News Worms
News Worms

Oregon Lawmakers Introduce Ambitious Marijuana Reform Bills

Oregon Lawmakers Introduce Ambitious Marijuana Reform Bills

The bills will fix federal tax code 280E, which now prohibits legal, state-based cannabis businesses from making standard business deductions on their federal tax returns.

Under the new bill, called the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, the plant would be removed from its Schedule I listing on the Controlled Substances List and would be regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. "This three-step approach will spur job growth and boost our economy all while ensuring the industry is being held to a fair standard".

"As more states follow Oregon's leadership in legalizing and regulating marijuana, too many people are trapped between federal and state laws", Rep. Blumenauer said in Thursday's statement. "It's not right, and it's not fair".

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Wyden, the top Democrat on the powerful Senate Finance Committee, joined Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon, and several other lawmakers in backing a series of pro-marijuana bills that were introduced Monday. The Senate version is co-sponsored by Rand Paul (R-Ky.), while the House version is co-sponsored by Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.). It would protect individual marijuana consumers in states that have legalized marijuana by providing an expungement process for certain marijuana violations, ensuring access to public housing and federal financial aid for higher education, and ensuring that a person can not be deported or denied entry to the USA exclusively for consuming marijuana in compliance with state law.

With Florida voters backing medical marijuana at the polls back in November, a South Florida Republican wants to make sure marijuana businesses are taxed fairly. The proposal would also create rules for advertising, packaging, and labeling pot products.

The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, introduced in the House by Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), would regulate marijuana like alcohol by inserting marijuana into the section of the U.S. Code that regulates "intoxicating liquors". Federal law now prohibits the Justice Department from prosecuting medical marijuana operations in states where they are legal, but recreational pot stores and producers face a continuous threat of arrest, prosecution, and asset forfeiture. States are adopting laws created to improve public safety by replacing the illegal marijuana market with a tightly regulated system of production and sales.

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For example, since marijuana is a Schedule 1 substance, and financial institutions nearly always answer to the federal government, most banks won't offer basic financial services to pot-based businesses. "Annually, 600,000 Americans are arrested for nothing more than the possession of small amounts of marijuana and now is the time for Congress to once and for all end put an end to the national embarrassment that is cannabis prohibition", said Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director. If Congress passes the Responsibly Addressing the Marijuana Policy Gap Act, that wouldn't be as much of an issue.

Spicer suggested that the Trump administration may consider enforcing federal marijuana laws in states where the drug is legal.

"Some of our intel people are trying to track down info regarding some of DEA's better marijuana investigations for the new administration", the e-mail states.

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