Marijuana Treated Like Alcohol? Legislation Filed In Senate and House

Legalize marijuanaSenator Ron Wyden and Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Jared Polis have introduced legislation in the House and Senate — The Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act — to permit states to establish their own marijuana regulatory policies free from federal interference. In addition to removing marijuana from the United States Controlled Substances Act, this legislation also removes enforcement power from the US Drug Enforcement Administration in matter concerning marijuana possession, production, and sales — thus permitting state governments to regulate these activities as they see fit.

Email your members of Congress now and urge them to support this effort.

“The first time introduction of this particular piece of legislation in the US Senate is another sign that the growing public support for ending our failed war on cannabis consumers nationwide is continuing to translate into political support amongst federal officials,” said NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri, “With marijuana legalization being supported by 60% of all Americans while Congress’ approval rating is in the low teens, ending our country’s disastrous prohibition against marijuana would not just be good policy, but good politics.”

Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for qualified patients, while eight states now regulate the production and sale of marijuana to all adults. An estimated 63 million Americans now reside in jurisdictions where anyone over the age of 21 may possess cannabis legally. Voters support these policy changes. According to a 2017 Quinnipiac University poll, 59 percent of Americans support full marijuana legalization and 71 percent believe that states, not the federal government, should set marijuana policy. 

“If we are truly going to move our nation towards sensible marijuana policies, the removal of marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act is paramount. Annually, 600,000 Americans are arrested for nothing more than the possession of small amounts of marijuana and now is the time for Congress to once and for all end put an end to the national embarrassment that is cannabis prohibition,” said Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director. “Passing this legislation would end the current conflict between state and federal laws and allow the states to implement more sensible and humane marijuana policies, free from the threat of federal incursion.”

These statewide regulatory schemes are operating largely as voters and politicians intended. The enactment of these policies have not negatively impacted workplace safety, crime rates, traffic safety, or youth use patterns. They have stimulated economic development and tax revenue. Specifically, a 2017 report estimates that 123,000 Americans are now working full-time in the cannabis industry. Tax revenues from states like Colorado, Oregon, and Washington now exceed initial projections. Further, numerous studies have identified an association between cannabis access and lower rates of opioid use, abuse, hospitalizations, and mortality.

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)

“The federal government must respect the decision Oregonians made at the polls and allow law-abiding marijuana businesses to go to the bank just like any other legal business.” Senator Ron Wyden said. “This three-step approach will spur job growth and boost our economy all while ensuring the industry is being held to a fair standard.”

Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO)
Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO)

“Colorado has proven that allowing responsible adults to legally purchase marijuana, gives money to classrooms, not cartels; creates jobs, not addicts; and boosts our economy, not our prison population,” Representative Jared Polis said. “Now, more than ever, it is time we end the federal prohibition on marijuana and remove barriers for states’ that have chosen to legalize marijuana.  This budding industry can’t afford to be stifled by the Trump administration and its mixed-messages about marijuana.  The cannabis industry, states’, and citizens deserve leadership when it comes to marijuana.”

Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)

“As more states follow Oregon’s leadership in legalizing and regulating marijuana, too many people are trapped between federal and state laws,” Representative Earl Blumenauer said. “It’s not right, and it’s not fair. We need change now – and this bill is the way to do it.”

The ongoing enforcement of cannabis prohibition financially burdens taxpayers, encroaches upon civil liberties, engenders disrespect for the law, impedes legitimate scientific research into the plant’s medicinal properties, and disproportionately impacts communities of color.

By contrast, regulating the adult use of marijuana stimulates economic growth, saves lives, and has the support of the majority of the majority of Americans. 

Send a message to your members of Congress urging them to support the Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act

42 thoughts

  1. Great work, Congressmen, keep these CRITICAL bills coming! But we need to HURRY and get them passed! More later

  2. It is a start.. My State and many are failing seriously ill… DE schedule, allow people to grow. People make their own beer and wine and it has not touched alcohol sales/profit. No 90 day wait either. A very sick person should not be forced to wait 90 days for Cannabis. I am dying.. It is my body and it should be my choice. I can not afford it. Please help me believe my comfort/quality of life matters. I need compassion. I should be able to do what ever it takes to be pain free. Thank You

    1. At present a family could be smoking cannabis and have their children seized yet the family could be having a party with alcohol, smoking tobacco and even drinking caffeine, all much more dangerous than cannabis and it’s all legal and advertised over and over as the jfun thing to do,

      The combined alcohol, tobacco and caffeine industries have the government in their pocket yet mention the word marijuana and police galore will show up with guns and handcuff will show up. Cannabis has never taken a human mammal life, not even a dog mammal life yet alcohol has taken many millions of lives and continues taking them daily, tobacco and caffeine also takes lives and cannabis has been proven to help lives and that is a fact.

      In 2004 I had an aneurysm in the base of my brain and I was given the pill Dilantin and I took them for 4 months and was living the listed side effects and they were literally killing me. I found a university study showings that cannabis dilates the users bodily organs helping to avoid a stroke.

      It’s also known that nicotine and caffeine constrict bodily organs while alcohol eats them.

      Allowing fascism into our country for self profit is a disease, denying proper medical treatmen5 that does not have dangerous side effects such as cannabis would be an intelligent blessing.

      As for recreational cannabis users, I have been one since 1967 and our doctor of 35 years I have seen him once for a non medical problem. I did have a stroke which my mother passed away from. When I woke up in the hospital I did not have any restrictions in my body, just ask my neurosurgeon, Dr. Robert F. Spetzler. Also never had a flu shot, I may get a cold from time to time but I seem to be using my human mammal defenses to keep well.

      I was born in the summer of 1942 and at 120 lbs, my current weight I can outwork many others.

  3. REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER!!!! NOVEMBER 2018 VOTE THE REPUBLICAN COMMUNIST LOVERS OUT OF CONGRESS. Meanwhile….let’s get the marijuana laws changed so that people in ALL FIFTY STATES can use this God-given plant for medical or recreational reasons. Get BIG PHARM out of our pockets.

  4. Idaho is always last bit it doesn’t help when our Governor takes $30,000 bribes from pharmaceutical companies. Govoner Otter you are a disgrace!!! People need atleast medical.

    1. The cowboy governor is in the liquor business, selling sickness and death and destroying families. He does not want any competition. No matter, just pay your taxes west of the state line.

  5. The idea to regulate marijuana like alcohol sets a social benchmark.

    Pharmaceutically, alcohol and cannabis are as different as night and day; but culturally, we wish to draw a line, and say that we have no less right to use cannabis than we do alcohol, as a matter of basic fairness.

    Of course, it’s about much more than that — medicine, the environment, the economy, civil rights, human rights.

    But we start here because, as a society, here we are — it’s a social consensus on a line in the sand.

  6. It would be fantastic for our country to finally move towards a bit of sanity regarding cannabis! I think regulating it in a similar manner to that of alcohol is something a majority of Americans can get behind.

  7. Why not treat alcohol like marijuana? Think about it – if alcohol is as dangerous as cannabis then maybe we should exercise the same caution with it :-
    No advertising
    Not sold anywhere but specialist shops
    Limits on the number of places it is sold
    No public consumption
    Minimum distance from schools
    Limits on how much an individual can possess
    No transport over state or national boundaries

    That’s what we should be arguing for ! If they don’t like their alcohol being treated like that then they should not persecute cannabis users any more either.

    1. I think we should take whatever we are able to get after many decades of them (primarily the feds) treating us with great disrespect and hostility.

      Of course we could argue that it is safer than alcohol, indeed safer than 99% of big pharma’s products. But arguing to try to get something more than what might be on the table is probably futile and will end up with things staying the same.

      As an example of what I mean: Suppose you are walking down the street and a stranger offers to give you $1000. You would prefer that stranger give you $10,000 and refuse the lower offer. What do you think would happen? You would walk away with nothing. It would be much better to take that $1000 and perhaps try to get more in the future.

  8. where the is the bill number? HR nonexistant? A PDF isn’t proof of anything. If this isn’t even a proposed bill yet, then it isn’t news.

  9. Meanwhile in the prohibition states we are saving hundreds of millions of dollars every year that we would be paying in taxes.

  10. Politics is the art of the possible. Now to see if the Demos can take their 48 seats in the Senate, get GOP Paul’s vote to make 49, then find a way to give something to the majority in order to pass their desired measure.

    Poll numbers of public support are irrelevant. Public officials voted into office are. The American public has granted the GOP a clear majority in both houses of Congress and the White House as well as a majority of governorships and state houses. Let’s see if the Demos can be less obstructionist and more cooperative.

    Sessions has said he embraces the rule of law. I believe him. Get the laws on MJ changed and he will follow the law. If the laws remain the same, the repression will remain. The ball is in the Demos’ court. Let’s see if they are politically intelligent enough to play ball in these divisive times.

    1. Are you referring to Senator Rand Paul R-KY who voted to confirm prohibitionist Sessions into USAG?

    2. Bullshit. Marijuana prohibition is all on the Republicans now. Can’t blame the Democrats when the Republicans hold the White House and a majority in House and Senate! That’s an old game that won’t work anymore. We hope the Democrats will obstruct the Trump administration where ever possible, since everything he does is fucked up one way or another.

    3. @ Rock-vote,

      It’s mind-boggling, but so typical for a righty to blame the Dems–even when Dems have almost no power in Washington today.

      Seems that you don’t want the GOPers to be accountable for anything. Of course, having seen the way their efforts to repeal Obamacare went, I suppose I can see why you wouldn’t trust the GOP to do anything. But that repeal attempt went down in flames because of GOP infighting, not any obstruction by the Dems.

      And before you tie yourself in knots trying to blame the Dems for the situation regarding MJ legalization, again, look at your own party first! It’s THEY who are the obstructionists. The day GOPers start leading the fight to legalize pot, you can start blaming Dems. But we both know that it will be Dems who will lead, have been leading, that fight.

  11. In some ways simply introducing the legislation seems like a victory itself, but lets not kid ourselves: if we dont emphasize to everyone that if we dont ACT… meaning write and call our Congressman state and federal… these bills dont have more than a prayer to pass.
    Make no mistake brothers and sisters we are in a full out internal war within our own DOJ:

    Ive posted here before about how the CSACt of 1970 has fundementally corrupted our government’s balance of power and turned informants for the DOJ into mob bosses for agencies to milk top criminals into retirement.
    I SEEN it. I watched the DEA take my friend’s Mexican passport and enslave him into a “J” visa to milk druglords as an informant. 10 years I observed an Austin druglord pay off agents… like that wasnt enough time to build evidence for a case? Or were the good agents just building a slush fund for retirement?
    So when I stumbled on the above article revealing the SAME $#!+ has been going on in the Trump tower with a Russian working FBI informant named Felix Sater for 30 YEARS the worst was finally confirmed.
    Sater is representing 1). a shady Real Estate company Bayrock that worked laundering money in Trump Towers for decades 2) Donald Trump, whose dealings with Sater go back that long 3) And the Russian mob.
    Like the case of Whitey Bulger we find the FBI protecting their informants, but this time, instead of squeezing a drug lord, the FBI is betraying our country with our US President.
    Watch out Sessions: the President’s cabinet is not protected from conflicts of interest.

  12. Legalization. Long overdue. But how does it happen? What does the future hold? This legislation is a tradeoff of a new federal tax in exchange for calling off the witch hunt on the cannabis community. Yes, a witch hunt, the hunt of an evil which not is. Cannabis is not the evil Prohibition claims it is, and Prohibition wastes money on lies, junk science and, basically, propaganda.

    The guy in charge of the United Nations Office of Drug Control Policy is an old school Russian hardliner prohibitionist.

    ” Mr. Yury Fedotov of the Russian Federation was appointed by the Secretary-General to the position of Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Director-General of the United Nations Office in Vienna (UNOV) on 9 July 2010. He holds the rank of Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations.”

    Look for Part II.

  13. Part II

    “Legalization. Long overdue. But how does it happen?”

    It’s not the fact that he’s Russian in and of itself, but rather the bullshit and outright lies that are in his office’s document “Cannabis: A Short Review” just plain suck. They really piss me the fuck off. I mean, are any of the studies cited positive about cannabis? This review is filled with shit the federal prohibitionists will pull out against us If Ever–dare I say When–these respective pieces of legislation make it out of committee and up for a vote.

    Look for Part III.

  14. Part III

    “Legalization. Long overdue. But how does it happen?”

    President Trump should be out front of signaling he will allow cannabis legalization to proceed, AND he should grease the wheels with the UN to get them to get the hell out of the way of legalization worldwide. Let the countries decided for themselves, and in turn the states and provinces within those countries decide or however. Just get the UN the hell out of the being between the U.S. and that fuckin’ money! Cannabis WILL be traded internationally in U.S. dollars, and the U.S. WILL Dominate the international cannabis market.

    On the other hand, doing prohibitionist bidding would not paint President Trump in good light with the cannabis community. In light of the unfolding Russian connection concerning President Ass, oops, PresidentRump, er President Rump–rump is synonymous with ass–an early exit from office is called for. The Russian connection needs to be investigated ever so thoroughly and quickly. The President of the United States can NOT be manipulated–or worse yet blackmailed–by a foreign power! It’s absolutely intolerable.

    Their “Cannabis: A Short Review” needs a Complete Rewrite! Yuri is NOT going to do it. He’s been in office since the Ice Age, and is “short” as in so close to retirement that he doesn’t give a shit. Give him an (early) retirement deal he won’t refuse AND THEN PUT SOMEBODY PRO-LEGALIZATION IN THERE.

    Do I have to think of everything? Really? You core cadre administration advisers in the inner circle of the President need to advise Trump to make legalization happen. An early exit for Yuri, and then an early exit for the Donald.

    Get the whole thing moving, legislation out of committees with a “For” vote recommendation in BOTH political parties, And a cannabis community friendly international cannabis review.

    Make it happen.

    1. How long can Trump’s closest aides put up with him? How much more money can he pay them so that they stay? I’m having trouble believing they’ll put up with much more shit on a government salary so it must be book deals or something.

      I wonder if Conway, Bannon and the rest of the inner circle brain trust are asking themselves how much longer they can stand their jobs. It might be of advantage to them to network Now with the cannabis community for after Trump’s early exit.

      Hey, Sean Spicer, I have a shitty thankless job with no hope of escape, doing a job most people would Never stoop to do and having to paste on a smile. Sean, make the safer choice and come over from the dark side to cannabis. You won’t mind the loudness of the reporters’ questions as much as when you’re still a little hungover.

      Which of the Trump administration’s functionaries will be the first to negotiate a book deal behind the scenes? Tell all chapters. Yeah! Each person’s book after that with more juicy behind the scenes tales of the chain of events leading to Trump’s early exit.

      Come on, Sean, Kellyanne, Steven! Don’t trust the Mercers to back you IF the whole Russian thing topples Trump and you had nothing to do with it. You’re damaged goods.

      Back cannabis legalization!

      1. Did you see Roger Stone squirming on Real Time with Bill Maher?

        He’s baking 420 medible cakes for Bill just to publicly wash himself of the shitstorm these Russian investigations are heading for.

        Meanwhile the pause in the political pendulum is over: Progressive Dem candidate John Ossoff is winning in the polls for early elections to take Republican Tom Price’s old seat:

        Representative Beto O’rourke D-El Paso, who was endorsed by NORML PAC when he ran for Representative, is running a Bernie-Sanders-style campaign to take the Senate from Cruz:

        And Statewide legalization is still surging this year. Just click on the NORML Action Page. I don’t know that Sessions could crackdown even if Repubs cave and don’t renew the Rorhabacher-Farr Amendment this month. If a crackdown happens, Trump and the Repubs own it. It would be a disaster for 2018 elections and they know it.

    2. It’s so hard to tell sometimes what Drumpf is gonna do. Seems his own staff is in the dark half the time. I’m hoping (guessing) that Drumpf will see that cracking down on MJ legalization is a lose-lose situation.

      I’ve never seen a presidency like this before. But before any Trumpsters celebrate that comment as being a good thing, I’ll add that I doubt most Romans had seen an Emperor like Caligula before either.

  15. And a great big “Dank U” to Snoop Dogg for MerryJane! That’s “Thank You” in Dutch.

    Snoop is a fantastic advocate for the cannabis community. Willy Nelson, too. The more reclusive George Soros, and lots of other people I want to thank publicly here. I’m hoping together we can get cannabis legalized.

  16. Marijuana is a billion dollar industry, I support the federal not being involved. Where does our tax payers money go anyways? At a state level, we can have a more handle on our finances. Our officials can reinvest that money right back into our state for education, highway, construction, improving air and water. Not lose an exponential amount of money fondled by our federal officials.

    What will happen if CAL EXIT passes?…

  17. There is a simple way to de-schedule the cannabis plant, delegate most of the enforcement and regulatory powers to state governments, and enable the rescheduling of marijuana. There are some who don’t like it, but here is a pertinent excerpt of the 36 word long reform of the federal definition of marijuana, which literally specifies its constitutionally legitimate meaning:

    The term “marijuana” means all parts of the smoke…

    Julian, will you help to complete this reform?

    1. Did you sense my wrath, Year-bait? Y’know I gotta say, Year-bait, I like you better than some of the other Machiavellian posters out there. At least you attempt at some kind of discussion instead of dropping anarchist propaganda like Donna who dumps her “Legalization without commercialization” then won’t stand up to criticism when we tell her we wouldn’t HAVE state legalization if marijuana wasn’t fairly commercially taxed.

      So riddle me this, Bait…

      1). Do you care if non violent citizens are incarcerated or families torn apart simply for possession of “smoking” marijuana?

      2). Do you pretend not to realize that schedule 2 is STILL prohibition, meaning jail time, and it’s only a green light for death-for-profit pharmaceuticals like Insys Therapuetics to target Americans with harmful synthetic patents of cannabinoids?

      3). Did I help?

      1. The point is to get the text of the law right with the Constitution. That sets in motion the ability to lawfully possess, commercialize, and redundantly study the cannabis plant before the corrected law gets rescheduled. Cannabis smokers will have to remain diligent, or maybe try other methods of use. Sure, it is theoretically unfair, but the hope is that the period of time that it takes to get rescheduled will be minimal. The medical question seems to already been scientifically determined. Users’ display of self-control during that time will likely be important for those intransigent politician’s consideration. The issue of natural THC is not specified, but is the Court’s decision due to the current definition. Schedule 3 seems appropriate, since there are synthetic THC drugs in that Schedule. The feds could justify offloading smoking enforcement to the states, many of which are successfully acting on the issue. Lastly, there is the issue of corporate advertising of smoking to children, like with tobacco. Maintaining a limited prohibition on corporate involvement with the plant serves to preclude and redirect their desire to do such advertising, while establishing small-business vendor relationships for sourcing corporate cannabis products. Enforcing the propriety of such relationships could be a better use of the DEA.

      2. Julian, there is still time for us to work on completing and rescheduling the reform. This reform could replace the Senators’ bill mentioned in the article, and provide it with a more appropriate name, “The Cannabis Revenue and Regulation Act”. Since you didn’t complete the text of the reform, which contains the part that some dislike(?) because it is so specific, here it is, for the People:

        …produced by the combustion of the plant Cannabis sativa L. which is prohibited to be grown by or sold by any publicly traded corporation or subsidiary company.

  18. Legalize it. It’s not gonna hurt anyone I smoke daily and I have no problems if I drink I feel like crap almost immediately and even worse the next morning if I drink to much I really feel horrible but what happens if I smoke to much nothing I get tired and fall asleep at home of course and have a great night’s rest I think what is basically going on if ur not a user of it then u have a mind set that it’s illegal and probably always will and not want something like that in ur community until the money coming from it doesn’t pay for stuff like roads school and ends up coming out of ur pocket when they wanna raise taxes legalize it people it’s gonna benefit us all in the long run

  19. I have epilepsy, glaucoma, high blood pressure and diabetes. When CBD oil because legal in Olkahoma, I tried it. It completely stop my seizures. The biggest problems with marijuana is getting high all the time. Governor Otter needs to be voted out of officers. He is most likely not the only one taking bribes.

  20. I am angry! Marijuana is an HERB, NOT a drug! The only reason it is illegal, is for profit! I can grow oregino and I should be able to grow marijuana! You are letting people die for profit! That’s murder, and The US Government is Guilty! 90 days to a cancer patient is an eternity!

  21. As a very sick medical marijuana patient who, out of complete desperation, had a very small amount of medical marijuana sent to me while I was out of my home state and suffering greatly and who is now being summoned to the police department because my package was seized, I thank you for your efforts. Please don’t give up.

  22. The debate between the proponents and the opponents still continues. However, it is like opponents are now giving up.Lets wait and see whether it gonna pass.

  23. Such a policy is as good as bad. It is a policy that has not consider all the advantages and disadvantages. The same case, happened when betting was being legalized, but unfortunately the government has not fully controlled the sector. no significant tax benefits will arise from marijuana legalization

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