Federal Bills to Legalize Marijuana, Regulate Sales in U.S. to Be Introduced Today

Federal Bills to Legalize Marijuana, Regulate Sales in U.S. to Be Introduced Today

WASHINGTON, DC —  Representatives from Oregon and Colorado will introduce two historic bills federal marijuana reform bills to Congress on Tuesday, one that would end the federal prohibition of marijuana and allow states to determine their own policies, and the other that would legalize, regulate and tax marijuana at the federal level.

U.S. Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) will introduce a bill that  would end the federal prohibition of marijuana and allow states to determine their own marijuana policies without the threat of federal interference.

Rep. Polis’ bill would set up a regulatory process similar to existing alcohol regulatory framework for states that choose to legalize marijuana.

Under Rep. Polis’ bill, oversight of marijuana would be removed from the Drug Enforcement Administration and given to the newly renamed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana and Firearms, and it would remain illegal to bring marijuana from a state where it’s legal to one where it isn’t.

Polis’ bill is based on a legalization measure introduced in 2011 by  former Reps. Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Ron Paul of Texas.

Meanwhile, Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) intends to introduce a bill that would tax marijuana at the federal level. The bill would create a federal marijuana excise tax of 50% on the “first sale” of marijuana, typically, from a grower to a processor or retailer.

It also would tax marijuana producers and importers $1,000 annually, and other marijuana businesses $500.

Both Representatives, along with drug policy reform advocates, will discuss these measures at a teleconference this afternoon.

When residents of Colorado and Washington voted to end their state’s prohibition on marijuana last November, it was a watershed moment for our nation’s move towards sane marijuana laws,” said NORML Communications Director Erik Altieri, who will be speaking at today’s teleconference.

“But there remains a lingering conflict between state and federal law. These historic measures seek to resolve this conflict and empower states to dictate their own marijuana policies, without fear of federal incursion. NORML would like to thank the Congressmen for taking this brave step forward and encourages their colleagues in Congress to join them in calling for sensible marijuana law reform.”

Additionally, Reps. Blumenauer and Polis will release a report entitled “The Path Forward: Rethinking Federal Marijuana Policy” which outlines their perspective on marijuana policy and provides some background on marijuana regulation and opportunities for action.

The report states that “it is time for Congress to allow states and voters to decide how they want to treat marijuana. The current system is broken. It wastes resources and destroys individual lives, in turn damaging families and entire communities. It is past time to take action and stop this tragic waste in the future.”

The congressmen have also established the Sensible Drug Policy Working Group which will provide a forum for members of Congress who are working on related issues and hope to advance legislation.

 

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  • firetheliberals

    I applaud these representatives for their efforts but the bill to tax weed at the federal level will undermine state’s efforts to control the price to stop black market sales.

    Frankly, the feds have no business taxing weed.

    • Banjo Brad

      I understand and agree with what you said in large part however I think we need to get this across the line sort of speak and tinker with it later. Stopping people from being locked up for cannabis is a long time coming and needs to happen now . And besides , If the state you live in says you can grow it then that is one way to avoid cost . Any law that says you can have cannabis but not grow it should be looked at as a bad law.

      • firetheliberals

        Sorry BB for my context. I am from washington, where we don’tget hassled anymore..

    • MousieMan

      The federal government has no business taxing a non-necessity? That’s like saying they don’t have a right to tax Jewelry and everything else that we don’t need, leaving same amount of money taxed from the rich as the poor. That’s just about saying 50% of the poor’s money is being removed for taxes while 5% of the rich’s getting removed.

      • firetheliberals

        D-uh, we don’t have federal sales tax dude, only income tax.

    • Mike

      While I understand the diverse passions of people who join together in working to legalize marijuana, we need to be careful about applying lines that shouldn’t be crossed elsewhere to liberating the sacrament.

      Banjo Brad sums it up pretty well on how to split this gnat hair: “Any law that says you can have cannabis but not grow it should be looked at as a bad law.”

      I’m not going to worry about taxes so long as I can grow. And in following good models, we should look at this aspect of precedent already established with beer and wine. No need for a permit or tax for home use up to some number that could be considered a level the average person will likely never exceed for personal use. IIRC, that 500 gallons of beer or wine for each person in a household.

      The whole point of legalizing weed is to get the government out of the lives of ordinary people. Putting that limit at say, 250 ounces, sounds like a reasonable number to me. That way the police have absolutely no reason to go into anyone’s house, except if it’s obvious there’s the same large scale production that triggers potential enforcement against beer and wine producers.

      Small scale, personal transactions should be explicitly permitted in some form. Why shouldn’t my good neighbor, who admires my crop, be permitted to buy into it because they don’t have a green thumb?

      It’s nice to think there would be no tax involved with commercial sale, but I don’t see it. And I wouldn’t want legalization held up because someone wants to make a point about another cause, either. Freedom is too important to delay and doing away with taxes far more unlikely than marijuana legalization in all honesty.

  • lprk94

    the people have spoken and soon the federal government will have to listen. #legalize

  • Nn

    This is starting to have some legs..wonder why this type of news so to speak does not get on the mainstream news channels on tv.

    • firetheliberals

      It was on fox all day today. Stuart Varney at fox business supports legalization. Greg gutfield supports legalization.

  • John

    Would love to see a Plant FINALLY get legalized on a Federal level.. The amount of people in jail/prison related to marijuana crimes is just dumb.

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