In the latest step towards ending marijuana prohibition two bills were introduced to Congress on Friday that would legalize (and tax) weed on the federal level, treating it nearly the same as alcohol. Furthermore, it would give the states the freedom they deserve to choose whether or not to legalize marijuana for recreational usage, and no longer would states be worried about federal repercussions if legalization is passed on the state-level.
The “Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act” was introduced to US Congress on Friday by Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado’s 2nd District, this bill would primarily tackle the regulation of legalized marijuana on a consumption and prosecution basis. The second bill the ‘Marijuana Tax Revenue Act’ deals with the taxation of purchasing and selling.
From Congressman Jared Polis’ website:
“Following federal legalization, the Marijuana Tax Revenue Act would impose a federal excise tax on the sale of marijuana for non-medical purposes as well as apply an occupational tax for marijuana businesses. The bill would establish civil and criminal penalties for those who fail to comply, like those in place for the tobacco industry.
The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act would remove marijuana from the schedule set by the Controlled Substances Act; transition marijuana oversight from the jurisdiction of the Drug Enforcement Agency to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and regulate marijuana like alcohol by inserting into the section of the U.S. Code that governs “intoxicating liquors.”
“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,” said Representative Polis. “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.”
This is monumental legislation, as this is the furthest we’ve seen the push for federal weed legalization reach. It’s clear that Congress recognizes now is the time for our federal government to get in line with legalization, and begin taxing this before the states run the well’s dry (not that such a thing would ever happen):
From the Free Thought Project:
The legislation would establish civil and criminal penalties for those who fail to comply, like those in place for the tobacco industry. In addition, it would require the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to conduct studies of the marijuana industry and issue recommendations to Congress.
Medical marijuana would be exempted from the new marijuana tax structure. The tax on non-medicinal marijuana would initially be set at 10% and rise to 25% over time as the black market is displaced by the legal market. The tax structure incorporates a tax on the sale by a producer (usually grower) to the next stage of production.
“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.”
We’re just so close you guys. SOOoOoOooOoOOOOOOOoOOooooOOOOOOo close to a nation of legalized pot, and seeing prohibition lifted.
I’m consantly posting about weed here on BroBible, and that might lead a lot of you to assume I’m a stoner. Which couldn’t be further from the truth. I rarely smoke, but the reason I push this content out to you bros on a daily basis is because there’s a SERIOUS need to fix the system when it comes to weed.
Our prison’s are unfairly crowded due to harsh penalties for marijuana, people who need pot as medicine aren’t able to get it because our nation is in a vice grip held by Big Pharma, and while the legalization of pot isn’t THE ANSWER to everything, it is one solution to getting our nation back on track.
For more on the two bills introduced to Congress you can check out TheFreeThoughtProject or Congressman Jared Polis’ website.