While the U.S. Supreme Court was handing down its string of blockbuster rulings this week on the scope of federal laws, the nation’s mayors were developing their own guidance for the feds. During the annual convening of city mayors, hundreds of city leaders unanimously endorsed a resolution calling on the federal government to back off federal enforcement of marijuana law. The resolution also calls for Congress to amend the Controlled Substances Act to “allow states to set their own marijuana policies without federal interference.”
The resolution notes both past crackdowns on marijuana in states with medical marijuana laws, and the potential for future, expanded crackdowns once Colorado and Washington implement their measures to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana.
“The bipartisan resolution we passed today simply asks the federal government to give us time to implement these new policies properly and without interference,” Aurora, Colorado Mayor Steve Hogan said. “Cities and states across the country are enacting forward-thinking reforms to failed marijuana prohibition policies, and for the federal government to stand in the way is wasteful and contrary to the wishes of the American people.”
The resolution also cites discriminatory arrests for marijuana, the failure of costly War on Drugs in curbing drug cartels or gang violence, and the contrasting benefit to drug cartels of profits from illicit marijuana — estimated at 60 percent of their revenue. It laments that, “federal agencies have regularly interfered with the operation of state medical marijuana laws — despite President Obama’s comments that such actions are ‘not a good use of our resources’ and his administration’s pledge not ‘to circumvent state laws on this issue’.”
Several bipartisan bills have been introduced in Congress that would eliminate federal penalties for those actions that comply with state marijuana laws, and regulate marijuana like alcohol in those states legalize pot.