Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon proposed legislation that would legalize cannabis at the federal level and regulate it like alcohol
Sen. Ron Wyden’s (D-OR) proposal, S.420, would deschedule marijuana by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), establish a federal excise tax on legal sales and create a system of permits for businesses to engage in cannabis commerce.
“The federal prohibition of marijuana is wrong, plain and simple. Too many lives have been wasted, and too many economic opportunities have been missed,” Wyden said. “It’s time Congress make the changes Oregonians and Americans across the country are demanding.”
Blumenauer agreed, noting that voters’ opinions on cannabis have changed and that their representatives in Congress should follow suit.
“Oregon has been and continues to be a leader in commonsense marijuana policies and the federal government must catch up,” said Blumenauer. “The American people have elected the most pro-cannabis Congress in American history and significant pieces of legislation are being introduced. The House is doing its work and with the help of Senator Wyden’s leadership in the Senate, we will break through.”
Aside from S.420, which would also authorize regulations on packaging and labeling of cannabis products and apply alcohol advertising guidelines to the product, Wyden introduced two separate pieces of marijuana legislation in the Senate this week.
One of the bills, S.421, seeks to “reduce the gap between Federal and State marijuana policy.” It proposes a number of changes such as exempting state-legal marijuana activity from the CSA, allowing banking access for cannabis companies, eliminating advertising prohibitions, expunging criminal records, shielding immigrants from deportation over marijuana and allowing Department of Veterans Affairs doctors to issue medical cannabis recommendations.