A year ago, The Fountain Hill Times reported on the Fountain Hills Town Council getting ahead of the curve and passing an ordinance to deal with recreational cannabis use before the measure even passed at the state level. This shows true leadership.

Now, one year in, our congressional delegation has an opportunity to show the same kind of leadership at the federal level. I am referring to the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act introduced earlier this year. This bill would provide a framework for responsible regulation of the cannabis industry and put in place “best practices,” like they have with alcohol and tobacco sales and use. As we have seen here, legalization has already passed in many states, and most are sure to follow.

Currently, as each state passes cannabis legalization in one form or another, we are seeing a variety of approaches to the regulation of use, sales and the legal issues surrounding it. We would be better served if there was a national framework that would provide consumer protections, as well as bringing the industry into the national banking system, which would solve a myriad of problems.

As we have seen here in Fountain Hills, proactively approaching the problem solves a lot of the roadblocks that are sure to pop up down the road. Like it or not, legalized cannabis use is here to stay. I just hope our delegation gets on board to do it responsibly by passing the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act. We cannot just close our eyes at the federal level and hope it goes away.