Dec 11 2023

Let States Decide

As of November of this year, almost four-fifths of all states have legalized cannabis for medical use.  That includes Florida, where an overwhelming majority supported the medical use of cannabis in a 2016 referendum.

While more states are moving to shape their own cannabis policies, the remnants of the federal government’s outdated laws are prohibiting the state governments from making their own policies that reflect people’s preferences.

The Constitution is clear: all powers not explicitly given to the federal government must remain with the states.  The Founding Fathers did not mention “cannabis” anywhere in the document, and that should be enough for the federal government to reverse course and allow the states to set these policies.

That is why I cosponsored the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act, which would make sure that each state can exercise its right to determine for its citizens the best approach to cannabis.  This bill would allow for the federal government to instead focus its energy on issues like protecting public safety, preventing individuals under the age of 21 from consuming cannabis products, and ensuring veterans in legal states who use cannabis won’t be denied federal benefits.

Cannabis should be an issue where 50 states are allowed to develop 50 solutions that best fit the needs of their citizens.  As the co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Cannabis Caucus, that’s what I’ll continue to advocate for.