Reaffirmation of Position on Marijuana


Reaffirmation of Position on Marijuana


WHEREAS, by passage of the United States Controlled Substances Act approximately 50 years ago Congress made the judgment that marijuana is a schedule I controlled substance under the Act; and

WHEREAS, by its placement of marijuana within schedule I, United States Congress determined that marijuana has a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use of the substance under medical supervision; and

WHEREAS, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has evaluated the scientific evidence and determined that marijuana has no safe and effective medical use, and, therefore, marijuana must remain classified as a schedule I controlled substance in the United States; and

WHEREAS, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), has stated that marijuana use distorts perception, impairs coordination, causes difficulty with thinking and problem-solving, and disrupts both learning and memory; and

WHEREAS, NIDA has observed that with respect to workers, marijuana smoking is related to increased absences, tardiness, accidents, workers’ compensation claims, and job turnover; and

WHEREAS, NIDA has recognized that “[r]esearch from different areas is converging on the fact that regular marijuana use by young people can have long-lasting negative impact on the structure and function of their brains.” With respect to those who begin smoking marijuana heavily in their teens, a loss of up to 8 IQ points may be suffered and that this loss in IQ will not be reversed by marijuana smokers who quit as adults; and

WHEREAS, NIDA concluded that marijuana is addictive, contrary to public misconception; and

WHEREAS, despite federal prohibition and the FDA’s and NIH’s findings, 10 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for personal or “recreational” use as of February 2019; and

WHEREAS, 33 states, along with the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico, authorize marijuana for medical use as of February 2019; and

WHEREAS, 46 states, along with the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico, have enacted laws allowing the medically authorized use of marijuana or marijuana extracts as of February 2019; and

WHEREAS, state marijuana legalization laws are in clear conflict with the federal Controlled Substances Act, which should control under the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution; and

WHEREAS, the United Nations’ International Narcotics Control Board determined that the enactment of marijuana legalization laws by these states is in violation of international drug control treaties; and

WHEREAS, in August 2013, then Deputy Attorney General James Cole issued a memorandum that announced that the United States Department of Justice would not challenge marijuana legalization policies enacted by several states; and

WHEREAS, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), in its Resolution in Support for the Rescinding of the Cole Memo previously stated, and states here again that the decision to not challenge state marijuana laws “ignored the connection between marijuana and crime, the enforcement problems created by trafficking marijuana across state, local, and tribal borders, as well as the adverse economic and social costs that marijuana legalization causes”; and

WHEREAS, the maze of varying state-specific marijuana legislation and recent congressional action legalizing domestic hemp have created significant challenges and confusion for law enforcement personnel attempting to enforce the nation’s drug laws. Now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the IACP reaffirms its past position on the dangers and risks posed by cannabis sativa l; its long-standing opposition to the legalization and/or decriminalization of marijuana; and its support of the United States Attorneys’ ability to effectively investigate and prosecute those individuals involved in the production and sale of marijuana in violation of federal law.




Submitted by: Narcotics & Dangerous Drugs Committee


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