West Tennessee Congressman “Doesn’t Believe” in Cannabis Legalization
“Thank you for contacting me in regards to the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2017, H.R. 975. As your Representative, it is important for me to understand your ideas and concerns so I may better represent you and the 8th Congressional District of Tennessee. I truly value your views and input, and welcome this opportunity to respond.
As you know, H.R. 975 was introduced by Congressman Dana Rohrbacher (CA-48) on February 7, 2017. This piece of legislation would amend the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to ensure that the Act’s regulatory controls as well as civil and criminal penalties do not apply to a person who produces, possesses, distributes, or administers marijuana in compliance with state laws. Ultimately, this bill would prevent the federal government from criminally prosecuting individuals and/or businesses who are engaging in state-sanctioned activities specific to the possession, use, production, and distribution of marijuana. The CSA regulates the manufacture, importation, possession, use and distribution of certain regulated substances. Under the CSA, marijuana has been classified as a Schedule I illegal substance with no federally accepted use, including for medical purposes. You may be interested to know that H.R. 975 has been referred to the House Committees on Judiciary and Energy and Commerce where it awaits further review.
Like you, I believe in federalism and that each state has the right and power to enact its own laws that are not outlined or prohibited by the Federal Government, as dictated by the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
However, I do not believe in the legalization of narcotics. As a former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, I believe strongly in enforcing our nation’s drug laws and prosecuting those who break them. As such, while I am not a member of the aforementioned committees, I do look forward to reviewing their findings on H.R. 975. In addition, I will keep your thoughts on this issue in mind should further legislation come to the House floor.
Thank you again for letting me know your views on H.R. 975. If there is anything I can do for you, please do not hesitate to contact me in my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-4714 or visit my website at: