This week, Senators Cory Gardner (R-Colorado) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) reintroduced the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States Act (STATES), a bill that would enable states to enforce their own marijuana laws within their borders. The bill would amend the Controlled Substance Act, so that “its provisions no longer apply to any person acting in compliance with State or tribal laws relating to the manufacture, production, possession, distribution, dispensation, administration, or delivery of marijuana.”
Included among the provisions that would limit federal enforcement of marijuana laws, the STATES Act would lift the federal prohibition on banking services for marijuana related businesses in states where marijuana has been legalized. After the legislation was reintroduced, Senator Gardner told reporters that President Trump supports the proposal, however it remains unclear whether Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) will help push the bill through the Senate. Without support from Majority Leader McConnell it is uncertain whether the STATES Act will pass the Senate, despite the promise of the President’s signature.
In the House, Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) and David Joyce (R-Ohio) introduced a companion version of the bill. Last month, the House Financial Services Committee approved the SAFE Banking Act, legislation that narrowly targets the federal prohibition on cannabis banking. The House may decide to take on the broader STATES Act which already has support from the White House, according to Senator Gardner.