Nevada lawmakers are working on two pieces of federal cannabis reform legislation which, if approved, would amend the Controlled Substances Act to allow cannabis to be used medically and researched, and another allowing states to regulate cannabis for recreational use, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. The move comes less than a week after Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole Memo which had directed federal prosecutors to take a mostly hands-off approach to state-legal cannabis programs.
According to the report, Reps. Dina Titus, a Democrat, and Mark Amodei, a Republican, are working on the legislation from their colleagues on both sides of the aisle; Titus went so far as to say she would “be forced to oppose” the final budget bill if medical cannabis protections are not included. Amodei, in a conference call, said Congress needs “to get off its butt and start dealing with the issues.”
Nevada Rep. Jacky Rosen, a Democrat, also condemned Sessions’ decision in a letter to the attorney general, saying the new guidance “completely disregards the steps Nevada has taken to regulate both medical and recreational marijuana” and “creates legal uncertainty” for both patients and business owners.
“In order to prevent legal uncertainty, maintain Nevada’s vibrant economy, and continue to allow our constituents legal access to safe, effective medical cannabis products, I implore you to reinstate past DOJ policy, as outlined in the Cole Memorandum, immediately. To do otherwise would be an affront to states’ rights, a threat to small businesses, and an insult to Nevada voters.” – Rep. Rosen in letter to Sessions
At least two bi-partisan measures have already been introduced that would effectively end federal cannabis prohibition; however, none have made it to the floor of either chamber for a vote.