New Republican-Led Bill Could Be The Middle Way To Legalize And Tax Marijuana

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  • Now Republicans want to legalize weed

Just when we thought full-fledged legalization of marijuana was still a distant reality, a Republican-led congressional marijuana legalization bill is coming that could end the federal ban on weed. .

Marijuana Moment got the 116-page bill, which is led by Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) and aims to give 68% of Americans what they want: legal weed (with, of course, , some limitations). The measure, called the States Reform Act, is still in the preliminary phase but a final version could be filed at the end of November.

Described by Marijuana Moment as “a compromise between simple deprogramming as proposed by other GOP lawmakers and extensive comprehensive legislation that Democratic leaders are championing,” the measure would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level while creating a regulatory structure that does not would not be stepping on the toes of markets in states where weed is already legal, including Michigan, which means new rules wouldn’t necessarily apply to those states.

The bill proposes to downgrade marijuana federally and treat it like alcohol, and impose an excise tax of 3.75% on weed sales, with the proceeds going to drug programs. community reintegration grants, law enforcement and assistance to businesses that obtain a weed control license under the new bill. Interstate trade in marijuana would be regulated by the Treasury Department’s Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Commerce, and the Food and Drug Administration would not be permitted to ban the use of cannabis in non-commercial applications. drug-related, but could “prescribe servings, certify designated cannabis products.” , and approve / regulate pharmaceuticals derived from marijuana “with respect to medical weeds. The United States Department of Agriculture would regulate raw cannabis as an agricultural product.

OK, but what about people?

Well, the measure would also ensure that people with “certain” non-violent federal cannabis convictions eligible for deregistration and a mandatory 21-year age limit would be enforced for recreational cannabis sales. Veterans who use marijuana would also be exempt from discrimination when it comes to seeking federal work, and the US Department of Veterans Affairs would be allowed to issue recommendations for the medical herb. However, veterans aside, federal agencies could still run drug tests for marijuana as part of this measure.

It should be noted that much of what is presented in the bill could and will likely change as it nears its finalization. And, of course, there is the obstacle that is President Joe Biden, who has been slow to embrace the legalization movement, but expressed his belief that marijuana should be decriminalized (meaning people shouldn’t. be jailed for possession but that sales should remain illegal). In 2019, Biden said he still viewed marijuana as a gateway drug (it doesn’t). Earlier this year, his administration fired at least five White House staff over their previous use of marijuana.

However, Biden supports the rights of states to legalize weed and has supported the legalization of medical marijuana. Biden is also down for removing records of cannabis crimes.

Although the president cannot deprogram cannabis unilaterally via an executive order, the Congressional Research Service has said it has the power to “order executive agencies to consider modifying marijuana planning or changing their approach to application matter “. A report released by CRS last week described several ways in which Biden could bypass lawmakers to take action to legalize marijuana and, through his pardon powers, could grant mass leniency to those facing criminal justice. federal marijuana offenses.

“This new report confirms what advocates have long called for when it comes to taking decisive and consistent action to end the senseless and cruel policy of criminalizing marijuana,” said NORML political director Justin Strekal, at Marijuana Moment. “If the Biden administration wishes to align with the political, economic and moral realities surrounding cannabis policy, it should take action quickly.”

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