Federal bill seeks to allow states to tax and regulate cannabis.
While many states are taking significant steps to de-criminalize or legalize cannabis within state boundaries, the discontinuity of federal laws that strictly treat cannabis use as a crime loom. On March 30, 2017, a coalition of lawmakers (Senator Ron Wyden and Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Jared Polis) introduced the Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act (MRRA) in the House and Senate. The bill proposes a federal cannabis tax structure and a path toward allowing states to create their own cannabis regulatory policies, free from federal influence.
To accomplish this distinction, the bill proposes removing cannabis from the United States Controlled Substances Act and taking away the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) power to enforce federal laws on cannabis use, possession and production.
The bill is currently under review by Committees in the House and Senate. Legislation tracking site govtrack.us currently gives the bill a “1%” chance of passing. But the very fact of its introduction and the discussions it will engender are a major step forward toward unifying state and federal laws.
To learn more, check out NORML’s article detailing the MRRA, and The Hill’s breakdown of the proposed cannabis tax structure.