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I believe that our federal laws should not obstruct state reforms. The previous chair of the House Rules Committee, Pete Sessions of Texas, stifled dozens of cannabis-related bills from reaching the House floor.

Legislation that would have:

  • bolstered legal protections for medical marijuana patients and industry members;
  • prevented the Department of Veterans Affairs from discriminating against veterans using medical marijuana;
  • and allowed state-approved cannabis companies to access baking services.

That standard will not continue in 2019. As I said last November, I will allow the House to debate legislation on marijuana reform.

Right now, there is a conflict between federal law and the majority of states. Marijuana is illegal under U.S. law, but most states have legalized the plant for either medicinal or recreational purposes.

While citizens have taken the initiative to reverse this ban on the state level, this patchwork approach has made it difficult for those participating in the cannabis industry to access financial institutions, many forced to deal in cash.

House committees are already moving legislation forward to resolve the conflict between state-passed marijuana bills and the federal prohibition on marijuana. As Chairman of the Rules Committee, I look forward to moving those bills to the House floor, where I believe we will have a strong, bipartisan vote in the coming weeks.

More soon,


Posted on April 25, 2019.

Meet Jim

Jim McGovern represents the 2nd District of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He has earned a national reputation as a tireless advocate for his district and as a champion for food security, human rights, campaign finance reform, social justice and peace.

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