Members of Congress Introduce Bills to Regulate and Protect the Marijuana Industry

Members of Congress Introduce Bills to Regulate and Protect the Marijuana Industry

Several bills have been introduced in both houses of Congress that would address a host of concerns troubling the marijuana industry.

This week, two members of Congress submitted several bills that call for a serious overhaul of federal marijuana laws. If passed, these new laws would address a series of issues including access to banking, taxation, decriminalization, civil rights, asset forfeiture, and the protection of state laws.

Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon), and Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), have announced the “Path to Marijuana Reform,” a combination of three bills.

“The federal government must respect the decision Oregonians made at the polls and allow law-abiding marijuana businesses to go to the bank just like any other legal business.” Wyden said in a statement. “This three-step approach will spur job growth and boost our economy all while ensuring the industry is being held to a fair standard.”

According to the Cannabist, The Path to Marijuana Reform has three main components:

Responsibly Addressing the Marijuana Policy Gap Act

This bill would 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.

Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act (Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act)

Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) originally submitted the Rergulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act. Wyden and Blumenauer have included a retitled version of it. This bill would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act; impose an excise tax regime on marijuana products; allow for the permitting for marijuana businesses; regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol.

Responsibly Addressing the Marijuana Policy Gap Act

This legislation would 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 bills could help ease the anxiety of marijuana patients and members of the industry. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been making frequent statements against marijuana as of late. Many fear he will conduct a mass crackdown. While the White House may want to continue the War on Drugs, it seems the American public disagrees. Support for legalized marijuana continues to soar to historically high levels.

Special thanks to: Danny Reed of mjretailer for the content

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