US Congress: Bipartisan Bill Filed to Protect State Marijuana Laws, Allow Interstate Commerce

A bipartisan group of lawmakers have refiled the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act.

Filed by Representative Dave Joyce (R) and cosponsored by Representatives Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R), Brian Mast (R), Troy Carter (D) and Earl Blumenauer (D), the measure would fully allow states to legalize marijuana without fear of federal persecution, while protecting those that already have.

Specifically, it would amend the Controlled Substances so that those acting in compliance with state marijuana laws would no longer be committing a federal crime. This includes both marijuana consumers and those operating marijuana businesses.

The measure would also explicitly allow marijuana commerce between legal marijuana states and tribes, and it would amend an IRS law (section 280E) that prohibits businesses from taking tax deductions if they run a federally illegal business, even if the business is properly following their state’s laws.

The proposal would also direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a study on the impacts of marijuana legalization on traffic safety.

In October Representative Nancy Mace (R) filed a somewhat similar measure, the States Reform Act, which would “Federally decriminalizes cannabis and fully defers to state powers over prohibition and commercial regulation.”

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