A dozen US governors ask congressional leaders to back federal marijuana reform

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A bipartisan coalition of 12 governors from states that have legalized medical or recreational cannabis sent a letter to congressional leaders, asking for their support in getting a major marijuana reform bill through the U.S. House and Senate.

The governors of California, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont and Washington state are backing the STATES Act – which would codify in federal law that marijuana regulations are to be left to the states instead of the federal government – while also seeking protections on banking and tax issues for the MJ industry.

“The STATES Act is not about whether marijuana should be legal or illegal; it is about respecting the authority of states to act, lead and respond to the evolving needs and attitudes of their citizens,” the governors wrote.

The letter also expressed support for the SAFE Banking Act, which was approved in March by a House committee.

That measure could guarantee banking access for state-legal MJ companies by providing protection from prosecution to financial institutions that service cannabis businesses.