Congresswoman Introduces Measure to Ease Disconnect Between State and Federal Marijuana Laws

Congresswoman Introduces Measure to Ease Disconnect Between State and Federal Marijuana Laws

Flickr / Ronald Woan / CC BY-NC 2.0

With the divide between state and federal marijuana laws growing more untenable, one United States Congresswoman hopes to bridge the gap between the two. On July 28, 2017, Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., introduced H.R. 3534, a bill aimed at easing the tension between state and federal marijuana laws.

Dubbed the State Marijuana And Regulatory Tolerance (SMART) Enforcement Act, the proposed measure would grant waivers to the Controlled Substances Act to states that have legalized marijuana, both recreational and medicinal.

“These waivers will ensure people in states that have different laws than the federal government on marijuana are protected from prosecution,” DelBene told her colleagues while introducing the measure. “People in these states should not live in fear of the unpredictable actions of the Attorney General and Department of Justice.”

Included in the measure is a three-year sunset clause, which would be subject to congressional oversight and review.

Despite the waivers states would still be required to implement regulatory systems that address federal enforcement priorities as outlined by the Obama-era Cole Memorandum, such as preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors, drugged driving, and the use of firearms or violence related to the marijuana industry.

The measure has been referred to both the House Judiciary Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee, where it awaits review.

William Sumner is a freelance writer and marijuana journalist located in Panama City, FL. Passionate about writing, William is dedicated to journalistic integrity and providing quality insight on current events. You can follow him on Twitter @W_Sumner.

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