Mayors Band Together to Push for Federal Marijuana Policy Reform
A group of seven mayors from major U.S. cities have banded together to push for federal marijuana policy reform. Representing Denver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and West Sacramento, all cities with legal marijuana, the Mayors want the drug removed from the controlled substances list.
The mayoral coalition sponsored a resolution at the Conference of Mayors in Boston. In addition to removing cannabis from the list of federally illegal drugs, it calls for Congress to take steps to support local governments in legalizing marijuana.
Other actions in the resolution include allowing marijuana employers to take the same tax deductions allowed for other businesses; extending medical marijuana access for U.S. veterans and providing guidance to banks that handle marijuana accounts.
The coalition believes their experience in successfully implementing local marijuana programs in their cities could be of benefit to Congress. They urge Congress to recognize that every state will eventually legalize marijuana, and take measures to assure those laws are implemented safely and effectively.
The resolution was approved on Monday by the conference, giving the coalition permission to enact their plan. The group of seven mayors, along with multiple other mayors who pledged their support but did not sponsor the resolution, will begin drafting federal policy recommendations to submit to Congress next year.
Meanwhile, a federal bill to protect state marijuana programs was introduced on June 7. The bill secures states' rights to regulate marijuana within their borders while establishing a nationwide age minimum of 21 years on the sale of non-medical marijuana.