Oregon Lawmakers Introduce Federal Legislation To Protect State Marijuana Regulations
By Bob Garcia
Two Oregon lawmakers, Senator Ron Wyden and Representative Earl Blumenauer, have introduced a package federal legislation to regulate marijuana. Called the “Path to Marijuana Reform,” the package contains three bills designed to protect state marijuana regulations.
“The federal government must respect the decision Oregonians made at the polls and allow law-abiding marijuana businesses to go to the bank just like any other legal business,” said Wyden in a statement on Thursday.
The package contains a three-pronged approach: the Small Business Tax Equity Act, the Responsibility Addressing the Marijuana Policy Gap Act, and the Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act. The lawmakers argue that each prong is necessary to provide security for the emerging industry and secure revenue for the government.
The bills in the package address the treatment of marijuana businesses, establishing that they should be treated like any other small business. One would remove “federal criminal penalties and civil asset forfeiture for individuals and businesses complying with state law,” and protect various aspects of the business including banking, research and advertising.
The final part of the package deals with revenue, and would tax legal marijuana up to 25 percent of the sales price. It would regulate and tax marijuana on a federal level similar to alcohol and tobacco products, but prohibit marijuana sales in states where marijuana is still illegal.
Lawmakers say the package will soon be joined by other federal legislation to protect medical marijuana (the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Medical Marijuana Amendment) and to take cannabis off the controlled substances list.