US Congress: Legislation Introduced To Get the Feds Out Of The Marijuana Enforcement Business

Thursday, 26 February 2015

HR 1013, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, removes cannabis from the United States Controlled Substances Act

US Congress: Legislation Introduced To Get the Feds Out Of The Marijuana Enforcement Business

Washington, DC: Legislation 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.

"Together these bills create a federal framework to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana, much like we treat alcohol and tobacco," said Rep. Blumenauer. "As more states move to legalize marijuana, ... 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.

For more information, please contact NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre or Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director, at (202) 483-5500. For more information about these measures and other pending marijuana law reform legislation, please visit NORML's Take Action Center at: http://norml.org/act.