“420 Bill” Has Officially Been Introduced to Federally Legalize Cannabis
A bill to regulate cannabis like alcohol was introduced in the senate on Friday by Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon. The bill is being called the “Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act” is being designated by Wyden and is a companion measure to H.R. 420. Which was introduced by fellow Oregon Democrat Rep. Earl Blumenauer last month to the House of Representatives.
This democratic aid to the finance committee, where wyden is a ranking member, said the bill is to “responsibly legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana at the federal level,” according to reports. Now is the time for cannabis reform at a national level said wyden in a press release on Friday.
“The federal prohibition of marijuana is wrong, plain and simple. Too many lives have been wasted, and too many economic opportunities have been missed,” Wyden said. “It’s time Congress make the changes Oregonians and Americans across the country are demanding.”
While Blumenauer agreed to Wydens statement. He noted that voters’ opinions on cannabis have changed in recent years and that their representatives in Congress should follow suit. Blumenauer stated “Oregon has been and continues to be a leader in commonsense marijuana policies and the federal government must catch up”. He than said “The American people have elected the most pro-cannabis Congress in American history and significant pieces of legislation are being introduced. The House is doing its work and with the help of Senator Wyden’s leadership in the Senate, we will break through.
Bill is Part of Legislative Package
S. 420 is apart of a package of bills intended to reform federal cannabis policies in the United States. These bills were dubbed by Wyden and Blumenauer as the Path to Marijuana Reform. The other measures in the package, the Small Business Tax Equity Act and the Responsibly Addressing the Marijuana Policy Gap Act. The Small Business Tax Equity Act would repeal provisions of the tax code that deny cannabis businesses the right to take the same tax deductions as companies in other industries.
The Responsibly Addressing the Marijuana Policy Gap Act would remove federal criminal penalties and civil asset forfeiture for individuals and businesses complying with state law. The bill would also give cannabis businesses legal under state law access to banking, bankruptcy protection, marijuana research, and advertising. The bill includes an expungement process for some marijuana convictions which will reduce some of the collateral damage of the War on Drugs, including the denial of federal housing and financial aid. The bill also gives veterans access to legal medical marijuana programs and protects Native American tribes from prosecution under federal cannabis laws.