Twenty-nine states and Washington, D.C., have legalized some form of marijuana. And more are expected to vote on legalization in 2018. Yet, marijuana possession or use for any purpose is still prohibited under the federal Controlled Substances Act, leaving every participant in the state markets — including cancer patients — at risk of prosecution.
That’s why I reintroduced the State Marijuana And Regulatory Tolerance (SMART) Enforcement Act (H.R. 3534) to protect medical patients, recreational users and small businesses in states that have legalized and regulated marijuana from being prosecuted now or in the future.
My bill will fix the conflict between state and federal law by giving states effectively regulating marijuana themselves, like Washington, a waiver from the Controlled Substances Act, provided they address key federal priorities such as preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors, violence or use of firearms in cultivation and distribution of marijuana and drugged driving. It also resolves the banking issues currently forcing these small businesses to operate on an unsafe, all-cash basis.
As states move forward with legalization, it is foolish to keep businesses, communities and lives at risk by making them targets of criminals. I don't believe people in these states should have to live in fear of the actions of the U.S. Attorney General and Department of Justice. It's long past time for Congress to adapt federal policy to reflect the changes around our country as the SMART Enforcement Act would do.
As always, my office is here to serve you. If you have questions or comments about the topics that matter most to you, I encourage you to contact me through my website. You may also keep up-to-date on what I’m doing by following me on social media or signing up for my e-newsletter. If you need assistance dealing with a federal agency, such as the VA, IRS or Social Security Administration, please do not hesitate to contact my Bothell office at (425) 485-0085.