The Legalization Of Marijuana On A Federal Level – Bill 420 And Will It Pass
The Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon introduced the “420 Bill”. This Bill states that cannabis should be legalized and regulated like alcohol. This bill is designated as S.420 by Wyden and is a direct further companion to HR 420, which was introduced by the fellow Oregon Democrat Rep. Earl Blumenauer last month.
Senator Wyden stated that the bill aims to “responsibly legalize tax and regulate Cannabis Industry.” At a press conference, he also said that now is the time for cannabis reform at the national level. Sen. Blumenauer agreed, noting that the voter’s opinion on cannabis has changed now and their representatives in Congress should follow suit. “Oregon continues to be the leader in marijuana policies and the federal should also catch up,” sid Blumenauer.a
Why is Federal Legalization Important?
The future of the cannabis industry is now on the horizon for all states. With the federal government prohibition, cannabis and cannabis products cannot be transported across state lines. Therefore, companies must produce and sell products within each state, raises operating expenses. This will also affect the booming cannabis careers.
As the marijuana space is still growing, companies require significant capital to fund expansion. However, with cannabis prohibited by the federal government, banks cant do business with cannabis-related companies, starving them of much-needed funding. These problems can be solved by legalizing marijuana on a federal level.
The 420 Bill
The S.420 bill is a part of the package of bills that are intended to reform the federal cannabis policy that was dubbed by Wyden and Blumenauer as the complete path to the cannabis reform.
There are other measures in the package; the Small Business Tax Equity Act would repeal provisions of the tax codes that prohibit the cannabis businesses to have the same tax deductions as businesses in other industries. It responsibly addresses the Marijuana Policy Gap Act that will remove the federal criminal penalties and civil asset forfeiture for all the businesses and individuals complying with state law.
The Bill also addresses a process for many marijuana convictions that will reduce the collateral damage under the war on drugs, denial of federal housing and financial aid.
Two New Bills outside Washington DC
Along with the S.420 Bill, Wyden also introduced two other bills for cannabis legalization.
The 421 Bill
The 421 Bill is aimed at “reducing the gap between the federal and state marijuana policy” This is a big progressive proposal if passed will allow the banks to get in touch with the cannabis companies, remove criminal records, shield immigrants from deportation, and allow the departments of veterans to access medical facilities for cannabis.
The 422 Bill
The 422 Bill seeks to remove all the federal provisions for state-legal- cannabis business, which is a restriction that prevents from taking the benefits of business tax deductions. Along with the Wyden, Senator Rand Paul, Michael Bennet, and Patty Murray also endorsed it.
What led to this?
There is a lot to celebrate on this 20 April 2020, as it is celebrated as the unofficial holiday. Now, efforts to legalize marijuana have been gaining momentum at both the state and federal levels. As hemp was legalized by Congress this December. Since then, public support has been very high. Justin Strekal, political director of a marijuana legalization advocacy group said: “We never had more political support and momentum for ending the policies for cannabis prohibition.”
The recreational use of cannabis has now become legal in 10 states, where Washington D.C, Michigan was the first state in the Midwest that allowed recreational use. States such as New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, Illinois, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island are also considering similar laws that support cannabis legalization.
Cannabis has been decriminalized in 14 states, whereas 33 allow medicinal use of cannabis products. Supporting Americans are increasing day by day for the legalization of marijuana. According to the Gallup poll, around 70% of them say that it should be made legal. However, despite the apparent optimism for cannabis legalization, still, one-third of Americans do not support cannabis legalization.
Will they pass?
While this is the most historic Bill Introduced by Senator Wyden. By far, this is not the first move to remove the federal prohibition from cannabis. During the tenure of last Congress, Oregon Senator also filed three bills, but none of them was brought to vote.
In addition, in the last month, Earl Blumenauer proposed another bill same as 420, which was intended to remove the regulations from cannabis like alcohol. “Our federal marijuana laws are outdated, completely out of touch and have affected many lives, this issue is very serious,” says Blumenauer.
However, the supporters of cannabis are very optimistic about the latest bills. Many believe that this the required progressive step that can transform the economic viability of the cannabis industry. “Many lives are already wasted and many economic Opportunities have been missed,” says Senator Wyden. A hearing to discuss the 420 Bill is yet to be booked.
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