Representatives from Colorado and Oregon have introduced two bills that would legalize and tax marijuana at the federal level. If these bills are approved, they would effectively end the war against marijuana and serve as a catalyst for the cannabis industry.
Jared Polis, a Colorado Democrat, introduced the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act. This bill would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act’s schedules and transfer the oversight of marijuana from the Drug Enforcement Administration over to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. This legislation would effectively regulate marijuana in a way similar to how alcohol is currently regulated in the U.S.
Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat, introduced the Marijuana Tax Revenue Act, which would set up a federal excise tax for regulated marijuana. The bill would establish civil and criminal penalties for those who fail to comply and requires the IRS to produce periodic studies of the marijuana industry and issue recommendations to Congress. Medical marijuana would be exempt from this tax.
Representative Polis said that “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.” He added, “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.”
“It’s time for the federal government to chart a new path forward for marijuana.” said Representative Blumenauer. “Together these bills create a federal framework to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana, much like we treat alcohol and tobacco. The federal prohibition of marijuana has been a failure, wasting tax dollars and ruining countless lives. 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.”
Who Stands to Benefit From These Bills
If these bills are passed, everyone would benefit from it. The end of the war against marijuana is not only good for the marijuana industry, it is good for everybody. Every state would save money because they would no longer have to spend money trying to enforce marijuana laws. Police officers would be able to focus on serious crimes, rather than pursing non-violent crimes.
Banks would benefit from the increased number of account opening up. Accountants would benefit due to the increased number of businesses. Lawyers would benefit due to the number of people that want to start a marijuana business. Farmland owners would benefit from increased interest in their properties. As you can see, there are countless benefits associated with legal marijuana.
The war against marijuana has gone on for too long and it is time for a change. If marijuana was legalized, thousands of jobs would be created and countless opportunities will be pursued. It is time for Congress to end the prohibition on marijuana, remove it from the Controlled Substances Act, and create a regulatory and tax system for every state to follow.