Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) has introduced a new bill to legalize marijuana on the federal level.
Wyden introduced the aptly named S. 420 on Thursday, according to Forbes. The senator hopes to legalize marijuana by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), establishing an excise tax for legal operations and by creating a permit system for aspiring merchants. If it were to become law, S. 420 would also develop guidelines for marijuana usage based on current alcohol regulations.
Wyden wants the country to follow the example of Oregon, whose state government decriminalized marijuana in 1973.
“The federal prohibition of marijuana is wrong, plain and simple," Wyden said in a statement. "Too many lives have been wasted, and too many economic opportunities have been missed. It’s time Congress make the changes Oregonians and Americans across the country are demanding.”
Wyden also introduced two more marijuana bills to accompany S. 420.
The first, S. 421, would "reduce the gap between federal and state marijuana policy” by allowing dispensaries to establish themselves without fear of persecution from the federal government. The other, S. 422, would allow cannabis businesses to pay regular business taxes to keep them “from getting hit with an unfair tax bill.”
Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D) supports the legislation and believes it stands a chance in the current iteration of Congress, according to The Hill.
“The American people have elected the most pro-cannabis Congress in American history and significant pieces of legislation are being introduced,” Blumenauer said. “The House is doing its work and with the help of Senator Wyden’s leadership in the Senate, we will break through.”
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