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SJR-10 Cannabis: federal schedules.(2019-2020)

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SJR10:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Joint Resolution
No. 10


Introduced by Senator Bradford

July 02, 2019


Relative to cannabis.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SJR 10, as introduced, Bradford. Cannabis: federal schedules.
This measure would urge the Congress and the President of the United States to pass and sign legislation that would remove marijuana or cannabis and its derivatives from the federal drug schedules.
Fiscal Committee: NO  

WHEREAS, In 2016, the majority of California voters passed Proposition 64, the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis for adult use; and
WHEREAS, Californians have engaged directly in lawmaking through the initiative process and have demonstrated on multiple occasions the will of the people to legalize cannabis for both medicinal and adult use purposes in the state; and
WHEREAS, Thirty-three states, the District of Colombia, Puerto Rico, and Guam have all adopted laws allowing legal access to cannabis; and
WHEREAS, Cannabis is presently classified by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency as a Schedule I drug. This means that the possession, sale, or utilization can trigger federal prosecution, including federal forfeiture provisions; and
WHEREAS, Schedule I controlled substances are defined in United States Code as drugs or other substances that have a high potential for abuse, have no currently accepted medical use, and lack an accepted safety for use under medical supervision; and
WHEREAS, Cannabis has limited potential for abuse, has established medical benefits, and is safe in relation to other controlled substances; and
WHEREAS, Over 650,000 Americans were arrested for a violation of laws prohibiting cannabis in 2017. Ninety percent of those were arrested for mere possession; and
WHEREAS, People who are Black or Latino make up nearly 47 percent of those arrested for drug law violations, despite making up just 31.5 percent of the United States population; and
WHEREAS, People of color encounter various social and economic disparities when attempting to enter into the cannabis market, such as barriers to acquiring loans and capital; and
WHEREAS, The United States Food and Drug Administration has approved cannabinoids for use in treating individuals who experience seizures from certain forms of epilepsy, as well as symptoms associated with cancer chemotherapy; and
WHEREAS, The entirety of health benefits associated with cannabis remain uncertain since cannabis and its derivatives cannot be legally studied by research institutions while it remains a Schedule I drug; and
WHEREAS, California’s regulated cannabis industry is projected to represent almost 30 percent of all legal cannabis sales in the United States, contributing billions of dollars to the state’s economy and bolstering tourism; and
WHEREAS, Concerns about the criminality and forfeiture provisions in federal law impede traditional banking institutions from doing business with potential clients who cultivate, research, sell, or utilize cannabis or its derivatives, thereby making cannabis commerce very difficult; and
WHEREAS, Simply moving cannabis to a less restrictive schedule would not protect existing state medical cannabis programs or change federal penalties, nor would it prevent people from being arrested and punished for using cannabis; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate and the Assembly of the State of California, jointly, That the Legislature urges the Congress of the United States to pass legislation that would remove marijuana or cannabis and its derivatives from the federal drug schedules; and be it further
Resolved, That the Legislature urges the President of the United States to sign such legislation; and be it further
Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the President and Vice President of the United States, to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, to the Majority Leader of the United States Senate, to each Senator and Representative from California in the Congress of the United States, and to the author for appropriate distribution.