Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon introduced a bill on Wednesday to federally regulate cannabis like alcohol. The bill, in a reference to pot culture, has been designated as House Resolution 420.
“While the bill number may be a bit tongue-in-cheek, the issue is very serious,” said Blumenauer. “Our federal marijuana laws are outdated, out of touch and have negatively impacted countless lives. Congress cannot continue to be out of touch with a movement that a growing majority of Americans support. It’s time to end this senseless prohibition.”
If passed, the measure would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and put the regulation of cannabis under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Removing marijuana from the CSA, where it is listed as a Schedule I drug, would allow federal grants to fund cannabis research and eliminate tight regulations on banking and other financial services. Passage of the bill would also allow for interstate cannabis commerce between states with legal pot. That would allow Blumenauer’s home state of Oregon, which is experiencing a weed glut, to export to other markets.
The Food and Drug Administration and the renamed Alcohol, Tobacco and Marijuana Tax and Trade Bureau, part of the Department of the Treasury, would have regulatory jurisdiction over the newly legal cannabis industry. The federal government would issue permits for the cultivation, packaging, sale, and importing of cannabis.
H.R. 420, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, has been referred to the House Judiciary, Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, Natural Resources, and Agriculture committees for consideration. The text of the measure has not yet been posted to the House of Representatives website.
New Congressional Cannabis Caucus Chairs
Also on Wednesday, Blumenauer announced the new co-chairs of