A new bi-partisan bill which would see cannabis removed from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) federally, and enshrine each US state with the ability to determine the best approach for legalisation has been put forward by Rep. Dave Joyce.
The Ohio Congressman, who is also Co-Chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, has reintroduced a new version of the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act, now referred to as ‘STATES 2.0’.
When the original bill was introduced in 2018, it sought to remove cannabis from the federal CSA, however this bill goes much further.
While removal from the CSA would not technically make cannabis federally legal, it would enable states who have chosen to legalise cannabis in some form to trade on an interstate level without incurring federal penalties.
“The STATES Act does what every federal bill should do—help all 50 states succeed. This bill respects the will of the states that have legalized cannabis in some form and allows them to implement their own policies without fear of repercussion from the federal government,” Mr Joyce said in a press release.
Despite giving individual states increased autonomy in determining their own laws, the bill also proposes a federal regulatory scheme.
If passed, the bill would give responsibility to the federal government to regulate cannabis through the Food & Drug Administration, and determine federal tax levels through the Alocohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.
The bill has four other sponsors from across party lines, including Reps. Lori Chavez-DeRemer, Troy Carter, Earl Blumenauer, Brian Mast, and marks the third federal cannabis reform bill introduced in recent months.