U.S. Congress has never had such a flurry of cannabis legislation pass before it. Since the beginning of 2018, no less than eighteen new bills have been presented before the U.S. Congress. These articles of legislation propose widely varying legal approaches to either decriminalizing marijuana on a national level such as Bill H.R.1552 sponsored by Senators Bernie Sanders & Elizabeth Warren) or towards constructing new legal pathways that protect the rights of veterans, the indigenous tribal communities and medical users who grow, transport and use cannabis.
These eighteen new cannabis bills promise big change. This is inspirational news for our community’s goal of federal recreational legalization, but let’s take a closer look at a few specifically, and discover how they could potentially hold the keys to success this time around!:
Paving the Way for Safe, Legal Cannabis Nationwide
Bill H.R.420 “The Marijuana Revenue & Regulation Act” and its partner Bill H.R.421, sweep in from a different angle entirely, setting up strong proposals for the (rather hefty at 25%) taxation of legally grown and distributed cannabis. They call for security measures to be put into place should federal prohibition end that will protect minors, penalize those using the sale of cannabis as a cover for other illegal activities and prohibit gangs, cartels and organized crime rings from legally profiting off its sale. These two sweeping mandates along with seven additional bills, also call for more medical research into the effects of cannabis, especially for veterans.
Clearing Up State vs. Federal Differences Once and For All
Bills H.R.1119 put before Congress by a Mr. Blumenauer addresses the gap between the Federal Law of the U.S. (which finds cannabis use illegal) and states whose laws allow the use of marijuana either recreationally or medically. It is surprising to note that although 33 out of 50 U.S. States and the districts of Colombia, Puerto Rico and Guam do allow the use of medical marijuana and although 10 of those States also allow recreational marijuana use, the federal government of the U.S. does not fully recognize this legality. A person may be convicted for using cannabis although their state laws have permitted the act or be prosecuted in another state entirely for an “offense” committed in a legal state. These new bills propose to address and resolve this legal dichotomy.
Providing Clarity on Taxation and Use of Tax Money to Benefit Community
Bill H.R.1120, also proposed by the same Mr. Blumeanauer, seeks to amend the Internal Revenue code of 1986 and provide taxation and regulation of cannabis products while Bill H.R. 2338 aims to protect the housing rights of those with previous convictions and set up better structures for health education, basic health-plans, community residential centers and youth drug use prevention
Possibly some of the proposals that will have the most impact on the economy are those that advocate changes to banking law that will allow banks to fund state-approved businesses and distributors such as found in Bills H.R.420 and H.R.421. Once a steady flow of capital is permitted to reach out to the cannabis industry, the sky is the limit as far as profit is concerned. The general global trend is towards legalization as one-by-one countries like Canada, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Amsterdam have moved towards a gentler approach to cannabis consumption.
More Data & Research
Congress has found that 68% of all Americans are in favor of legalization as stated in Bill H.R.1587 "The Marijuana Data Collection Act". This process is moving forward slowly but surely as more politicians, corporations and banks see sense in investing in a potentially winning economic format. Already plans have been laid out to extend and incorporate cannabis use into the main-stream food and beverage industry.
In short, the situation we now see before us in America is veritable proof that change is on the way. Are you jumping up and down!?! This is certainly not the haphazard or “messy” approach to the Cannabis legalization issue that certain publications have suggested. Rather, it is a slowly and cunningly crafted legal ambush, covering all over-lapping aspects of marijuana policy from security aspects, to health improvements, food and beverage production, taxation, finance and data processing. No stone has been left unturned as we steadily inch forward towards cannabis legalization. Are you joining us in this mission?!