This week is a great week for legal marijuana as several bills are introduced to the U.S. House and Senate that would legalize marijuana similar to alcohol. The biggest issue for current legal marijuana businesses is the constant fear of a federal crackdown. Though over half of the U.S. has already legalized marijuana in some form, the federal government has held tight onto it's prohibitionist values, but the new marijuana bills introduced this week could make history by enacting long awaited marijuana law reform. If passed, these bills would remove the federal threat on legal marijuana states, veterans, and Native American tribes, allow marijuana businesses to access banking and small business tax deductions, and it would also remove cannabis from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act. Advocates are hoping to gain support of republican lawmakers by supporting states' rights and expecting hefty tax revenue from marijuana sales.
“The flurry of bills on the Hill today are a reflection of the growing support for cannabis policy reform nationally,” said National Cannabis Industry Association executive director Aaron Smith. “State-legal cannabis businesses have added tens of thousands of jobs, supplanted criminal markets and generated tens of millions in new tax revenue. States are clearly realizing the benefits of regulating marijuana and we are glad to see a growing number of federal policy makers are taking notice.”
“There will surely be some members on the fence about this legislation, but consider it unthinkable that we would return to alcohol prohibition,” he said. “They need to ask themselves why they are still clinging to the prohibition of a less harmful substance.