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Here’s The Text Of The Marijuana Amendment Sen. Gardner Wants Attached To Criminal Justice Bill

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As Marijuana Moment first reported last week, Sen. Cory Gardner will try to amend a criminal justice bill on the Senate floor this week by attaching a far-reaching cannabis reform proposal.

Marijuana Moment has now obtained the text of Gardner’s new amendment, which largely mirrors the text of a standalone bill he filed earlier this year with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), except for a few minor changes.

One difference is that the amendment removes text concerning the definition of hemp and marijuana, a provision no longer needed in light of the fact that the Farm Bill, which Congress sent to President Donald Trump’s desk last week, legalizes hemp.

The other change is that the amendment removes the word “notwithstanding” from a few clauses, for unknown reasons. Other nonsubstantive formatting changes needed to covert the standalone bill to an amendment format were also made.

Overall, the proposal would exempt state-legal marijuana activity from the federal Controlled Substances Act.

Gardner posted several tweets about the legislation on Monday.

“Saturday marked the 227th anniversary of the ratification of the 10th Amendment to the Constitution. It says that ‘[t]he powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.’ I can think of no better way to honor that milestone than to pass the bipartisan STATES Act, and I can think of no better legislation to attach the STATES Act to than the First Step Act,” Gardner said in a press release.

“While we are debating criminal justice reform, we need to address the threat of prosecution by the federal government for people in Colorado that are operating legal businesses under state law. And it’s not just Colorado: 47 states now allow some form of legalized cannabis. This year Oklahoma, Utah, and Missouri changed their laws to join 30 other states that allow medical marijuana. Recent polls show around 65% of the country support legalization and 93% support medical marijuana. The people are speaking. The states are leading. It’s time for Congress to act to protect states’ rights. I call on my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to take up and pass this important amendment today.”

President Trump gave his verbal support for the Gardner-Warren standalone bill, titled the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act, in June.

It is not definitively known whether the Gardner amendment will receive a vote on the Senate floor, though some drug policy reform advocates have expressed skepticism that the body’s leaders will allow the inclusion of bold marijuana reforms in a criminal justice proposal that is proceeding under an already tenuous bipartisan agreement.

The Senate is expected to vote on the prison and sentencing reform bill and related amendments on Tuesday.

Read the full text of Gardner’s marijuana amendment below:

Cory Gardner Marijuana Amen… by on Scribd

GOP Senator Seeks To Attach Marijuana Reform To Criminal Justice Bill

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Tom Angell is the editor of Marijuana Moment. A 20-year veteran in the cannabis law reform movement, he covers the policy and politics of marijuana. Separately, he founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Previously he reported for Marijuana.com and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

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