The Marijuana Wars Claim New Fronts In Congress, Courts

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  The fight over marijuana has moved to Capitol Hill — and the courtroom.

On Feb. 20, Colorado Rep. Jared Polis and Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer introduced bills in Congress that would legalize and tax marijuana on a federal level. “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,” Polis said in a statement. Both lawmakers are from states where residents have already voted to legalize recreational bud, along with Alaska, Washington and Washington, D.C.

The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act would remove marijuana from the federal government’s schedule of illegal drugs and transition marijuana oversight to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The Marijuana Tax Revenue Act would impose new taxes on the sale of recreational marijuana, starting at 10% and rising to 25% over time, as well as occupational taxes of marijuana businesses.

 

Representatives Introduce Federal Bills To Legalize Marijuana

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  Marijuana is legal in Oregon. Marijuana is legal in Colorado. And now, Democratic Reps. Earl Blumenauer or Oregon and Jared Polis of Colorado want cannabis to be legal on the federal level.

On Friday, Polis and Blumenauer introduced two separate bills to make their vision a reality. Polis’ bill, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, removes marijuana from the list of banned substances. Blumenauer’s bill, on the other hand, focuses more on the financial side through the creation of a tax structure to bring in money from recreational cannabis sales.

“The federal prohibition of marijuana has been a failure, wasting tax dollars and ruining countless lives,” Blumenauer told The Hill.

Marijuana would first be taxed at 10 percent. This rate would then gradually increase to 25 percent. Medical marijuana would be spared from taxation by the bill. Calculations project that the legislation, along with the funds saved from not throwing people in prison for marijuana, would bring in around $10 billion in revenue for the federal government.