Published on February 27th, 2015 | by News Feed
Two News Bills Poised to Legalize Marijuana In USA
While the idea of legal cannabis across the US might seem like a long shot, the reality could be much different. On Friday afternoon two congressmen presented and filed two separate bills that could legalize marijuana all over the United States. These bills, if enacted, would end the prohibition that the United States Federal government has employed when it comes to pot.
Representative Jared Polis, a Colorado democrat, filed the first bill and it is titled the “Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act.” The bill is very straightforward and does just what the name says. This bill would totally remove marijuana from the controlled substance list.
The interesting aspect of this bill is that the DEA, better known as the Drug Enforcement Agency, would no longer have control of the policing of this substance. In place of the DEA the ATF would take over the regulation of the marijuana. This is the same method used to regulate alcohol.
The second bill was filed by a Earl Blumenauer a Democrat from Oregon. This bill differs in the approach and is called the Marijuana Tax Revenue Act. This bill would apply an excise tax to the marijuana and thus allow the Federal Government to collect money from the sale of this natural substance. While it might seem like another way for the government to stick its hand in your pocket, the reality is that it would provide political capitol for many politicians to jump on board in support.
While the 10th Amendment cannot be usurped, nor should it, states are still going to be allowed to enforce and enact their own laws. The main difference here is that the Federal law that prohibits the use and distribution of marijuana would be removed thus allowing it to be a legal substance.
There are currently 23 states in the United States that have legalized marijuana for a medical purpose. There are also 4 individual states, plus the District of Columbia, that have totally legalized marijuana. However the sale of the substance is still prohibited in D.C.
Representative Polis stated, “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.”
According to Rep. Blumenauer the federal prohibition on marijuana has been a total and complete failure. He concluded his remarks by saying, “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.”
What are the chances that either of these bills will ever see the light of day?