U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner moved this week to give states the right to regulate the medicinal or recreational marijuana industry within its borders.
Gardner authored an amendment for consideration with criminal justice legislation titled First Step Act, which goes before the Senate Monday for debate.
The states’ rights argument should prove tempting to conservative Republicans, while most Democrats and Libertarians Republicans are already on board for legalization.
Gardner noted this weekend marks the 227th anniversary of the 10th Amendment’s ratification preserving states’ rights, and says his legislation will honor that milestone.
“While we are debating criminal justice reform, we need to address the threat of prosecution by the federal government for people in Colorado that are operating legal businesses under state law,” Gardner said.
Gardner cited polls that show nearly 65 percent of the county support legalization, while 93 percent support medical marijuana, and 47 states now allow some form of legalized cannabis.