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Colorado Rep. Jared Polis Proposes Amendment to Protect Cannabis-Legal States

The amendment would keep Attorney General Jeff Sessions' hands off the legal pot industry

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Colorado Representative Jared Polis has announced a new plan to prevent the federal government from raiding marijuana businesses in Colorado and other cannabis-legal states. Polis has proposed attaching an amendment to Congress' annual spending bill for the Department of Justice that would prevent the government from spending federal funds to prosecute states that have legalized marijuana.

Polis said that if the amendment is successful “and it becomes law, no attorney general — despite what they might want to do — would be able to use the funds that Congress gave them to crack down on activities that are legal under state law with regard to marijuana. When those funds run out and there’s a new appropriations bill the next year, we’d attach the same language.”

This week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that he rejects “the idea that America will be a better place if marijuana is sold in every corner store...Our nation needs to say clearly once again that using drugs will destroy your life.” Polis called out Sessions' “ridiculous” claims of pot in every store as a “false fact” that is “driving potential crack downs that could hurt everyday Coloradans as well as those who work in the marijuana industry.”

The McClintock-Polis Amendment was suggested once before, in 2015, and was rejected by a 206-222 vote. “I’m very confident that with more states than ever legalizing marijuana this last election and with a lot of new members of congress who are likely more supportive of marijuana law reform than older members we’ll have a majority and pass this amendment when we have a chance to bring it to the floor,” Polis said.