• Several U.S. Senators introduced a bipartisan bill titled, Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States Act (STATES Act), on June 7. The bill would allow states, U.S. territories, and federally recognized tribes to choose how to regulate the use of marijuana within the borders of their state without federal interference. However, the bill would leave certain provision of the federal Controlled Substances Act in place. These include prohibiting the endangerment of human life during marijuana manufacturing and the distribution of marijuana at rest areas and truck stops.
  • The bill was introduced by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Representatives David Joyce (R-Ohio) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) who indicated that forty-six states have already passed laws permitting or decriminalizing marijuana or marijuana-based products.
  • The STATES Act also amends the definition of “marijuana” under the Controlled Substances Act to specifically exclude industrial hump. (Marijuana and industrial hemp come from the same genus of flowering plant cannabis, but industrial hump has a very low concentration of the psychoactive chemical, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), while marijuana plants contain a high level.) The governor of Colorado recently signed a bill into law that stipulates that food and cosmetics are not adulterated or misbranded for containing industrial hump and applies existing food manufacturing guidelines to food products containing industrial hemp.
  • Many states were concerned after Attorney General Jeff Session announced in January that he was ending a policy from the Obama-era that banned the U.S. Department of Justice from spending money to interfere with the implementation of state medical marijuana laws. Furthermore, as previously stated in this blog, FDA has implied that it may start to investigate some marijuana health claims and benefits. Since Sessions’ announcement, though, several marijuana-related bills have been introduced in Congress, however, a Medill News Service article points out that the STATES Act seems more likely to pass due to is emphasis on states’ rights.