Details are beginning to emerge about bipartisan U.S. Senate legislation to end the federal war on marijuana in line with a deal between U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and President Trump.
The bill, which Gardner could file in partnership with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and other senators as soon as this week, will be called the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Entrusting States (STATES) Act.
The legislation amends the Controlled Substances Act to exempt state-legal marijuana activity from its provisions, with a few carve-outs such as prohibiting marijuana distribution at rest areas and truck stops. It also does not allow access to marijuana for people under age 21, except for medical purposes.
Additionally, the bill “clearly states that compliant [financial and banking] transactions are not trafficking and do not result in proceeds of an unlawful transaction,” according to an overview obtained by Marijuana Moment. And, it amends the federal definition of marijuana to exclude industrial hemp.
“Swift passage of the Warren-Gardner bill defends the rights of the majority of American constituents living in jurisdictions that legally authorizes some uses of marijuana and safeguards the will of the overwhelming majority of Americans of all political ideologies,” reads a letter that advocacy groups endorsing the bill are sending to Gardner and Warren. “We urge your colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join in support of bipartisan legislation in order to provide states with the authority and autonomy to set their own marijuana policies absent the fear of federal incursion.”
The legislation comes after Trump agreed to support letting states set their own cannabis laws in exchange for Gardner ending a blockade of Justice Department nominees he began earlier this year following U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s rescission of Obama-era guidance that protected local marijuana laws.