Sen. Gardner introduces new cannabis legislation for the states

Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado introduced legislation allowing each state to determine its own course when it comes to cannabis law. The amendment to the First Step Act is seen as a long shot by many in the Republican-dominated Senate, although Gardner did say that the bill would pass with a simple majority in an interview with Bloomberg on Monday.

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Gardner is up for reelection in 2020 and is seen as one of the more vulnerable seats in the Senate, hence the pushback against his party’s line when it comes to cannabis reform. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who supported the new hemp provisions in the farm bill, has stated that he is against legalizing cannabis and that hemp and cannabis are two different things.

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In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Gardner laid out his reasoning for supporting the bill, though he neglected to mention his re-election bid come the next cycle.

I introduced an amendment to the First Step Act today that would ensure each state has the right to determine for itself the best approach to marijuana within its borders.

— Cory Gardner (@SenCoryGardner) December 17, 2018


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.

— Cory Gardner (@SenCoryGardner) December 17, 2018


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.

— Cory Gardner (@SenCoryGardner) December 17, 2018


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.

— Cory Gardner (@SenCoryGardner) December 17, 2018


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