Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., said that a personal experience helped inspire her to introduce a bill that would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level.
Mace, in her first term, told Fox News that her bill would not legalize marijuana in every state but is about “state sovereignty.”
“Federal prohibition isn’t working and states know it. 47 have spoken and want Washington to get out of the way on #cannabis. Here’s @reason take on #StatesReformAct,” Mace tweeted Tuesday with a link to a story on Reason.com.
Although many fellow Republicans do not agree with Mace’s efforts, four are bill co-sponsors. They are Reps. Brian Mast of Florida, Tom McClintock of California, Peter Meijer of Michigan, and Don Young of Alaska.
Mace told Fox News she turned to cannabis after antidepressant medications worsened her “emotion and feelings of depression” after suffering a traumatic event at a young age.
“I was raped,” Mace told Fox News, describing the “physical, mental, and emotional” trauma she suffered from that event.
“I did cannabis when I was going through this,” Mace said on Fox News. “Doing that really relieved some of the anxiety that I had and helped me get through some very tough times in my life. It was an extraordinarily difficult place for me to be. My world fell apart when that happened to me.”
Mace said she can relate to other people, such as veterans suffering from PTSD, when they express the pain they endure.
“I feel that pain because I’ve been through similar pain,” she said, referencing the “silent victims who don’t have a way out.”
Mace, who lost a family member to overdose, also talked about the country’s opioid crisis.
“These things happen so often, and they effect every family and every kind of community, no matter the color of your skin or the amount of money you make,” Mace told Fox News. “It’s really past time that the federal government just get out of the way, provide a tax, tax it and regulate it, and let states legally do what they’ve already been doing for almost two and a half decades.”
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 47 states have some type of legal cannabis program, for recreational use or medical use. Idaho, Kansas, and Nebraska are the only states that do not have at least some form of legalization.