting a variety of policies regarding marijuana and hemp,” and it highlights the fact that “the federal government cannot force a state to criminalize cultivating, possessing, or distributing marijuana or hemp — whether for medical, recreational, industrial, or other uses — because doing so would constitute unconstitutional commandeering.”

The full resolution, which can be found by clicking here, states:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the National Conference of State Legislatures believes that federal laws, including the Controlled Substances Act, should be amended to explicitly allow states to set their own marijuana and hemp policies without federal interference and urges the administration not to undermine state marijuana and hemp policies.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the National Conference of State Legislatures recognizes that its members have differing views on how to treat marijuana and hemp in their states and believes that states and localities should be able to set whatever marijuana and hemp policies work best to improve the public safety, health, and economic development of their communities.

“State lawmakers just sent a message to Congress that could not be any clearer,” says Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project. “It’s time to end the federal prohibition of marijuana and let the states decide what policies work best for them.”

The NCLS was formed in 1975, and consists of state legislators and their staff.

TheJointBlog

3 comments

    • frankielee on August 9, 2015 at 9:26 am
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    David, I appreciate your updates as to what’s really going on in Washington state, as the press is sorely lacking in any real coverage on these issues. What’s going on there is obviously a complete usurpation of power and a blatant disregard for the will of the people. And that’s the problem in a nutshell across the land.

    People like Chris Christie, and quite frankly, 99% of our elected representatives, have chosen not to represent their constituents at all, choosing instead to bow down to powerful financial interests, or they simply choose to rule by their individual belief systems rather than what their constituents clearly desire. The polls don’t lie, Americans are sick and tired of people’s lives being destroyed over the use of simple plants that have been shown to expand and enrich one’s consciousness. This realm, easily reachable and expandable in each and every one of us, is and should forever be off limits to the intrusions by these bureaucrats, period.

    I’m a chronic pain sufferer and reside in the bible belt in Appalachia. I’m not sure which of those two facts are the most painful. My state, Virginia, has passed the most ludicrous medical marijuana program….it would be laughable if it didn’t hurt so many people. It’s only low THC oil for intractable epilepsy, and doesn’t even make it legal to possess or any way to procure it….it just allows a defense if and when you’re busted. Add to that the fact that it has to be prescribed by a physician…. fat chance getting a doc to risk his/her license seeing as how it’s a federal schedule 1 drug. So, Virginia’s MMJ program doesn’t allow marijuana to be prescribed, possessed, or transported. That’s about as helpful as a full blown case of hemorrhoids. Am I the only one that believes that people that craft such legislation should be tarred and feathered, or worse? How dare they think they can decide who can/should receive the benefits of this time-proven miracle plant!

    Virginia Congressman Bob Goodlatte, who believes that marijuana is a very dangerous drug, stated at a hearing on MMJ in the state, “And with regards to medical marijuana there are no studies out there that support any finding that medical marijuana helps with any illness of any kind that is not already helped by medicine.” How does one counter such an idiot? Reason and facts just don’t work on these clowns. Speaking of hemorrhoids, this guy’s “public service” is about as helpful as a state-wide butt rash!

    Again, thanks for the updates….as I had one foot out the door ready to move to Washington before they started throwing out their MMJ patients. Whatever happened to:

    “Give me your tired, your poor,

    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free….”

    Unless you attempt to explore your consciousness or cure your disease, in which case we’ll remove all of your rights and confine you to a small room for a very long time.

    What utter bullshit! Its way past time that self-serving politicians like these meet that fate themselves. Serve the people honestly and selflessly, or serve time. We’ve trifled enough with the likes of them, we have more important business to attend to. Like careful bud tending.

    • David on August 7, 2015 at 4:25 am
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    PS: I thought Washington’s biggest legalization hurdle would come from the Federal government. NOT my own State legislature (Particularly the WA. State Senate). Despite what they think, we have memories like elephants when you undermine d and compromised our sick relatives and sickest friends health over your sheer greed. Just because recreational marijuana brings in a lot of taxes doesn’t make killing medical marijuana off right. Payback comes election days, Nov. 2015 and Nov 2016.

    • David on August 7, 2015 at 4:05 am
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    To late for Washington State medical marijuana patients as Washington’s Legislature recently repealed my States 1998, voter approved MMJ law. I watched aghast and in shock as America’s second oldest medical marijuana law (18 years) just disappeared POOF! Gone in the blink of an eye. This done by a bunch of small-town Cannabis hater’s who acted like voter’s approved the use of Heroin for children under age five.

    The State and rec. store owner’s maligned and demonized medical patients with complete fabrication and outright lie’s since legalization passed by voter’s in 2012. Washington’s Constitution requires the State legislature to wait until two year has passed before they could change a voter passed initiative law.

    It was easy enough for the Neanderthal’s over-seeing recreational marijuana in Washington (WLCB) to drag their knuckles the two years required in order for the State legislature to repeal our State medical marijuana law and then take a meat axe to the recreational law.

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