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Lawmakers Introduce Legislation To Halt Federal Interference In State Marijuana Laws

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Congressional Lawmakers Introduce Legislation To Halt Federal Interference In State Marijuana LawsWashington, DC: United States Representatives have introduced bipartisan legislation in Congress -- House Bill 6606, The Respect States' and Citizens' Rights Act of 2012 -- to amend the US Controlled Substances Act to provide that federal law shall not preempt state marijuana laws.

The measure is sponsored by Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado, and is co-sponsored by Reps. Blumenauer (OR), Coffman (CO), Cohen (TN), Farr (CA), Frank (MA), Grijalva (AZ), Lee (CA), Paul (TX), Pingree (ME), and Polis (CO). It has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.

"I am proud to join with colleagues from both sides of the aisle on the 'Respect States' and Citizens' Rights Act' to protect states' rights and immediately resolve any conflict with the federal government," said Rep. DeGette upon the bill's introduction in a prepared statement. "In Colorado we've witnessed the aggressive policies of the federal government in their treatment of legal medicinal marijuana providers. My constituents have spoken and I don't want the federal government denying money to Colorado or taking other punitive steps that would undermine the will of our citizens."

Added Rep. Polis, "The people of Colorado and Washington voted in overwhelming numbers to regulate the sale of marijuana. Colorado officials and law enforcement are already working to implement the will of Colorado voters, and I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in Congress and officials in the administration to deliver clear guidance that ensures the will of the people is protected."

House Bill 6606 states, "In the case of any State law that pertains to marihuana, no provision of this title shall be construed as indicating an intent on the part of the Congress to occupy the field in which that provision operates, including criminal penalties, to the exclusion of State law on the same subject matter, nor shall any provision of this title be construed as preempting any such State law."

While it is unlikely that members of Congress will address this measure in the final days of the 112th session, it is anticipated that Representatives will reintroduce the measure in 2013.

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