Feb 202015
 February 20, 2015

congress marijuana legalizationCongressmen Jared Polis (D-CO) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) Introduce Separate Marijuana Tax, Regulation Bills

In a speech to Congress recently, United States Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) stated that he was going to introduce a federal bill that would end marijuana prohibition in America. Today he made good on that promise. Below is a press release from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition talking about the bill:

Today US Representatives Jared Polis (D-CO) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced separate bills to tax and regulate the sale of marijuana for adults at the federal level. Polis introduced a bill that would allow states the ability to choose to legalize marijuana without fear of federal intervention, and a federal regulatory structure would be built to accommodate those new laws. Blumenauer’s bill would tax marijuana at the federal level, in addition to any taxes that may be imposed by state and local jurisdictions. Marijuana is already state-legal in Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon, and medical marijuana is allowed in 23 states and Washington, DC. Yet despite a Department of Justice memo that instructed federal prosecutors to be sparing in their interference in state-legal operations,  ”using [their] limited investigative and prosecutorial resources to address the most significant marijuana-related cases,” which the memo explained, and passage of the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment defunding federal prosecution of medical marijuana cases, some US attorneys, such as Melinda Haag, continue to inappropriately use federal law to go after state-legal operations.

“Cops have better things to worry about than the recreational habits of responsible, nonviolent adults,” said Maj. Neill Franklin (Ret.), executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), a group of criminal justice professionals opposed to the drug war. “And dispensary owners have better things to worry about than whether the federal government is going to arrest them and/or seize their assets for acting in accordance with state law.”

Source: Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

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  92 Responses to “Federal Marijuana Legalization Bills Introduced To Congress”

  1.  

    Blumenaur /Polis
    #2016 presidential nominations

    •  

      I might be able to get behind that.
      Edited: It would depend greatly on what the rest of their platform looked like.

    •  

      Yeah, except that this one issue, however right they are on it, and even no matter how important, would not justify a presidency, nor do these guys even want to run, if their silence on the subject is any indication. I say, re-elect them for their Congressional jobs, which they are doing far better than most.

  2.  

    Wait and see. Wait and see. :-)

  3.  

    Wait and see. Wait and see. :-)

  4.  

    Thanks for noting the party affiliation and home states of these legislators.

  5.  

    More taxes and regulations? Doesn’t sound much like legalization to me, sounds like more prohibition.

    •  

      Actually that’s exactly what legalization is

    •  

      its either pay a tax and consume it freely or no tax and take a chance of being thrown through the drug war fueled judicial system. theres no in between for the gov so we need to compromise on some level.

    •  

      We have a choice: compromise or forget about legalization. I agree that they are not perfect, but these bills might be very welcome and not seem like just more prohibition to people in jail, patients with no safe access to the meds that help them most, people suffering at the hands of violent drug cartels throughout Latin America, etc.

      •  

        They know they are losing of course they want to compromise now. Compromise should have happened decades ago. Its time we the people take back the power one state at a time if we have to. The gov will already get tax revenue from earnings. so to add an additional tax is just stupid. We the people are rising up and taking back our country vote by vote. Time for compromise is over time that we have it regulated just like any other cash crop. That’s the fair thing to do. Do you think the gov is going to say so sorry to all the people lives they have ruined because of prohibition? Heck no. That’s why I joined Missouri Cannabis Reform on facebook to support real legalization not this fake stuff they are trying to do.

    •  

      What’s the problem? If it’s taxed too high, the current “black market” will still be there for you. Removing the illegality of possession is the thing!

      •  

        Besides, with different states legalizing right next to each other, consumers will have the option of shopping in the states with the best deals. My state’s draconian tax laws, for example, cannot stand for long if neighboring states adopt much more reasonable rates! Hopefully, there will be “spoiler states” (i.e. reasonable states) in every region, which will tax at truly reasonable rates, keeping the rest honest!

  6.  

    Our Bodies are Naturally Hard Wired for Marijuana . It sends Messages through our bodies Neuron Receptors that enable us to fight Disease & illnesses including Cancers . Mothers Breast Milk contain Natural Cannabinoids . Ingesting Raw Unheated Marijuana creates No Psycho-active Effect but is an Essential part of the Human Diet for young and old . Types of Marijuana with a medium amount of THC as well as low amounts should be sold in Grocery Produce Sections next to Hemp & Cabbage no later than tomorrow . Since Marijuana Cures so many things then Proper Regulated Recreational use would Prevent them . Making someone wait for the symptoms of illnesses including Cancers is a Crime . People here in Mississippi are trying to get it legalized but can’t get enough signatures for fear of losing their jobs or Government Assistance . I have tried every type of medicine for over 20 years & nothing helps but I’m sure marijuana would . So I take NO Medicine for my pain , anxiety , & insomnia that truly works . It makes me Hate those who keep marijuana access from me .

    •  

      I hear you, but why all the weird Caps everywhere.

    •  

      Yeah, but you COULD buy some pot on the black market, like most of us have been doing for 50 years and more… You would certainly be justified, by being a free American as much as for your medical need..

    •  

      If prohibition is a joke, what is the punchline? Our government and us. Sitting back, watching police use marijuana as a legal way to promote racism against our black and brown brothers/sisters…the NAACP has it right in trying to change that most insidious of racism…that perpetrated by our elected officials because it is for our own good *shakes head*…

    •  

      Here, here!

  7.  

    I applaud his attempt, and the conversation he’s started, but no self respecting conservative will even jump on this bandwagon with taxes or regulation involved. I’m not doing my happy dance for this tune.

    •  

      Change has to start somewhere. While I’m not doing my happy dance, I am a glass half full kinda guy. Don’t mind me while I polish up my dancing shoes, and limber up my jazz fingers. It will happen…when is the question…FREE THE WEED!!!

  8.  

    A federal and state tax.

    •  

      That was always an obvious result. So many people will buy that they’ll make so much on taxes. Hence why prostitution should also be legal.

    •  

      Hopefully we can avoid that with home cultivation being allowed. It’s easy to grow, there’s a reason it’s called “weed”.

    •  

      Except of course there is about ZERO legitimate justification for them. They are in fact little more than bribes, and legalization, the way it is being established, is little more than extortion. The ONLY real justification for heavy taxation and regulation is legalization. Once that has been accomplish, there won’t be any justification at all. If taxes continue to be much too high, i.e. on the level of extortion, as they are being proposed in many states currently, we’ll just have to return to the black market for most of our legal marijuana… and the states and cities will have to go begging for their windfall tax revenues.

  9.  

    I guess now the president can come a little more clean on his stance on whether or not he would veto it if it hit his desk ????

    •  

      You’re kidding right?

      Obama could order the rescheduling of cannabis and thereby end the persecution of MM patients but he’s a hypocrite who cares nothing for the people of this country. He’s certainly not going to make known his willingness to sign or veto any bill that makes cannabis legal.

      •  

        How would it look? I can understand why the first African-American president would be hesitant to legalize weed. Should he do it anyways? Abso-freaking-lutely! The so-called “War on Drugs” is a war against American people of all social classes. As far as I’m concerned when police choose to prioritise the persecution of marijuana over clearing the streets of violent criminals, they should be prosecuted for gross negligence/dereliction of duty. IMO Marijuana reform is long overdue. FREE THE WEED!!!

        •  

          good point. it wouldn’t look good, but I don’t think he cares, must be another political reason he’s dragging his feet, maybe because every time he supports something congress shoots him down, or maybe he thinks there’s other things more important like ttp or isis or any number of things that should come first! as for him being a hypocrite {contrariant} we all are, we’re not living in a democracy we live in a hypocracy & its everybodys fault, reps, dems, pros & cons. what would you have do? use executive order so the reps can start kicking that dead horse again? don’t get me wrong I want it legal probably more than the next guy, & I do think he should use his power despite the heartless reps who truly don’t care about the people, just there own selfish, hateful agenda.

        •  

          How does it look for him to hand out green cards to people who entered the country without a visa? Don’t try that in Mexico.

          •  

            That’s a seperate issue entirely. If I lived in Mexico, I’d jump that fence, swim that river, or hop that log. This country was founded by immigrants and I cannot in good conscience fault others for seeking the opportunities my forefathers sought. Regardless, I do have to agree with some of the comments that went before. Our government is broken. I believe that until we end the war on Americans, how can we put more priority on illegal immigration? Obama should be trying to save the Marijuana Refugees who have uprooted their lives and left their support systems to procure treatment involving cannabis! Save “our” people from persecution/prosecution and then tackle illegals…but keep in mind…I’m a hillbilly so what do I know?

          •  

            Well I’m writing from the Heart of the Ozarks and hillbilly describes a self reliant individual who is always willing to help others.

          •  

            Greetings from Appalachia fellow hill folk lol…

        •  

          It’s people who belong to his race who suffer the most from draconian American drug-tyranny. He should JUMP at the chance to fix that!

      •  

        Obama is AFRAID to take credit for one of the most important reforms to cross his desk in 6 years, which he demeans for reasons which are not and cannot be justified. He’s afraid of being labelled the “pot president,” when in fact signing these bills could be the most positive thing he has done in his entire presidency! If Mr. Obama wants to establish a legacy, legalizing marijuana is about all he has left… He needs to show a little spine for a change!

      •  

        Agreed! BO is not only a hypocrite, but also a cowardly liar.

    •  

      He has to talk to his lobbyists first…

  10.  

    I think this is a good thing legalization of marijuana will help thousands of people who are in pian and with other health problems

  11.  

    What about growing for other uses? I want hemp…clothes paper and other Eco friendly products. Think of the jobs and industry created just for this portion alone. Put people to work.

  12.  

    It’s about damn time.

    •  

      Amen from the peanut gallery!

    •  

      It remains to be seen whether Congress actually passes these bills, but the time is ripe. Any Congresspeople who vote against it should be labelled as vicious, hateful, destructive spoilers.

      •  

        Lol…and how do you really feel? I kid but I also agree. The people are chomping at the bit for change. I keep reading that there aren’t enough studies…I call BS. Israel is the leading researcher when it comes to marijuana, but we can’t look at their research? Thousands of studies hoping to show the negative impacts, but they can’t use the lack of negatives to infer that it is less harmful than most cholesterol medications? Naysayers claim we need more research, but I think we need the impossible…more common sense! Now the cartels are pushing heroin and meth to make up for the losses of 4 states legalizing pot. If the government tried something groundbreaking like telling the truth about drugs, people would probably be more inclined to listen. It’s hard for them to say “We are telling the truth about heroin,” when anyone with a brain can see the lies force fed the masses about a benign plant. Come on people…wake up and smell the coffee!!! Propaganda is alive and well on Fox News…I digress…it’s a fricking mess…

        •  

          “We need more research?” HAH! Stalling tactics! We’ve heard that before! In fact, the US government has had at least 75 years to do their research, and have spent at least $1Tn on the drug war, which should be ENOUGH! I’d say they’ve had PLENTY of opportunity, and they have failed utterly to produce one scrap of evidence that marijuana is harmful – in any way, whatsoever! In fact we know more about marijuana already that we have ever known about virtually ANY other drugs before making them legal. The government has tried hundreds and thousands of times to identify harm caused by marijuana, and all they have ever succeeded in proving is that marijuana is virtually perfectly safe…

      •  

        “Any Congresspeople who vote against it should be labelled as vicious, hateful, destructive spoilers.”
        100% agree. They should be voted out of office. Not allowed to drift back into the shadows of lobbyist hand-outs. They should be tagged as problem humans, not responsible citizens of a democratic republic but police state goons.

        •  

          We need to remember what these criminal legislators have done to us, and exactly who was/is responsible.We MUST NAME NAMES! If we did that much more, there would be much less corruption in government.

          •  

            The constitution, which is written on hemp, created government to work for the people not control the people. I laugh anytime people say America is a free country. Maybe free for Rockefellers, Or those in control. Government has grown way to big and agenda is against those who put them in office. Our Founding fathers are rolling in their grave at “Americans.” When government oppresses us its called Tyranny. It’s a shame most aren’t as wise as you, that’s why this country is so fuct.

  13.  

    this is great but even if the feds made it legal, every state still has to go about changing the state laws too but this should be some incentive for some of those state govt still on the fence or against it. at least they cant use the federal law flawed argument anymore if this passes.

    •  

      These bills make it possible for states to move forward with legalization policies, free from the threat of federal intervention. Of course they will still have to do it, but the incentive is tens and hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues, not to mention huge, newfound measures of freedom and justice for all. I think most states will go for it, and residents of those who don’t will usually have legal pot for sale in states nearby. Legalization is a no-brainer, for states with people with brains…

  14.  

    “Cops have better things to worry about than the recreational habits of responsible, nonviolent adults,” said Maj. Neill Franklin (Ret.), executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP)? Damn straight! Not only are pot smokers (which I mean to include those who consume by eating comestibles and those who vaporize, of course) “responsible and non-violent,” but they are using a drug which is medically safe, and which is not known to cause traffic accidents or violence, either, unlike the familiar, traditional and traditionally legal drugs. The bottom line is that there is no legitimate reason to make war on marijuana, or even to restrict, regulate or tax it strictly. These bills reflect REALITY! These bills SHOULD DEFINITELY, CERTAINLY be passed, ASAP, so that this country can finally.. END THE MADNESS!

  15.  

    There should not be any “vice tax” whatsoever, as marijuana is not really a vice. If it doesn’t cause any significant public health or safety problems, and marijuana does NOT, then it’s not a vice! Taxes on marijuana should be modest, in fact, the sales tax alone (on a drug which solves far more problems than it creates) should be more than sufficient…

  16.  

    Let’s start doing unto others as we would have them do unto us. None of us would want our kids put in jail over a little marijuana. None of us would want the police to confiscate and sell our parents’ home because they grew a couple of plants to help with the aches and pains of growing older. Let’s start treating other people the way we would want to be treated.

    Contact your representative at http://www.house.gov/representatives/
    They won’t know if we don’t tell them!
    Polite + Friendly + Responsible = Success!

    •  

      I wish it were that simple…a democracy is when you have 2 wolves and a sheep, then have them take a vote on what’s for dinner…the vote hardly ever goes in a way that makes sense for everyone involved. Common sense is a rare commodity these days…

    •  

      Don’t use the words of the bible… Your kids get put in jail for being dumb .. They should know better

  17.  

    It makes since to legalize marijuana. It sucks that they have another tax though. Well end up with some big edible corporations and everything else. Let weed at its full potential. Its a multi billion dollar cash crop.

  18.  

    Who cares if they tax us. I would rather pay the taxes than pay the lawyer fee for possession And a criminal record for a plant

    •  

      This is NOT an “either/or,” “lesser evil” situation! We should not be expected to suffer EITHER EVIL! Being expected to pay outrageous taxes for doing something which is demonstrably nearly perfectly safe is just another kind of tyranny…

      •  

        Paying taxes is not tyranny when they are voted in by lawmakers or by the people. This isn’t 1775 and we are not under the rule of King George III. How you can equate a person being caged like an animal and exposed to the brutality of the prison system to an annoyance like paying some pesky taxes that are voted in by legislature or by the people is baffling to put it nicely. Forgive me.

        •  

          George III’s taxation was perfectly legal, too, or were you not aware of that?

          These are NOT just “pesky (but reasonable) taxes!” These are TYRANNICAL TAXES. These are exceptionally, EXCESSIVELY high taxes, directed at a specific segment of society, without any GENUINE justification whatsoever.

          Why don’t we tax golf rounds, say, $100/round instead? That would be OK with you apparently (and to me, far MORE reasonable). How about we tax kosher food (and JUST kosher food) 300%? How about taxing football tickets $100/ticket? According to you, those must also be reasonable, if “pesky” taxes! Why pick on cannabis users? We do less harm than virtually any other group!

          The legislature is, one would have to be blind not to know, extremely corrupt. It is apparent at every turn that it represents corporate interests FAR ahead of those of The American People. Why should we trust IT to make fair and reasonable judgements for US? I certainly don’t.

          I have no problem with reasonable taxes, but I don’t like being “taken for a ride…”

          •  

            Legal or not, it was taxation without representation. Look, Yankee, I don’t want to pay excessive taxes are be taken for a ride either. Personally, I think cannabis should be regulated like coffee, but the world don’t think like me. Are you aware that prohibition is the cruelest tax of all. You pay taxes with fines and human flesh. Ask that fellow doing life in Missouri for weed. So you want to bray on about taxes, you can start with the cruelest tax of all — prohibition. I have yet to see any post where you condemned prohibition.

          •  

            It’s taxation without representation NOW. You seem so grateful that the government may not now throw us in jail, that you care not what other tyranny it imposes. We need to throw tyranny off altogether, not just accept one in place of another. No, I am NOT so grateful that I won’t go to prison, that I will accept flogging in its place!

          •  

            I couldn’t agree more. With such high taxes it will force the legal shops out of business with no money to operate. The result like you said is black market which will keep these cock sucking DEA and for profit prisons still profitable entities. They will tell us legalization exists but will it really? Then you have the sheep who don’t even understand and say “I’m fine paying taxes, it beats being in jail.” Then I ask myself are these the people I’m trying to save? Am I better off staying quite and just growing my own for only me?

          •  

            Legalization, the way it is being orchestrated by the former prohibitionists, is really just a large-scale kind of extortion… i.e. we can have our rights if and only if we pay through the nose, for a weed. Did I say former prohibitionists? What a deal! If they can jack up the price of pot with high taxes, and pocket the proceeds, they’ve got it MADE! Er, they will be protecting public health and safety… The former prohibitionists should have NOTHING whatsoever to do with administering legalization! The have all the wrong instincts! They have ALL the wrong motives. They want to EXPLOIT us dumb-fuck hippies. Those are the only terms they’ll accept! It’s EXTORTION.

      •  

        Simple solution. Grow it at home. Same as beer and wine. I only buy wine when I want a different taste. Otherwise home made is the way to go.

  19.  

    I love this blog with all my heart, but sometimes I get put off when people nit pick about taxes and regulation. Something historic is happening and the Fed Government through Congress is having a conversation about legalization. You know what’s worse than taxes? Over 700,000 people each year persecuted for something that should never been a crime in the first place. When people stop going to jail for weed, then maybe I’ll have the luxury to gripe about taxes and regulation.

    •  

      Reform is NOT where they simply replace one tyranny with another. The kind of taxes we’re talking here are HUGELY EXCESSIVE, directed at one specific segment of society, which does FAR less harm than the oppressors themselves! Those oppressors use drugs that are FAR more harmful! And yet do they tax themselves for it, at a level anywhere near where they’d tax us? Why is alcohol not “deep pockets,” far ahead of us? Why is tobacco not taxed Far, FAR more (not that I recommend that)? We deserve to be taxed very lightly compared with those who use alcohol or tobacco (and certainly much more lightly that some states and municipalities propose). You don’t think billions of dollars of excessive taxes aimed specifically at us is trivial? It’s a very important issue!

      •  

        To me, it’s no where as important as people being caged like animals or being fined and harassed. So sue me. I guess people being persecuted and caged like animals for weed doesn’t seem very important to you. Well it is to me, so take a number.

        •  

          When federal tax rates for cannabis are at 25, on top of state and municipal taxes this could expand the black market. People will still be put in cages over cannabis sales. Just look at Eric Garner, who was selling black market cigarettes. Poor people will still be punished by police but the middle class will get to have their over priced marijuana. At that point they will stop caring.

          •  

            So to you and the anarcho-anti tax extremists, it was about Eric Garner selling tax free cigarettes. You don’t think heavy handed policing, racial profiling, and the NYPD incompetently brutal response to a person who was no threat to police weren’t factors? The humiliating Stop and Frisk policies had nothing to do with that? We are paying the cruelest tax of all, it’s called prohibition. The tax is paid with caged human flesh. Private property gets expropriated (asset forfeitures) and other atrocities go on. Those are taxes, let’s see you anarcho-anti tax extremists protest that!

          •  

            Another thing about Eric Garner: If he were selling joints, would American society be as sympathetic? I don’ think so. American logic: tobacco=Eric Garner martyr. Marijuana: Trayvon Martin=degenerate criminal. Think about it. But hey, this comes from a society that blames Putin for the mayhem and genocide that the US and NATO started in Ukraine (slightly off topic but I had to throw that in to illustrate American logic) Why should I be surprised?

          •  

            LOL, You make good points but i am not an “anarcho-anti tax extremist”. You have totally misread me. If black market cannabis is vastly cheaper then legal stuff, because of a greedy state and local government, then the black market will thrive. Its logical. And why would the federal government want to raise taxes on cannabis so high? The reasons is two fold. 1) legal revenue 2) Continuation of the black market. A thriving black market will give all those DEA thugs something to do. It will keep the prisons filled. These are my reasons for supporting low taxes and minimal regulation.

  20.  

    The ONLY way I could accept a 100% tax on marijuana would be if the retail price tag dropped to $100 or less. Even under prohibition, marijuana was a moderate expense. It should NOT become more costly legal! If it does, the black market will FLOURISH.

    •  

      Legalization in 4 states has already caused the cartels to begin pushing more heroin and meth. The black market in Colorado is flourishing due to taxes and the cheaper price of Medicinal Marijuana. Taxation and regulation are the way to go…but to get rid of the black market the prices have to drop.

    •  

      Once more and more people grow at home the price will naturally drop. I agree with what you say. They should also decriminalise all drugs. Help people with problems, don’t jail them.

  21.  

    Wow…This is a great idea man! Who came up with it.

  22.  

    Whats taking so long on HR499?

  23.  

    Stupid man …. Just influencing more people that drugs are good then there y’all go legalising more drugs …

  24.  

    My p o claims DOC policy that even med is illegal. I thought that even state ran agencies still had to abide by state law as long as my act was not a federal case. Nor did it apply to medical marijuana as per new rule. My PO now wants to penalize me for getting my med card and says one more hot u a (for weed)and he will violate me

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