Colorado set the standard for legalized cannabis

Senator Hickenlooper believes it is time for the federal government to follow Colorado’s lead and reform our cannabis laws. During his time as Governor, Colorado set the standard for legalizing cannabis. The results have been overwhelmingly positive, and now Congress must follow suit by removing cannabis from Schedule I classification.

The cannabis industry is spurring economic growth for Colorado and other states that have legal marijuana. Cannabis businesses are often small businesses that fuel local economies and create new jobs. We should extend Small Business Administration lending programs and other resources to cannabis businesses. The lack of banking services for the cannabis industry is a public safety issue that puts legitimate businesses at a disadvantage. We can fix this by passing the SAFE Banking Act, which has broad bipartisan support.

Communities of color have suffered disproportionately from cannabis prohibition. Senator Hickenlooper supports decriminalizing marijuana and sentencing relief for people – often Black men – who have been imprisoned for nonviolent marijuana crimes. We must also ensure that people of color can participate in the emerging cannabis marketplace.

Our current cannabis laws impair our ability to research the public health and safety impacts of cannabis. As part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, Senator Hickenlooper passed an amendment directing the federal government to recommend ways for researchers to access marijuana samples and study how marijuana impairs driving. This was one of the first provisions on THC to pass Congress and become law.

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