Colorado representatives intro bill to shield state marijuana laws from feds

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Denver Post staff writer Mark Matthews reported from Washington, D.C. The Respect States’ and Citizens’ Rights Act of 2017 Respect States’ and Citizens’ Rights Act of 2017 federal bill (PDF) Respect States’ and Citizens’ Rights Act of 2017 federal bill (Text) Currently, 29 states, a number of U.S. territories and Washington, D.C., have medical marijuana laws; eight states have recreational marijuana laws; and several others allow the limited use of non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD). Colorado federal lawmakers this week amplified efforts to protect state-enacted marijuana laws and cannabis businesses. However, the federal marijuana bills may never see the light of day because of staunch opposition from committee chairs, Coffman said. “I worry that we’re not where we need to be,” he said. A day earlier, Colorado’s two senators threw their support behind banking legislation for the marijuana industry.

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Colorado federal lawmakers this week amplified efforts to protect state-enacted marijuana laws and cannabis businesses.

Reps. Diana DeGette and Mike Coffman on Thursday introduced the Respect States’ and Citizens’ Rights Act of 2017, which would add a provision to the Controlled Substances Act that would prevent federal preemption of state law. A day earlier, Colorado’s two senators threw their support behind banking legislation for the marijuana industry.

DeGette, a Democrat, and Coffman, a Republican, said in interviews Thursday that they resurrected their legislation — it previously was introduced in 2012, 2013 and 2015 — because of the saber-rattling that’s coming from the new administration around drugs, crime and marijuana enforcement.

“It’s really important right now, obviously, because it would clarify what the federal law is,” DeGette said. “What would flow from that, I think, would be letting people have their bank accounts and ensuring...

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