Current Federal Cannabis Laws & Important Court Cases
Cannabis is still illegal under federal law. The federal government regulates drugs through the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) (21 U.S.C. § 811), not recognizing the difference between medical and recreational cannabis.
Pending Federal House Bills
|Bill Number||Bill Title||Summary||Status|
|HR 331||States’ Medical Marijuana Property Rights Act||To amend the Controlled Substances Act so as to exempt real property from civil forfeiture due to medical marijuana-related conduct that is authorized by state law.||Introduced|
|HR 714||LUMMA (Legitimate Use of Medicinal Marihuana Act)||To provide for the legitimate use of medicinal marihuana in accordance with the laws of the various states.||Introduced|
|HR 715||Compassionate Access Act||To provide for the rescheduling of marihuana, the medical use of marihuana in accordance with state law, and the exclusion of cannabidiol from the definition of marihuana, and for other purposes.||Introduced|
|HR 975||Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2017||To amend the Controlled Substances Act to provide for a new rule regarding the application of the act to marihuana, and for other purposes||Introduced|
|HR 1227||Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017||To limit the application of federal laws to the distribution and consumption of marihuana, and for other purposes. Calls for the deregulation of marijuana. Prohibits inter-state shipping of marijuana.||Introduced|
|HR 1810||Small Business Tax Equity Act of 2017||To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow deductions and credits relating to expenditures in connection with marijuana sales conducted in compliance with state law.||Introduced|
|HR 1820||The Veterans Equal Access Act||To authorize Department of Veterans Affairs health care providers to provide recommendations and opinions to veterans regarding participation in State marijuana programs.||Introduced|
|HR 1823||Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act||To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for the taxation and regulation of marijuana products, and for other purposes.||Introduced|
|HR 1824||Responsibly Addressing the Marijuana Policy Gap Act of 2017||To amend the Controlled Substances Act to reduce the gap between Federal and State marijuana policy, and for other purposes.||Introduced|
|HR 1841||Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act||To provide for the regulation of marijuana products, and for other purposes. (Full bill text not yet available,)||Introduced|
|HR 1952||Better Drive Act||To amend title 23, United States Code, with respect to the revocation or suspension of drivers’ licenses of individuals convicted of drug offenses, and for other purposes.||Introduced|
|HR 2020||Rescheduling legislation (official title TBA)||To provide for the rescheduling of marijuana into Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act.||Introduced|
|HR 2215||SAFE Banking Act||To create protections for depository institutions that provide financial services to cannabis-related legitimate businesses, and for other purposes.||Introduced|
|HR 2273||Charlotte’s Web Medical Access Act of 2017||A bill to amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude cannabidiol and cannabidiol-rich plants from the definition of marihuana, and for other purposes.||Introduced|
|HR 2528||Respect States and Citizens’ Rights Act of 2017||A bill to amend the Controlled Substances Act to provide that federal law shall not preempt state law.||Introduced|
|HR 2920||CARERS Act of 2017||A bill to extend the principle of federalism to State drug policy, provide access to medical marijuana, and enable research into the medicinal properties of marijuana.||Introduced|
|HR 3391||Medical Marijuana Research Act of 2017||To amend the Controlled Substances Act to make marijuana accessible for use by qualified marijuana researchers for medical purposes, and for other purposes.||Introduced|
|HR 3530||Industrial Hemp Farming Act||To amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marihuana, and for other purposes.||Introduced|
|HR 3534||State Marijuana And Regulatory Tolerance (SMART) Enforcement Act||To make the Controlled Substances Act inapplicable with respect to marihuana in States that have legalized marijuana and have in effect a statewide regulatory regime to protect certain Federal interests, and for other purposes.||Introduced|
Pending Federal Senate Bills
|Bill Number||Bill Title||Summary||Status|
|SB 776||Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act||This bill removes marijuana from the list of controlled substances and establishes requirements for the taxation and regulation of marijuana products.||Introduced|
|SB 777||Small Business Tax Equity Act of 2017||This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to exempt a trade or business that conducts marijuana sales in compliance with state law from the prohibition against allowing business-related tax credits or deductions for expenditures in connection with trafficking in controlled substances.||Introduced|
|SB 780||Responsibly Addressing the Marijuana Policy Gap Act of 2017||To amend the Controlled Substances Act to reduce the gap between Federal and State marijuana policy, and for other purposes.||Introduced|
|SB 1008||Therapeutic Hemp Medical Access Act of 2017||To amend the Controlled Substances Act to exclude cannabidiol and cannabidiol-rich plants from the definition of marijuana, and for other purposes.||Introduced|
|SB 1152||SAFE Banking Act||To create protections for depository institutions that provide financial services to cannabis-related legitimate businesses, and for other purposes.||Introduced|
|SB 1276||Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act||A bill to require the Attorney General to make a determination as to whether cannabidiol should be a controlled substance and listed in a schedule under the Controlled Substances Act and to expand research on the potential medical benefits of cannabidiol and other marijuana components.||Introduced|
|SB 1374||CARERS Act of 2017||To extend the principle of federalism to State drug policy, provide access to medical marijuana, and enable research into the medicinal properties of marijuana.||Introduced|
|SB 1576||Industrial Hemp Water Rights Act||A bill to provide that the owner of a water right may use the water for the cultivation of industrial hemp, if otherwise authorized by state law.||Introduced|
|SB 1689||Marijuana Justice Act||To amend the Controlled Substances Act to provide for a new rule regarding the application of the Act to marijuana, and for other purposes.||Introduced|
Federal Cannabis Reading
Marijuana is still a Schedule 1 drug under Federal Law. This is an excerpt from the DEA website on the current drug schedules:
Drugs, substances, and certain chemicals used to make drugs are classified into 5 distinct categories or schedules depending upon the drug’s acceptable medical use and the drug’s abuse or dependency potential. The abuse rate is a determinate factor in the scheduling of the drug; for example, Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse and the potential to create severe psychological and/or physical dependence. As the drug schedule changes– Schedule II, Schedule III, etc., so does the abuse potential– Schedule V drugs represents the least potential for abuse. […] Please note that a substance need not be listed as a controlled substance to be treated as a Schedule I substance for criminal prosecution. A controlled substance analogue is a substance which is intended for human consumption and is structurally or pharmacologically substantially similar to or is represented as being similar to a Schedule I or Schedule II substance and is not an approved medication in the United States. […]
DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration)
The mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is to enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States and bring to the criminal and civil justice system of the United States, or any other competent jurisdiction, those organizations and principal members of organizations, involved in the growing, manufacture, or distribution of controlled substances appearing in or destined for illicit traffic in the United States; and to recommend and support non-enforcement programs aimed at reducing the availability of illicit controlled substances on the domestic and international markets.
Chuck Rosenberg was appointed Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on May 13, 2015 by Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
Prior to joining DEA, Mr. Rosenberg served as the chief of staff and senior counselor to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Comey. Before rejoining the FBI, Chuck was a partner at a Washington, D.C. law firm. Prior to that, Chuck served as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, which is routinely entrusted with many of the nation’s most sensitive terrorism and national security prosecutions. As the chief federal law enforcement officer for the district, Chuck supervised the prosecution of all federal crimes and the litigation of all civil matters involving the federal government. From June 2005 until March 2006, Chuck served as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas – one of the largest districts in the nation with six offices, including one in Houston and three on the border of the United States and Mexico.
Congressional Cannabis Caucus
Representatives Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Don Young (AK-At Large), and Jared Polis (CO-02) on February 16, 2017 at the U.S. Capitol launched the Congressional Cannabis Caucus – the first of its kind.
Members of the bipartisan caucus say they plan to introduce a slew of legislation and resurrect bills from sessions’ past.
Below the video, click on the different members’ picture to see their cannabis rating and history.