- Congress votes to protect consumers and cultivators from archaic federal laws
- New measure goes well beyond previous “Cole Memorandum”
- Vote passed by an overwhelming margin (267 to 165), with broad bipartisan support
It’s being hailed as “the most significant vote on marijuana reform policy that the House of Representatives has ever taken.”
On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to block the federal government from enforcing federal anti-cannabis laws in states that have already legalized cannabis usage, either medicinally or recreationally.
For both cannabis companies and investors, the historic vote provides both legal certainty and operational security with respect to cannabis commerce in legal U.S. states. This should translate into higher valuations for the cannabis stocks of U.S.-based companies.
Effectively, Congress is subordinating federal law beneath state law. It’s yet another indictment of the United States’ archaic and irrational drug laws, part of the now-discredited War on Drugs.
The new law goes well past the previous “Cole Memorandum”. It expressly provides legal protection for both (legal) cannabis cultivators and recreational cannabis consumers in states that have authorized such usage.
Justin Strekal, Political Director of NORML placed this vote into context.
“This is the most significant vote on marijuana reform policy that the House of Representatives has ever taken. Today’s action by Congress highlights the growing power of the marijuana law reform movement and the increasing awareness by political leaders that the policy of prohibition and criminalization has failed.”
Of note, the legal amendment received broad, bipartisan support. It was passed by an overwhelming margin of 267 to 165. In 2015, a vote on a similar measure failed by a nine-vote margin.
The measure was sponsored by both Republicans and Democrats. It reflects the clear opinion of the American people. Two-thirds now support full legalization (nationally), including majorities from all political stripes.