Slew Of New Bills Aim To Reform Marijuana Laws At Federal Level

by Jared Lewis April 5, 2017, 0:48
Slew Of New Bills Aim To Reform Marijuana Laws At Federal Level

It would repeal tax penalties for legal marijuana businesses and allow them to take tax deductions and credits available to other businesses; remove federal criminal penalties and civil asset forfeitures for businesses and individuals acting in compliance with state law; allow marijuana businesses access to banking and bankruptcy protections; and create a system to tax marijuana like alcohol, among other provisions. He has previously said that the Cole memo offers some points of value in terms of enforcement priorities, but that the policy is under review.

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

The legalization movement has opponents, with one of them being anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana. "I would just say it does remain a violation of federal law to distribute marijuana throughout any place in the United States, whether a state legalizes it or not". "We need to end, not expand the special interest big marijuana lobby". People around the nation who voted in cannabis laws ought to be respected, said Derek Peterson, Chief Executive of marijuana-focused agriculture company Terra Tech Corp. 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.

But with the election of Donald Trump and his appointing the virulently anti-cannabis Jeff Sessions as AG, lawmakers felt a sense of urgency to protect and advocate for cannabis reform.

Both Wyden and Blumenauer have introduced similar legislation in previous sessions with little success. Because of this, many marijuana businesses are forced to deal in cash, which is a major security concern and a potential inhibitor of growth. So even though state law says Californians can now smoke weed and give some to a friend, they still risk criminal prosecution by federal authorities and can be denied benefits such as subsidized housing.

In 2015, the Centers for Disease Control recorded more than 33,000 deaths as a result of opioid overdoses. If passed, it would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, which would then enable the FDA to officially recognize marijuana as medicine.

The bill is one of three introduced in a package by the bipartisan Cannabis Caucus in the House of Representatives, and another attempt by Polis to pass such legislation. Advertising rules similar to those regarding alcohol would also apply to marijuana under the bill. The kicker? It's only for people arrested and prosecuted for a federal crime in a state where cannabis was legal at the time of arrest. Twenty-nine states now allow marijuana for qualified patients and eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized adult use. Wyden and Blumenauer have introduced similar legislation before to no avail, but they think this time could be different due to their plan's "more comprehensive" approach and revenue focus.

Blumenauer said the new package is "more comprehensive".


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