Introduced by Virginia’s 5th District Congressman Tom Garrett, the legislation is called the “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017.”
Rep. Garrett said in a statement:
‘I have long believed justice that isn’t blind, isn’t justice. Statistics indicate that minor narcotics crimes disproportionately hurt areas of lower socio-economic status and what I find most troubling is that we continue to keep laws on the books that we do not enforce. Virginia is more than capable of handling its own marijuana policy, as are states such as Colorado or California.
‘This step allows states to determine appropriate medicinal use and allows for industrial hemp growth, something that will provide a major economic boost to agricultural development in Southside Virginia. In the coming weeks, I anticipate introducing legislation aimed at growing the hemp industry in Virginia, something that is long overdue.’
The bill was originally introduced in 2015 by Bernie Sanders, but died.
This announcement comes as the marijuana industry waits to see what Attorney General Jeff Sessions does in his role, as an outspoken opponent against cannabis. On Monday, he told reporters: “I don’t think America is going to be a better place when people of all ages, and particularly young people, are smoking pot. I believe it’s an unhealthy practice, and current levels of THC in marijuana are very high compared to what they were a few years ago, and we’re seeing real violence around that.”