Marijuana Advocates: Oregon Senator's Support Hopeful Sign For Federal Legalization

"The cannabis industry, states', and citizens deserve leadership when it comes to marijuana".

The first bill would treat legal marijuana businesses like other small businesses, meaning they could be taxed in the same way. Currently, under 280E, people and businesses can not claim deductions or credits for the sale of Schedule I or Schedule II substances. Sen.

In a very important development, Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, joined Rep. Earl Blumenauer as a lead sponsor of the 280E tax reform bill.

The three-bill package is just the latest pot law reform effort in Congress this year. The Act would impose a federal excise tax on marijuana products, much like what is now done for alcohol and tobacco.

Finally, the Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act would remove marijuana from the schedule of controlled substances and implement an excise tax on marijuana products, similar to the taxes imposed on alcohol and tobacco.

Responsibly Addressing the Marijuana Policy Gap Act - Remove federal penalties and civil asset forfeiture for individuals and businesses complying with state law; ensure access to banking, bankruptcy protection, research and advertising; expunge the criminal records for certain marijuana-related offenses; prohibits residents of marijuana-legal states to be required to take a marijuana drug test for positions in the federal civil service; and easing barriers for medical marijuana research.

The two Oregon Congressmen say the package will help boost the economy and navigate the divide between state and federal law regarding marijuana that has been heavily-scrutinized under new Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has hinted at a "crackdown" on legal marijuana.

Adults in eight states and Washington D.C., can legally consume marijuana, and that could soon change to adults in all 50 states. Much like the government now imposes excise taxes on beer, wine, booze, and tobacco, there would be an excise tax on legalized marijuana, gradually increasing to a maximum of 25% of the sales price. "States are adopting laws created to improve public safety by replacing the illegal marijuana market with a tightly regulated system of production and sales". In addition, this third measure would disallow the government from using marijuana-based drug tests to block prospective employees from obtaining federal jobs.

"Annually, 600,000 Americans are arrested for nothing more than the possession of small amounts of marijuana", Justin Strekal - NORML's Political Director - said in a statement.

"If we are truly going to move our nation towards sensible marijuana policies, the removal of marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act is paramount".

"It's time for Congress to come to grips with the fact that marijuana is safer than alcohol, and most Americans think it should be treated that way", he said in a press release.

But not everybody was happy.

In that news conference, Spicer drew a parallel between marijuana use and the opioid epidemic, saying, "I think that when you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing that we should be doing is encouraging people".

"What the two of us are here today to say is: Voters in OR and others states have chosen to legalize marijuana, and their votes shouldn't just be casually thrown in the trash can by this administration", Wyden said on press call with Blumenauer. The Drug Enforcement Administration reported that no people have died from cannabis overdoses. "It's time to end, not expand the special interest big marijuana lobby".

  • Larry Hoffman