Marijuana is going fully legal in the United States…eventually. Some overly optimistic pot advocates believe 2019 could be the year that the Congressional ass clowns finally get their shit together long enough to free the leaf once and for all. This seems like a reasonable prediction, considering that ten states, including California, have already established taxed and regulated reefer regimes – selling pot to adults 21 and over like beer — with other jurisdictions, like New York, expected to get in on the action later this year. It is conceivable that by the time the holiday season rolls around there will be more adult citizens legally able to use marijuana than those who cannot.
Because of this, the federal government really has no choice but to shit or get off the pot with respect to marijuana reform. A couple of pieces of legislation introduced recently in the halls of Congress — a couple of documents that have been deemed the 420 bills – could help Uncle Sam off the crapper.
Just last week, Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon introduced a bill designed to legalize weed at the national level. The measure, which was filed under S.420, is called the Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act, and it would work all the voodoo needed for weed to become a legitimate part of American commerce. Not only would it eliminate marijuana from the DEA’s Controlled Substances Act, but it would also establish a federal excise tax and develop a real-deal permit system for cannabis businesses to operate legally at the national level just the same as the alcohol industry.
“Too many lives have been wasted and too many economic opportunities have been missed,” Senator Wyden tweeted on Friday. “It’s time for Congress to respect the will of the voters in Oregon and nationwide, who are demanding common-sense drug policies.”
For all of those old school cannabis purists out there, this bill is probably not for you. This one would make marijuana just as much a part of U.S. inebriation culture as booze and pills. It is designed to take weed from its state-by-state experimental bullshit and launch it into a mega market where it would quickly become just as evil as the rest of the massive corporate sectors hell-bent on profiting from feel-good substances. God bless them and fuck them all! Honestly, we don’t give two flying squirts about maintaining the integrity of the cannabis industry; this is America, after all, and capitalism is our sleazy king – always will be. We just want to have the freedom to use the sweat leaf however we see fit without the risk of having our asses handed to us by the police. Wyden’s bill would do just that.
The Senate version of this legislation is essentially a compassion measure of the original 420 bill introduced in the U.S House of Representatives last month by Rep. Earl Blumenauer. That bill, filed under H.R.420, is set up to do precisely the same shit as Wyden’s measure – eliminate pot prohibition and allow it to be bought and sold legally nationwide. Together, these proposals could be the starting point of living in a society where marijuana graduates from the novelty, tourist attraction it has become to a socially acceptable drug used freely by adults all over the country.
Unfortunately, for those cannabis advocates who believed even for a second that marijuana would ever be treated like tomatoes or any other non-intoxicating vegetable, we’re sorry to report that’s just not likely to happen – not if the language of the 420 bills holds any weight with how the issue is shaking out in Washington. Hey, but at least you’ll get back the right to use CBD.
There is hope now that Democrats have back control of the U.S. Hour of Representatives marijuana reform bills will be given the consideration than they have failed to achieve under Republican rule over the past several years. There is actually a bill being put in front of a House subcommittee later this week designed to give banks the freedom to work with cannabis businesses without the risk of federal prosecution. Since marijuana is illegal in the eyes of the federal government, accepting deposits from the sale of marijuana is still considered money laundering.
What makes the banking bill interesting is that it might allow us to see sooner than later just how marijuana reform is going to be embraced by Congress in 2019. Marijuana banking is one of the most highly-supported bipartisan issues right now. If the measure fails to go the distance, there isn’t much hope than anything more comprehensive. Therefore, no support for the banking bill this year means Congress will not be giving America marijuana legalization for Christmas.
But there is more work being done on this issue behind the scenes than ever before. The cannabis industry has started to realize that it has to play ball like the alcohol and pharmaceutical companies if it ever stands a chance of becoming part of the policies coming off of the Hill. There are now a couple of pot lobby groups, one of which is headed up by former House Speaker John Boehner, presently hanging out in Washington with a suitcase full of cash trying to influence Congressional members to get onboard with pot policies, like the 420 measures and the STATES Act.
In fact, Boehner, a man who opposed marijuana reform throughout his entire political career, said last year that nationwide legalization was on the horizon.
“I used to count votes,” he said. “I know where the votes are, and the votes will be there when the time is right.”
There is also the 2020 presidential election to be taken into consideration. As we pointed out last week, all of the Democratic candidates support bringing marijuana prohibition to a screeching halt. There is even speculation that President Donald Trump will get more in bed with the issue to secure his reelection. All of this noise, however, translates to one significant detail – that marijuana is on the verge of going federally legal at some point within the next couple of years. How it will all go down, nobody knows, but the most logical blueprint for it is the 420 measures.
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