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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 12, 2018 11:46 AM
From: Senator Anthony H. Williams
To: All Senate members
Subject: Resolution Urging Congress to Reschedule Marijuana
In the near future, I will be introducing a resolution urging Congress to remove marijuana from Schedule I under the Controlled Substances Act.

To be clear, I am not personally calling for the wholesale legalization of marijuana either in Pennsylvania nor the nation as a whole. However, a national discussion has recently emerged regarding the status of marijuana legalization in approximately thirty states and whether those laws invalidate a citizens’ second amendment rights within the limits of federal law. Whether you support strict gun ownership laws or not, the debate has illuminated a pocket of hypocrisy regarding criminals and firearms.

Simply put, supporters of legalized marijuana – medical or recreational – choose to ignore federal law which makes marijuana possession illegal, preferring arguments of states’ rights to regulate commerce within their own borders. On the issue of gun ownership, they then dismiss federal law which bans the ownership of firearms by persons engaged in crime (such as, on the federal level, purchasing and possessing marijuana) but only when those crimes are favored. Undoubtedly, large majorities of marijuana supporters would also support gun restrictions for people who commit other federal crimes, including the possession of other Schedule I drugs – but they cannot have it both ways. Not to mention, there are twenty states where all marijuana use remains completely illegal.

To address this cognitive dissonance, I propose that those who support both state regulation of legal marijuana use and the rights of state-legal marijuana users to own firearms should agree that rescheduling marijuana at the federal level is the only sensible solution. Rather than asking Congress to provide some federally illegal drug users with favored status over others, Pennsylvania should seek to lift the veil of criminality from this state-sanctioned activity. I would hope that supporters of our state’s medical marijuana program would join me in supporting this important legislation.

Introduced as SR258