International Cannabis Business Conference

New Pro-Cannabis Bills on the Hill

Cannabis Hill
High on the Hill: Reps Jared Polis and Earl Blumenauer are in the vanguard of pro-pot Congressman. (CelebStoner image)

Jared Polis (D-CO) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) are picking up where Barney Frank and Ron Paul left off (they both recently retired). The House Reps have sponsored federal legislation that would substantially reform the nation's marijuana laws.

Polis' bill, Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013 (H.R. 499), "follows Colorado’s model of regulating marijuana like alcohol" by removing "the Drug Enforcement Agency’s authority over marijuana and allow states to choose whether to allow marijuana for medicinal or recreational use," according to a press release at the Congressman's website.

Blumenauer's bill, The Marijuana Tax Equity Act, "would create a federal excise tax on marijuana... a 50 percent excise tax on the first sale of marijuana, from the producer to the next stage of production, usually the processor."

In their paper, The Path Forward: Rethinking Federal Marijuana Policy, the Congressmen list the following "opportunities":

1. Tax and regulate marijuana
2. Allow states to enact existing medical marijuana laws without federal interference
3. Remove ban on industrial hemp
4. Allow the marijuana industry to operate in a normal business environment
5. Create a sensible drug policy working group

"The entire (marijuana) industry - an industry that many Americans support - remains clouded by uncertainty, illegitimacy and fear," they write in their 20-page manifesto. "It's time for Congress to allow states and voters to decide how they want to treat marijuana. The current system is broken. It wastes resources and destroys individual lives, in turn damaging families and entire communities. It is past time to take action and stop this tragic waste in the future."

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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, editor-in-chief of Freedom Leaf, co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness, and the former editor of High Times.