Lawmakers introduce bills to regulate marijuana on federal level

Senator Ron Wyden

Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act, which would remove marijuana from the list of banned controlled substances and establish a scheme to tax and regulate its sale.

This legislation would responsibly de-schedule, tax and regulate marijuana. With a supermajority of American voters supporting medical cannabis and over a strong majority favoring marijuana legalization, it makes sense that we would start seeing more support for sensible reform legislation in the halls of Congress.

"This could be a no-brainer for the federal government to get some of the revenue flowing" to states with legal recreational pot, Blumenauer said. "The Attorney General has made several comments expressing his personal views on the issue".

"I'm particularly concerned because it appears that the attorney general wants to cherry-pick, apparently on the basis of some kind of whim, which states' rights he likes and which ones he doesn't like", Wyden said to the Huffington Post.

He cited "the problems faced by marijuana businesses, medical marijuana researchers, people legally consuming marijuana".

Groups supporting marijuana legalization pronounced themselves pleased. "It's time to end, not expand the special interest big marijuana lobby". When you add the fact that almost all marijuana stocks are losing money, on top of the uncertainty surrounding Spicer's comments in February, there are genuine reasons to be skeptical of the industry and keep your distance.

Despite all those obstacles, the legal cannabis industry has grown at an astonishing rate.

A portion of the "Path to Marijuana Reform" announced Thursday targets expense deductions for marijuana businesses. Doing so, the lawmakers say, would close the gap between federal and state-level marijuana policy, keep people out of jail for minor drug offenses and allow marijuana businesses to thrive. "It really is a choke point". Others, such as Alaska and Nevada, tax marijuana at the wholesale level.

That would follow the initial passage years ago of the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment - named for Rohrabacher and then-Rep.

Rohrabacher "plans to reintroduce it, but the congressional calendar may move it beyond April", a spokesman for the California Republican said. Yet with $46.4 billion of sales still tied to the black market, there's a bounty of opportunity for growth, mostly on the recreational, adult-use side of the equation.

Opponents of legal marijuana expressed concern about Wyden and Blumenauer's legislation, claiming the emerging industry is focused on profits and not public health.

The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, introduced in the House by Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), would regulate marijuana like alcohol by inserting marijuana into the section of the U.S. Code that regulates "intoxicating liquors". Marijuana producers, importers, and wholesalers would be required to obtain a permit from the Department of Treasury, and the marijuana industry would be regulated in a manner similar to alcohol.

Blumenauer said the new package is "more comprehensive".

Polis introduced a similar bill which was shot down back in 2015, but since states like Colorado have seen such success, he's confident in a turnaround.

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove.

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