Cannabis business owners harassed by federal prosecutors despite operating legally in their respective states would finally get some relief under a bipartisan bill introduced in the House on Wednesday.
The bill – introduced by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican from California – would amend the Controlled Substances Act to make an exception to federal law for states that have legalized cannabis in one form or another, according to the Huffington Post.
In a nutshell, the bill would bar the federal government from going after marijuana businesses, provided they are complying with state cannabis laws.
The bill has 11 co-sponsors from both sides of the political aisle
Recent actions by U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag and comments from a Department of Justice spokesman may have led to the proposal.
Haag is seeking to close and seize the assets of Oakland-based Harborside Health and Berkeley Patients Group, among the first large-scale dispensaries in the U.S.
DOJ spokesman Patrick Rodenbush said earlier this month that a spending bill signed by President Barack Obama prohibiting the department from spending money on prosecuting state-legal businesses doesn’t apply to individuals or organizations.
Rohrabacher and Rep. Sam Farr sent a letter to the DOJ, telling the agency to stop prosecuting legitimate cannabis businesses, after Rodenbush’s statements were made public.