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State Act has Stuck in a Congressional Black Hole

State Act has Stuck in a Congressional Black Hole

June 25, 2018

In the first week of June, Coloradan Senator Cory Gardner presented a bill in Congress called States Act. In short, it demands the strengthening of the 10th Amendment. Initially, it seemed like the bill would be well received by the lawmakers. One of the reasons for this optimism was the support from President Trump who hinted that he might approve the bill.  Senator Gardner was also very hopeful for the bill after talking to the president. However, more than two weeks have passed and the bill hasn’t succeeded in getting any noticeable traction from Congress so far. 

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Key Congress Leaders Haven’t Officially Endorsed the Bill 

The bipartisan nature of the bill and presidential support haven’t even helped it to swiftly pass the congressional corridor. Nearly all the key leaders of the legislature haven’t formally endorsed the bill yet. 

The democratic minority leader of the Senate, Chuck Schumer, has reiterated his support for the decriminalization of cannabis many times. But as per his office, he hasn’t taken any position on the bill as of yet. 

Republicans are chairing several key congressional committees and none of them have endorsed the States Act. Chuck Grassley a Republican senator from Iowa who chairs Senate Judicial Committee is not the supporter of cannabis legalization. It is worth mentioning that without the approval from the judicial committee, the bill couldn’t be presented for a full congressional vote. 

According to one of close aid Grassley, the senator is not mulling over any cannabis-related piece of legislation right now. Democratic members of the committee support the bill, but they can’t make it a success without the endorsement from the vast majority of . 

The situation in the lower house is also pretty similar. The house judicial committee is chaired by a Republican lawmaker and he hasn’t convened any meeting to discuss the bill.  House Minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, supports the bill and hoping that it will eventually gain the required momentum. 

So, the entire situation is a blatant manifestation of the fact that Republicans are still reluctant in supporting the States Act, and without their approval bill can’t be realized into legislation. 

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What States Act Entails? 

If the bill gets the required support from both chambers of Congress and becomes a part of federal legislation, then it would be a significant development for cannabis reforms all across the country. There are some key issues addressed by the States Act. 

  • States will be free to devise their own cannabis rules and regulation without any federal concern  
  • The federal Controlled Substance Act, in connection with cannabis, won’t be effective in legal states 
  • Legalization of hemp for its commercial benefits will also become a reality. 

Moreover, this legalization will allow banks to cater to legalized cannabis ventures. Right now, statewide cannabis businesses can’t use regular banking facilities for their dealings. Cannabis advocacy groups are hoping that with growing debate on the issue there are chances for States Act to finally gather the required support in next six months. 

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