Republican lawmakers launched laws this week that might federally legalize and regulate marijuana, saying the proposal was vital to make sure “individual liberty” and defend states’ rights.
Representative Dave Joyce, a Ohio Republican, launched the proposed laws to finish the longstanding federal prohibition of marijuana together with Representative Don Young, an Alaska Republican.
The invoice would take away cannabis from the Federal Controlled Substances listing; instruct the federal government to create a regulatory framework for marijuana much like the alcohol business; permit the Department of Veterans Affairs to prescribe medical cannabis; and defend monetary establishments coping with marijuana distributors and growers.
“For too long, the federal government’s outdated cannabis policies have stood in the way of both individual liberty and a state’s 10th Amendment rights. It is long past time that these archaic laws are updated for the 21st Century,” Young mentioned in a Wednesday statement.
The Republican congressman famous that he’s “proud” to signify a state that has already legalized and controlled marijuana.
“This bill takes significant steps to modernize our laws by removing cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and allowing the VA to prescribe medical cannabis to veterans, in addition to finally permitting state-legal cannabis businesses to utilize traditional financial services,” he mentioned.
Joyce launched an analogous assertion, explaining the significance of his proposed laws.
“With more than 40 States taking action on this issue, it’s past time for Congress to recognize that continued cannabis prohibition is neither tenable nor the will of the American electorate,” the GOP lawmaker mentioned. Joyce mentioned he seems to be ahead to working with Democrats and Republicans to cross the invoice.
As Joyce highlighted, most U.S. states have already moved forward with cannabis laws. Dozens of states have already legalized cannabis for medical functions, whereas 17 states and Washington, D.C. have legalized marijuana for leisure use by adults. Despite this actuality, cannabis stays listed as a prohibited Schedule 1 drug, in accordance with the federal authorities.
“With an overwhelming majority of Americans supporting the end of cannabis prohibition, it’s clear that our country has a mandate to create a legal industry that supports both medical and adult-use. It’s a bi-partisan issue,” Steve Hawkins, the chief director on the Marijuana Policy Project that advocates for legalization, mentioned in an announcement emailed to Newsweek on Thursday. Hawkins cheered the Republican proposal as “a promising step forward.”
Notably, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives already passed legislation in December that might legalize cannabis on the federal degree. The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (or MORE Act) was accredited within the House with the help of 5 Republicans, one unbiased, and all however six Democrats. However, that laws stalled within the Senate, which was then managed by Republicans.
Polling by Gallup launched in November confirmed that help for legalizing marijuana had reached a brand new file excessive. The survey discovered that 68 % of Americans believed that the usage of marijuana ought to be made authorized. That marked a slight enhance from the 66 % that supported legalization the earlier yr, and a dramatic enhance over the simply 12 % who supported legalizing cannabis again in 1969 when Gallup first started polling Americans on the problem.
Newsweek reached out to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi‘s press representatives for touch upon the GOP-proposed invoice.