GOP Legislators Introduce Invoice to Legalize Hashish – Will This Carry the Nation nearer to Federal Reform?

By Nina Zdinjak

Republicans have finally published their proposal to legalize marijuana!

Between the GOP legislature’s proposal for simple cannabis deplaning and the extensive Democratic laws, the new bill, led by Representative Nancy Mace (R-SC), appears to be somewhere in the middle, reports Marijuana Moment.

RELATED: Cannabis legalization at the federal level isn’t happening anytime soon

The measure, titled State Reform Act, is currently in tentative form, although a final version is expected to be tabled in November.

Photo by matt_benoit / Getty Images

RELATED: 10 Notable Republicans in Congress Support Cannabis Legalization

Some cannabis advocates think the new proposal is a wise move, as many believe the Democrats’ sweeping bill has no chance of getting through all chambers before being put before President Biden for signature.

New draft highlights

The main points of the new 116-page draft include:

  • Marijuana is being moved to the federal level and treated like alcohol;
  • 2.75% excise tax on cannabis sales, with proceeds supporting various grant programs;
  • The leading regulator of cannabis in terms of interstate trade would be the Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) responsible for some regulations. While the FDA’s authority would be limited, it would have no more control over marijuana than it would over alcohol, with the exception of medicinal cannabis;
  • Raw cannabis would fall under the category of agricultural commodities and therefore by the. be regulated U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA);
  • Some people with non-violent cannabis crime would be eligible for deletion;
  • Existing state-licensed marijuana operators would be Grandfather in the federal system;
  • While federal agencies could continue to conduct drug testing for cannabis, veterans would be safe from state hiring discrimination based on marijuana use.
  • Veterans Affairs Physicians (VA) would be specifically empowered to issue medical cannabis recommendations to veterans.

While the new proposal is more humble than the Democrats’, which may make it more passable, the big question remains: will President Joe Biden change his stance? So far, the president has opposed state legalization of marijuana, only backing decriminalization, legalizing medical use, and leaving everything else to the states.

RELATED: Gallup Poll: The vast majority of Americans support cannabis legalization … again

In any case, with a proposal from either party, it seems that some sort of federal marijuana reform is inevitable.

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and was republished with permission.

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