Republicans Make a Move for Federal Cannabis Legalization
This Monday, Nancy Mace, the South Carolina Republican representative, introduced the first major marijuana legalization bill sponsored by the party, bringing a ray of hope for bipartisan support in the near future.
Known as the States Reform Act, the new legislation offers a few significant changes:
- The removal of cannabis from the federal Controlled Substances Act.
- The regulation and promotion of the interstate marijuana market.
- Creation of the so-called Alcohol, Tobacco, and Cannabis Tax and Trade Bureau.
- The establishing of a track and trace system for cannabis where federal officials would be authorized to issue packaging and labeling requirements for products.
- Cannabis taxation on a federal level; more precisely, a 3% federal excise tax on cannabis products.
- Solutions to legal issues of many cannabis-related businesses.
- The removal of a large chunk of cannabis-related convictions and records, with the exception of individuals associated with drug cartels.
As a result, this move joins several Democratic efforts to legalize cannabis. Among these, the famous MORE Act (reintroduced back in June) and the more recent Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAO).
In essence, they need at least 10 Senate Republicans to green-light these two bills and avoid a filibuster.
However, getting bipartisan support on this question is the main hurdle when it comes to cannabis legalization; despite the fact that polls show that most Americans support it.
Up until now, recreational marijuana has been legalized in 18 states, and medical marijuana is used legally in 36 states.
So, will this “compromise bill,” according to Mace, bring the States one step closer to nationwide cannabis legalization? Pretty likely, but we’ll just have to wait and see.