Republican marijuana legalization bill aims to build bipartisan support for repealing federal prohibition; move endorsed by Rose Law Group cannabis attorney Jonathan Udell

By Jacob Sullum | Reason

When Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D–N.Y.) unveiled a “discussion draft” of a marijuana legalization bill last July, he said he wanted to start a conversation that would eventually produce legislation resolving the longstanding conflict between the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and state laws that allow medical or recreational use of cannabis. But his 163-page Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act was full of unnecessarily contentious provisions that seemed likely to alienate potential Republican allies. A bill unveiled today by Rep. Nancy Mace (R–S.C.) tries to address that problem by outlining a simpler and less burdensome approach that entails less federal involvement, lower taxes, and greater deference to state policy choices.

Mace’s bill, the States Reform Act, has five initial co-sponsors: Reps. Tom McClintock (R–Calif.), Peter Meijer (R–Mich.), Don Young (R–Alaska), Kenneth Buck (R–Colo.), and Brian Mast (R–Fla.). It is endorsed by Americans for Prosperity, the Cannabis Freedom Alliance, and the Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce.


“The States Reform Act introduced by Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) puts to bed a longstanding myth that marijuana reform is a purely progressive cause. As an increasing number of conservatives are coming to recognize, our federal government’s war on cannabis consumers infringes on states’ rights, wastes taxpayer money, and contributes to a bloated bureaucracy. Instead of accepting this untenable status quo, Rep. Mace’s bill would allow states to function as laboratories of democracy like our founders intended.”

Jonathan Udell, Rose Law Group Co-Chair of Cannabis Law