Senator Charles Grassley - December 31, 2017

Senator Joni Ernst - December 18, 2017


S. ____

To acknowledge the principle of federalism as it applies to State marihuana policy.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

A BILL

To acknowledge the principle of federalism as it applies to State marihuana policy.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Respect States Marihuana Policy Act of 2018”.

SEC. 2. Congressional Findings and Declaration of Purposes.

(a) Findings. — The Congress finds that —

(1) the framers of the Constitution, recognizing state sovereignty, secured its protection in the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution;

(2) since 1996 a total of forty-six states have enacted laws defining marihuana or extracts of marihuana as medicine;

(3) in Gonzales v. Raich, 545 U.S. 1, 28 n.37 (2005) the Supreme Court expressed serious doubt for the accuracy of the findings that require marijuana to be listed in Schedule I, e.g., Institute of Medicine, Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base 179 (J. Joy, S. Watson, & J. Benson eds. 1999) (recognizing that “[s]cientific data indicate the potential therapeutic value of cannabinoid drugs, primarily THC [Tetrahydrocannabinol] for pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation”);

(4) the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, The health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids: The current state of evidence and recommendations for research S-16 (The National Acadamies Press 2017), found there are specific regulatory barriers, including the classification of cannabis as a Schedule I substance, that impede the advancement of cannabis and cannabinoid research (15-1);

(5) in Gonzales v. Oregon, 546 U.S. 243 (2006) the Supreme Court acknowledged the decision making authority to accept the medical use of controlled substances is reserved to the states;

(6) Congress did not define the term “currently accepted medical use” in the Controlled Substances Act, Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics v. Drug Enforcement Administration, 930 F.2d 936, 939 (D.C. Cir. 1991); and

(7) Congress did not intend the term “accepted medical use in treatment in the United States” to require a finding of recognized medical use in every state, Grinspoon v. Drug Enforcement Administration, 828 F.3d 881, 886 (1st Cir. 1987).

(b) Purposes. — The purposes of this Act are —

(1) to acknowledge that the classification of marihuana as a substance without currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States does not apply to the currently accepted medical use of marijuana in treatment in the individual states; and

(2) to remove marihuana from the classification reserved exclusively for substances without currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.

SEC. 3. Federalism in marihuana policy.

Section 708 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 903) is amended —

(1) by striking “No provision” and inserting the following: “(a) In general. — Except as provided in subsection (b), no provision”; and

(2) by adding at the end the following: “(b) Compliance with State law. — Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the provisions of this title relating to marihuana shall not apply to any person acting in compliance with State law, as determined by the State, relating to the production, possession, distribution, dispensation, administration, laboratory testing, recommending use, or delivery of medical marihuana.”.

SEC. 4. Rescheduling of marihuana.

(a) Removal from Schedule I. — Schedule I, as set forth in section 202(c) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812(c)), is amended in subsection (c) —

(1) by striking paragraphs (10) and (17);

(2) by redesignating paragraphs (11) through (16) as paragraphs (10) through (15), respectively; and

(3) by redesignating paragraphs (18) through (28) as paragraphs (16) through (26), respectively.

(b) Listing in Schedule II. — Schedule II, as set forth in section 202(c) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812(c)), is amended by adding at the end the following: “(d) Unless specifically excepted or unless listed in another schedule, any material, compound, mixture, or preparation, which contains any quantity of marihuana, including its salts, isomers, and salts of isomers.”.