The National Conference of State Legislators just voted to remove cannabis from its Schedule 1 status of the Controlled Substances Act, the Marijuana Policy Project confirms to The Marijuana Times.
Today’s vote was only a committee vote. The full vote is slated for Thursday.
“Their vote has no force of law on the state or federal level,” said Hill lobbyist Dan Perrin, founder of the Harmonious Code Council. “They do, however, issue model legislation for states to adopt so that state laws will be consistent from state to state, and I do expect them to do that for this issue.”
The NCSL doesn’t take a stance on the issue on its website, instead, offering primary sources analyzing the topic from The Brookings Institute, the SCOTUS Blog, and Pew Research polls.
In a sidebar on their ‘deep dive’ into marijuana policy NCSL writes, “Marijuana is a Schedule I drug under federal law. It is defined as dangerous, has no currently accepted medical use and has a high potential for abuse. This complicates taxation, banking and other areas regulated by federal laws.”
The NCSL is caught between a rock and a hard place; as state legislators they have to answer to both their constituents and the federal government – which, at the moment, are at odds with one another over the plant.
The Harmonious Code Council is seeking to pass legislation to allows state marijuana law to exist in harmony with federal law. If passed, their efforts could result in the legalization of medical marijuana in the states that have voted to do so, freeing patients and providers from the fear of federal prosecution – while having an explicit ‘opt out’ option for states that do not wish to participate.
“Their vote has no force of law on the state or federal level, but reflects a consensus at the state legislator level consistent with our position,” said Perrin.
The Marijuana Policy Project tells The Marijuana Times to expect their comments on the vote later this week.