Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., and Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., are demanding the “McClintock-Polis amendment” be included in the next government funding bill. A vote on the next government funding bill must occur before Jan. 19 or the federal government will shut down.
The McClintock-Polis amendment prevents the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) from prosecuting anyone for using, selling, or possessing marijuana in compliance with state laws - protecting the legal marijuana industry across the country from federal interference. The McClintock-Polis amendment has been offered three times.
Nearly 70 bipartisan members of Congress signed on to a letter asking leadership to attach the amendment to the next government funding bill. The letter reads, in part:
“[T]he measures adopted by states such as California, Oregon and Colorado are aimed solely at intrastate commerce and as such should not be interfered with.”
“For several years, I have introduced a bipartisan amendment with Rep. McClintock, which would prohibit the Dept. of Justice from using federal resources to interfere with legal medical and recreational marijuana activities. Now with Attorney General Sessions’s shortsighted announcement, I am thrilled to welcome nearly 70 members who are asking for the amendment to be attached to the government-funding bill,” said Polis. “It would be a temporary, but urgent and necessary fix, as I continue to push for passage of my Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, which would finally lift the federal prohibition on marijuana.”
In Colorado, the legal marijuana industry has created 23,000 jobs and generated $200 million in tax revenue. Polis has been communicating with various stakeholders about a temporary and permanent solution for the industry.
“We work with hundreds of marijuana business owners, and they are all operating in a state of constant uncertainty, not knowing if they’ll be forced to close their doors at any moment, or worse yet face prosecution. The cannabis industry is relying on Congress to step up, do its job, and change the laws around cannabis. America wants this, and it is time to act. As an entrepreneur himself, Congressman Polis stands up and defends small businesses who are creating jobs, paying taxes, and operating legally and compliantly. We need Congress to do everything possible to provide the cannabis industry with the certainty it needs to thrive,” said Patrick Rea, CEO and CO-Founder of CanopyBoulder.
Polis, along with three other members of Congress, launched the bipartisan Cannabis Caucus in 2017. The Caucus is a forum for members of the U.S. House of Representatives to discuss, learn, and work together to establish a better and more rational approach to federal cannabis policy.
Polis has been a longtime advocate for updating federal marijuana policy. He has introduced the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act. This bill would remove marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug; transition marijuana oversight from the jurisdiction of the Drug Enforcement Agency to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and regulate marijuana like alcohol by inserting it into the section of the U.S. Code that governs “intoxicating liquors.” Last April, Polis drafted an article pleading with President Trump to leave marijuana alone.