Green Report: Federal bills before Congress, Israel moves to decriminalize marijuana

Zach Bermejo

In the past few weeks there has been some uncertainties regarding marijuana on the federal level. Despite the uncertainties, legislation is being pushed forward in Congress with the help of the cannabis caucus.

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United States Capitol Hill. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/64/Capitol_at_Dusk_2.jpg

The cannabis caucus, to quickly recap, is a group in the House of Representatives that aims to protect the marijuana industry with proper legislation. Below is the list of members.

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Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon (founding member)
Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colorado
Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colorado (founding member)
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-California (founding member)
Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska (founding member)

Introduced, and reintroduced, before the 115th U.S. Congress are cannabis related bills, summarized below.

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United States Congress. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fb/Obama_Health_Care_Speech_to_Joint_Session_of_Congress.jpg

States’ Medical Marijuana Property Rights Act
H.R. 331
Sponsored by Rep. Barbara Lee, D-California

Summary: An amendment to the Controlled Substances Act that exempts real property from civil forfeiture due to medical marijuana-related conduct that is authorized by state law.

LUMMA (Legitimate Use of Medical Marihuana)
H.R. 714
Sponsored by Rep. H. Morgan Griffith, R-Virginia

Summary: Prohibits the federal government from preventing the prescription, possession, transportation, and distribution of marijuana for medical purposes in compliance with applicable state law. Would also reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule II drug.

Compassionate Access Act
H.R. 715
Sponsored by Rep. H. Morgan Griffith, R-Virginia

Summary: Calls for marijuana to be transferred from Schedule I to a different schedule, permits consideration of scientific research for medical marijuana, and excludes CBD from the definition of marijuana.

Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2017
H.R. 975
Sponsored by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-California

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Summary: Amends the Controlled Substances Act to provide that the Act’s regulatory controls and administrative, civil and criminal penalties do not apply to those that produce, possess, distribute, dispense, administer or deliver marijuana in compliance with state laws.

Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017
H.R. 1227
Sponsored by Rep. Thomas A. Garrett Jr., R-Virginia

Summary: Calls for the deregulation of marijuana. Limits the application of federal laws to the distribution and consumption of marijuana, and for other purposes.

Israel Decriminalization


A measure to reduce penalties for possession of marijuana in Israel has been approved.

Reports from Israeli media say that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet made the approval. Under the new policy, those caught recreationally consuming marijuana would pay a fine instead of facing criminal charges.

Netanyahu said that a “new enforcement policy” should be made “cautiously and in a controlled manner.”

According to the Haaretz daily, a committee would study ways to regulate the use of marijuana in Israel.

“This is an important step, but not the end of the road,” said opposition lawmaker Tamar Zandberg to Haaretz. “It sends a message that a million Israelis who consume marijuana aren’t criminals.”

First-time offenders caught using marijuana in public will be subject to a fine of about $250. The money will be used for drug rehabilitation and education. A second offense will be subject to a fine of about $500. A third offense may require rehab, education and a suspended driver’s license, and a fourth offense will be subject to prosecution and maybe even a prison term.

Collegian reporter Zach Bermejo can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @zach_bermejo.