State lawmakers are increasing pressure on the federal government to respect local marijuana laws.
Legislators in at least three states voted for measures calling on Congress to amend federal prohibition laws this week.
In California, the Senate Public Safety Committee unanimously approved a resolution on Tuesday urging Congress to reschedule marijuana to ease "legal research and development" and to allow "for the legal commerce of marijuana or cannabis so that businesses dealing with marijuana or cannabis can use traditional banks or financial institutions for their banking needs, which would result in providing a legal vehicle for those businesses to pay their taxes."
Also on Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Senate State Government Committee advanced a resolution calling on Congress to renew the state medical marijuana protections known as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment. That measure, which is current law but it set to expire on April 28 along with funding for the federal government as a whole, prevents the U.S. Department of Justice from spending money to interfere with state medical cannabis laws.
And the same day in Georgia, the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee voted in favor of a resolution that urges Congress to amend the Controlled Substances Act "so as to reclassify marijuana so that its medical benefits and effects may be further researched."
The three resolutions advancing this week are just the latest pushes from state lawmakers to modernize federal cannabis laws.
The National Conference of State Legislatures, which represents lawmakers from all 50 states, passed a resolution at its meeting last August calling on the federal government to remove marijuana from Schedule I "thus enabling financial institutions the ability to provide banking services to cannabis related businesses."