"I would prefer a proposed federal marijuana policy reform bill over the current system of conflicting state and federal laws", the statement came from Attorney General William Barr on Wednesday on the hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Barr was asked to share his views regarding the STATE (Strengthening the Tenth Amendment through Entrusting States) Act. The STATE Act was introduced by bipartisan group lawmakers last week. As per this Act, the Federal Controlled Substance Act would be amended to exempt all those marijuana-related activities that are in compliance with the local tribal, territory, or state laws.
Barr expressed his views by saying that he has not yet reviewed the bill as it is not made public yet and is only being circulated internally in the Justice Department. But, by looking at it I can say, "would much rather that approach - the approach taken by the STATES Act." He further added, "The situation that I think is intolerable and which I’m opposed to is the current situation we’re in, and I would prefer one of two approaches rather than where we are. Personally, I would still favor one uniform federal rule against marijuana, but if there is not sufficient consensus to obtain that, then I think the way to go is to permit a more federal approach so states can make their own decisions within the framework of the federal law and so we’re not just ignoring the enforcement of federal law.”
Reacting to the statement of the Attorney General, Steve Hawkins, who is the executive director of the MPP, said, "We are pleased to hear the AG would prefer the approach taken by the STATES Act rather than maintaining the current status quo."
He further stated that it is about time that Congress should address these issues and try to ease the tension between state and federal cannabis laws. For years we have been advocating that there is a need to change state cannabis laws, it is about time that the federal government should start respecting those reforms.
Steve further added, "A strong and steadily growing majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana, and an even stronger majority believe the federal government should respect state legalization laws. This is an idea whose time has come, which is evidenced by it being echoed by officials at the highest levels of government."