Lawmakers Introduce Bills to Overhaul Federal Marijuana Policies, Bolster Cannabis Industry

Two congressmen have unveiled separate bills today that would overhaul the federal government’s approach to marijuana and allow the industry to flourish in states that have legalized cannabis for medical or recreational use.

Here are the details:

– US Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) has introduced legislation that would regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol, meaning individual states could decide whether or not to legalize it without fear of federal intervention. Under the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, growers in states with cannabis laws would have to apply for a federal permit, and all businesses would have to abide by local marijuana rules to qualify.

The bill, according to a fact sheet released by Polis, also would remove marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act; ensure that federal law distinguishes between individuals who grow marijuana for personal use and individuals who are involved in commercial sale and distribution; and reassign jurisdiction of marijuana regulation from the Drug Enforcement Administration to the newly-renamed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana, Firearms and Explosives.

– US Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) has introduced a bill that calls for the government to implement a federal tax on marijuana sales, which could bring in an estimated $20 billion in taxes a year and would further legitimize the industry. The lawmaker also says he is seeking changes that would let MMJ dispensaries claim common business deductions and remove barriers that prevent cannabis centers from opening bank accounts.

To be clear, the proposals face some stiff resistance from other lawmakers, and it’s doubtful either one will pass this year – or anytime soon for that matter, according to some pundits. But the bills are a strong sign that attitudes toward marijuana are beginning to shift in the nation’s capital, and they will fuel the momentum created when Colorado and Washington State legalized cannabis in November.

5 comments on “Lawmakers Introduce Bills to Overhaul Federal Marijuana Policies, Bolster Cannabis Industry
  1. center for Compassion on

    Yes we cannabis. But seems they just denied the federal rescheduling again in DC where does that leave us….

    Reply
  2. Brian Cook on

    This is an excellent sign on the road of cannabis legalization in the United States! Although this legislation likely will not pass this go around, it’s filing and debate on the floor of congress shows a distinct change from the status qou, “head in sand” Washington DC politics. There are now 18 states and even the District of Columbia that have passed medical marijuana laws. Two of these states have legalized adult use of cannabis, which is mentioned in the article. The federal government is losing control while missing out on the tremendous economic benefits taxation of this commodity will bring. The economics of taxed and regulated cannabis are an honest solution to some of our critical budget deficits being experienced nationally. For the people out there that believe legalized marijuana says sends the wrong message to the children, it should be noted that it is far easier for children to obtain illegal marijuana at high school, than it is to obtain taxed and regulated alcohol. Regulations insure the distribution of the product, which occurs illegally upwards of $30 billion dollars a year, is handled professionally with strict age requirements to purchase and commercial industry purity and potency standardization. Jared Polis is really leading honest solutions to many of our problems in Washington DC today thinking ahead of many of his congressional colleagues. The win-win-win scenario of raising taxable revenue, creating jobs, and decreasing non-violent drug incarceration is a triple whammy for the economy in a time where we desperately need solutions. Alcohol causes far greater societal damage then cannabis ever could and the product was legally grown and produced here by the most upstanding citizens of the country including George Washington up until 1937. It’s time to harness the plants economic benefits again and right the wrong of cannabis prohibition!

    Reply
  3. Ty on

    This could potentially be great for our country. The income could help the debt problem. Many other countries have legalized the use of marijuana and have been smart about it, with age restrictions and public use, like alcohol. But this could be bad for users. Taxes will only raise the price we already pay for marijuana. Plus all the posers will soon be smoking just to “be cool” rather then smoking for relaxing, medical issues, stress relief, ECT.

    Reply

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