This week, the First Step Act, a comprehensive, bi-partisan criminal justice reform bill, was passed by the United States Senate by a vote of 87-12. This bill is an important bill, reforming our criminal justice system with an opportunity for treatment, recovery, redemption, and rehabilitation. SAM shares these goals, and they form the basis for our own criminal justice reform proposals.
However, Colorado Senator and darling of the marijuana industry Cory Gardner attempted to use this important piece of legislation as a vehicle to federally legalize marijuana by attaching his STATES Act bill as an amendment to the First Step Act. Thankfully, Senator Chuck Grassley shot down Gardner’s attempt calling it “back-door legalization” and stripped the amendment from the bill.
SAM President and founder, Dr. Kevin Sabet sent a letter to Senate Leadership condemning Senator Gardner’s underhanded attempt to aid the marijuana industry. You can read Dr. Sabet’s letter here.
Senator Gardner, who has been showered in donations from Big Marijuana — an industry now receiving billions of dollars in investment from Big Tobacco and pharmaceutical companies, has vowed to continue his attempts to federally legalize marijuana. Likewise, SAM will continue to point out that his position runs counter to public health and safety and is widely opposed by almost all medical associations.