Colorado Legislators Introduce Bill to Protect States’ Rights

Given the anti-cannabis stance of the Trump administration, it’s not surprising that residents of states that have legalized recreational use are concerned about the future of state legislation. What is surprising are the partnerships that have arisen from this concern. Take for instance Congresswoman Diana DeGette (Democrat of Denver) and Congressman Mike Coffman (Republican of Aurora). The two have teamed up to introduce a bill to mandate that the federal government respect states’ right on cannabis.

The bill, called the “Respect States’ and Citizens’ Rights Act of 2017,” would amend the Controlled Substances Act so that it couldn’t be used to preempt state cannabis laws.

“Passing this bill is now more important than ever before,” DeGette said in a press release. “My colleagues and I — along with our constituents — spoke out frequently during the Obama administration to make clear we didn’t want the federal government denying money to our states or taking other punitive steps that would undermine the will of our citizens. Lately, we’ve had even more reason for these concerns, given Trump administration statements. This bill makes clear that we’re not going back to the days of raids on legal dispensaries, of folks living in fear that they’re not going to get the medical marijuana they need, or that they might get jailed for using it.”

Mike Coffman, for his part, opposed the legalization of cannabis in 2012, but believes the issue is one of states’ rights. “While I have opposed the legalization of marijuana, the people of Colorado voted for an initiative in 2012 that legalized marijuana and placed it in our state’s constitution,” Coffman said. “Since this is clearly not a matter of interstate commerce, I believe that the people of Colorado had every right, under the U.S. Constitution, to decide this issue for themselves and as their representative in Congress, I have an obligation to respect the will of the people of Colorado and that’s why I’m reintroducing this bill with Congresswoman DeGette.

DeGette and Coffman have previously paired up to introduce the same legislation in 2012, 2013, and 2015, to no avail.

At The Green Solution®, we’re proud of our Congress people’s efforts to protect the rights of Colorado’s citizens, and look forward to watching the bill’s progression.