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Respect Our Authority on Cannabis, Alaska House Tells Feds

March 20, 2018
State lawmakers in Juneau (a portion of which is pictured here) are considering a bill that asks the federal government to keep its hands off Alaska's legal, regulated cannabis industry.

JUNEAU, Alaska — The Alaska House is asking the federal government not to interfere in state-authorized cannabis businesses.

The nonbinding resolution now goes to the Senate, where it may not pass so easily.

The House voted 38-0 Monday to pass a nonbinding resolution asking the feds to respect Alaska’s authority to regulate cannabis use, production and distribution.

The resolution also urges the federal government to reconsider its listing of cannabis as a controlled substance.

The measure next goes to the Senate, which has resisted consideration of a formal statement offered by Democratic Sen. Berta Gardner that pushes back against a shift in federal enforcement policy on the drug under U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

In January, Sessions rescinded the Cole memo, the Obama-era guidance that limited federal enforcement of the drug. That 2013 guidance allowed the adult-use cannabis industry to flourish in states that have legalized marijuana. 

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  • Now is the time for political leadership – from all quarters – on cannabis. Descheduling cannabis entirely should take the federal government out of the cannabis regulation business and leave that to the States. This would have the benefit of allowing individuals to live in Free or Prohibition States by voting with their feet.

  • Mo Jo

    The Feds have absolutely ZERO Constitutional authority to regulate any drug except Alcohol, and it took a Constitutional Amendment to give them that power. When are the States going to learn that the 10th Amendment is a brutal blunt force weapon that defeats all Federal argments in one swift move? Just remind the Feds that we allow them to regulate things like Uranium and Heroin because it makes sense, but clearly the States retain the Constitutional power to themselves to regulate Cannabis.