The American Bar Association-ABA passed a resolution on Monday calling on Congress to let states pass and implement their own marijuana laws. The resolution also wants marijuana to be rescheduled or descheduled by the federal government.
This resolution was adopted during this year’s annual general meeting of the ABA held in San Francisco. While the proponents of the resolution waived their time to talk about that resolution, the resolution was passed without any audible opposition to it.
The ABA emphasized that it didn’t favor or disagree with marijuana legalization, but their chief concern was the untenable contradictions between the federal marijuana laws and the marijuana policies of the states that have opted to legalize the drug for medical and/or recreational use.
The members specifically refer to the complications that state-legal marijuana businesses face on a daily basis, such as being targets because of operating in cash alone. The companies also pay very high federal taxes since the tax-deductible expenses that other businesses enjoy aren’t applicable to marijuana businesses.
The association of 411,000 members therefore urged Congress to pass a law that exempts any marijuana cultivation, processing, manufacture, distribution, and use from the Controlled Substances Act as long as such activity complies with state law.
The resolution of ABA also points out that the spending riders and the guidance memos written by the Department of Justice are not enough to address the regulatory uncertainty. For example, the spending riders have to be revisited each year, and it isn’t clear for how long they will keep being approved. A clear example is the uncertainty surrounding the spending rider covering recreational marijuana. The marijuana industry doesn’t know whether the Senate will endorse that DOJ spending rider, so uncertainty remains.
The American Bar Association also wants the federal government to support marijuana research so that states and the federal government make science-based decisions on the drug. ABA points out that while the DEA called for applications from organizations and companies which could provide research-grade marijuana, no action has been taken three years after the applications were submitted.
The resolution indicates that while the body of knowledge about marijuana, such as its medicinal properties, has grown from the time marijuana was placed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), no step has been taken to adjust the scheduling of the drug and yet other substances, such as alcohol, have been removed. Consequently, the revision of the scheduling of marijuana is overdue, according to the ABA.
Analysts are convinced that industry players like Chemistree Technology Inc. (CSE: CHM) (OTCQB: CHMJF) and ChineseInvestors.com Inc. (OTCQB: CIIX) fully agree with the resolution passed by the American Bar Association, but they also wonder how long it will take lawmakers to finally act on this matter.
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