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Congress Should Lead On Cannabis Justice

The 116th Congress presents the best hope to date for cannabis reform

Last month, as the 115th Congress reached its end, the last major bill that the House and Senate passed was the FIRST STEP Act, a significant criminal justice reform bill that reduces prison time and aims to reduce repeat offenses.

In the lead-up to the bill’s final passage in the Senate, which was by an overwhelming majority, Senator Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) attempted to bring cannabis into the conversation when he introduced an amendment attaching language from the bipartisan STATES Act that he and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) had introduced in June.

In a press release announcing his gambit to attach the amendment, Gardner said, “I can think of no better legislation to attach the STATES Act to than the FIRST STEP Act. While we are debating criminal justice reform, we need to address the threat of prosecution by the federal government for people in Colorado that are operating legal businesses under state law.”

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