Two bipartisan bills to end the federal prohibition on cannabis and study the effects of legal marijuana were introduced in the House of Representatives on Thursday by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat from Hawaii, and Rep. Don Young, an Alaska Republican. The first bill, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2019, would remove cannabis from the federal list of controlled substances and allow states to enact their own regulations. The Marijuana Data Collection Act of 2019 would mandate research to study the effects of legal medical and recreational cannabis, including the impact on state revenues, public health, substance abuse and opioids, criminal justice, and employment.
Gabbard and Young were joined by groups advocating for reform of federal cannabis policy in front of the Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Thursday to announce the legislation. At the press conference, Gabbard said that the prohibition of marijuana has done more harm than good.
“Our archaic marijuana policies– based on stigma and outdated myths–have been used to wage a failed War on Drugs,” Gabbard said. “Families have been torn apart, communities left fractured, and over-criminalization and mass incarceration have become the norm. In 2017 alone, our country arrested 600,000 people just for possession