The “Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Entrusting States (STATES) Act” doesn’t really sound like a step towards marijuana legalization, but it is. This federal legislation now under consideration, aims to amend the Controlled Substances Act to make marijuana activity legal if it is following local state laws.
President Trump has said recently that he would support a bill that leaves cannabis legalization to the states. That is because Colorado Senator Cory Gardner, a Republican, said he would block Department of Justice appointments until the threat of federal prosecution no longer hung over the legal state-sanctioned cannabis industry. The two seemed to come to an agreement in April to solve this impasse after Gardner had held up about 20 Justice nominees.
The administration gives mixed messages on cannabis legalization. On the campaign trail, Trump said he approved of medical marijuana. In January, Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Obama-era Cole Memorandum which protected companies and organizations operating under state cannabis laws, from federal prosecution. That sent a chill through the industry. Sessions remains an anti-legalization hard liner. Recreational cannabis has been allowed in Colorado since 2014. >>>