A Republican Has Revived Bernie's Bill To End The Federal Marijuana Ban

March 14, 2017
Forbes.com
Legislation and regulation Politics

Last month, Rep. Tom Garrett of Virginia introduced a bill that seeks to remove virtually all traces of pot from the federal Controlled Substances Act so as to let states regulate themselves in our country's ongoing Green Rush. Garrett's office announced last month that the bill, originally put forth by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont in 2015, was re-ignited to "[fulfill] a responsibility to create a level playing field across the country."

With help from Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), lead original cosponsor for the bill, and from fellow Virginia republican Rep. Scott Taylor, Garrett submitted HR 1227 to the GOP-heavy 115th U.S. Congress on Feb. 27, referring it both the House Energy and Commerce and House Judiciary committees. In the two weeks since, Representatives Jared Polis (D-CO), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Don Young (R-AK), and Justin Amash (R-MI) have also signed on.

RELATED: Republican Congressman Introduces Bill to Resolve State/Federal Law Conflicts

Rep. Garrett commented in a release, "Statistics indicate that minor narcotics crimes disproportionately hurt areas of lower socio-economic status and what I find most troubling is that we continue to keep laws on the books that we do not enforce." He noted, too, that Virginia is "more than capable of handling its own marijuana policy, as are states such as Colorado or California."

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