Congressmen from Colorado and Oregon have proposed legislation that would weaken federal restrictions on marijuana, The Wall Street Journal reports. The proposals, which are likely to face stiff opposition, would begin to address the disparity between federal and state marijuana laws.
Representative Jared Polis of Colorado proposed a federal bill that would allow states to legalize marijuana within their boundaries. Oversight of marijuana would move from the Drug Enforcement Administration to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. A bill introduced by Oregon Representative Earl Blumenauer calls for a federal excise tax on marijuana sales.
“This legislation doesn’t force any state to legalize marijuana, but Colorado and the 18 other jurisdictions that have chosen to allow marijuana for medical or recreational use deserve the certainty of knowing that federal agents won’t raid state-legal businesses,” Representative Polis said in a news release. “Congress should simply allow states to regulate marijuana as they see fit and stop wasting federal tax dollars on the failed drug war.”
“We are in the process of a dramatic shift in the marijuana policy landscape,” said Representative Blumenauer. “Public attitude, state law, and established practices are all creating irreconcilable difficulties for public officials at every level of government. We want the federal government to be a responsible partner with the rest of the universe of marijuana interests while we address what federal policy should be regarding drug taxation, classification, and legality.”