Republican Congressman Tom Garrett has introduced a bill that would remove cannabis from the federal list of controlled substances, allowing it to join other industries such as alcohol and tobacco. According to a press release, the Virginia lawmaker says the proposal “fulfills a responsibility to create a level playing field across the country.”
“I have long believed justice that isn’t blind, isn’t justice. Statistics indicate that minor narcotics crimes disproportionately hurt areas of lower socio-economic status and what I find most troubling is that we continue to keep laws on the books that we do not enforce,” he said in the release. “Virginia is more than capable of handling its own marijuana policy, as are states such as Colorado or California.”
He added that the measure (HR.1227) “allows states to determine this step appropriate medicinal use and allows for industrial hemp growth.” Garrett indicated that he would also be introducing legislation this session aimed at growing the hemp industry, specifically in Virginia.
Garrett is joined by Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI) in sponsoring the bill, which was first introduced by Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders in 2015. The proposal has been sent to the House Judiciary, and House Energy and Commerce committees.