Reed Smith Client Alerts

Passage of the States Act would dramatically alter the landscape in that it would eliminate the threat of federal prosecution for marijuana companies complying with applicable states’ laws.

Authors: Claudia Z. Springer

Who says Democrats and Republicans are incapable of working together to bring about change? Under the reintroduced bill known as The Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States Act of 2019 (the States Act), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Representatives David Joyce (R-OH) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) are trying to do just that – by reintroducing a bill that if passed would enable each state to regulate medical and adult use of marijuana and would take the federal government out of the fray … at least for the most part.

Both the federal government and state governments regulate the use, production and sale of marijuana and other CBD derivatives, which has resulted in laws that are inconsistent at best. Under the federal Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is a Schedule I drug, which makes it no less “dangerous” than heroin and cocaine. Schedule I drugs are viewed as addictive and as having no medical benefits. It is a felony to produce, distribute and use marijuana under federal law. This characterization of marijuana as a Schedule I drug has been highly criticized on both sides of the aisle.

Currently, 33 states and the District of Columbia have laws that allow the use, production and sale of marijuana for certain purposes. Ten of the states and the District of Columbia allow for adult use of marijuana and all 33 states and the District of Columbia allow for its use for medicinal purposes, although not all states’ laws are consistent as to the types of ailments that marijuana may be used to treat.