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Congressional Legislation Introduced to Get the Federal Government Out of the Marijuana Enforcement Business

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director February 23, 2015

    Get the Federal Government Out of the Marijuana Enforcement BusinessLegislation was introduced Friday in the US House of Representatives to permit states to establish their own marijuana regulatory policies free from federal interference.

    House Resolution 1013, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, removes cannabis from the United States Controlled Substances Act. It also removes enforcement power from the US Drug Enforcement Administration in matters concerning marijuana possession, production, and sales — thus permitting state governments to regulate these activities as they see fit.

    Said the bill’s primary sponsor, Democrat Jared Polis of Colorado: “Over the past year, Colorado has demonstrated that regulating marijuana like alcohol takes money away from criminals and cartels, grows our economy, and keeps marijuana out of the hands of children. While President Obama and the Justice Department have allowed the will of voters in states like Colorado and 22 other jurisdictions to move forward, small business owners, medical  marijuana patients, and others who follow state laws still live with the fear that a new administration – or this one—could reverse course and turn them into criminals. It is time for us to replace the failed prohibition with a regulatory system that works and let states and municipalities decide for themselves if they want, or don’t want, to have legal marijuana within their borders.”

    Separate legislation, House Resolution 1014: the Marijuana Tax Revenue Act, introduced by Democrat Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, seeks to impose a federal excise tax on the retail sale of marijuana for non-medical purposes as well as apply an occupational tax for state-licensed marijuana businesses. Such commercial taxes would only be applicable if and when Congress has moved to defederalize marijuana prohibition.

    “It’s time for the federal government to chart a new path forward for marijuana.” said Rep. Blumenauer. “Together these bills create a federal framework to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana, much like we treat alcohol and tobacco. The federal prohibition of marijuana has been a failure, wasting tax dollars and ruining countless lives. As more states move to legalize marijuana as Oregon, Colorado, Washington and Alaska have done, it’s imperative the federal government become a full partner in building a workable and safe framework.”

    Similar versions of these measures were introduced in the previous Congress but failed to gain federal hearings.

    To contact your US House member and urge him/her to support House Resolution 1013, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act and/or other pending federal marijuana law reform legislation, please visit NORML’s Take Action page here.

    52 Responses to “Congressional Legislation Introduced to Get the Federal Government Out of the Marijuana Enforcement Business”

    1. Mr. T says:

      this is amazing news! For anyone who is well versed in American government and its function, what is a likely timeline for this to get passed (best and worst case scenario)? Very curious.

    2. Galileo Galilei says:

      You couldn’t consciously design a more counterproductive, callous, kroc of an excuse for a marijuana policy as the ONDCP and conservatives advocate should stand as the law of the land.

      “It’s time for the federal government to chart a new path forward for marijuana.” said Rep. Blumenauer.

      — my thoughts exactly.

      “Together these bills create a federal framework to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana, much like we treat alcohol and tobacco. The federal prohibition of marijuana has been a failure, wasting tax dollars and ruining countless lives. As more states move to legalize marijuana as Oregon, Colorado, Washington and Alaska have done, it’s imperative the federal government become a full partner in building a workable and safe framework.”

      Sure sound good to me.

      How about you folks?

    3. JODI LONG says:

      MY CAUSE IS SIMPLE I USE CANNABIS FOR MY HEALTH AND THE STATE OF TEXAS WANTS ME IN PRISON FOR SOMETHING I BELIEVE IN. I WAS TOLD TO GO BACK TO WASHINGTON STATE. WHR I CARE FOR MY DAD 24/7 WHO IS A VET..I WAS FINED 2500 AND FIVE YRS PROBATION.. WITH CANNABIS LEGAL HERE WASHINGTON PROBATION CAN NOT DRUG TEST ME FOR CANNABIS I HAVE TWO DOCS REFERRAL. FOR THE GREEN CARD.. I DO NOT TAKE PILLS ANYMORE..WHN I WALK INTO POLK COUNTY COURT HOUSE MARCH 4TH THEY WILL ARREST ME AND HOLD ME FOR A HOUR IF I DON’T HAVE 2500 I WILL GO TO PRISON FOR TWO YEAR FLAT.. WHO WILL WATCH MY DAD AND KEEP HIM FROM THE NURSING HOME…PLEASE GET ME BACK HOME…PLEASE HELP MY CAUSE!!!…

      I’m raising money for STATE OF TEXAS VS WASHINGTON CANNABIS LAWS. AND ME . Please join me in supporting my campaign.
      MEDICAL & HEALTH – HOODSPORT, WA

    4. Corey says:

      Let’s hope for the best here nation. fingers crossed!!!

    5. Somedood says:

      Fat chance this will go anywhere… Barney Frank did this many times no? sigh.

    6. Bob says:

      http://www.alchimiaweb.com/blogen/dr-courtneys-raw-cannabis-juice I’m sure if people would do some research they would agree that this is the plant of the future.

    7. Joel: the other Joel says:

      That’ll work.

    8. drew says:

      Look all I know is I just want to toke when I want to and not be paranoid about being arrested .. I’m not looking to make profit just smoke ???? but I my self think this wont pass but ill be damn happy if it does .. Ps thank you everyone and norml for keeping at it ..if it wasn’t for you guys we wouldn’t be as far as we are today

    9. HaMakom says:

      GREAT. (Sarcasm) Now the Feds want a tax? Pray tell, how much of a tax? I PROMISE if Coloradans have to pay $60 for an eighth legalization will fall apart, as most of us will REturn to the “black market”. We pay $25 and not a penny mor e…why cnt the average American profit from an accessible crop like marijuana

    10. HaMakom says:

      GREAT. (Sarcasm) Now the Feds want a tax? Pray tell, how much of a tax? I PROMISE if Coloradans have to pay $60 for an eighth legalization will fall apart, as most of us will REturn to the “black market”. We pay $25 and not a penny mor e…why cant the average American profit from an accessible crop like marijuana? Oh that’s right…we don’t have $50,000 to invest. And a pre-emptive stfu to anybody from a 1930’s prohibition type state, because you have no idea what it is like when high grade costs $25 and you realize it isn’t ACTUALLY worth any more than that since it costs little (relatively speaking) to produce. ZERO OFFENSE TO ANY.

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