Jared Polis, Colorado Rep, and Earl Blumenauer, Oregon Rep, recently introduced bills in Congress that would legalise marijuana on a federal level. This would make it taxable, which would also help the states to bring in more money.
Polis said in a recent statement that by legalising marijuana, we could cut down on crime and keep it out of the hands of our children. Both Polis and Blumenauer are from states which have already legalised the use of recreational marijuana.
The RMLAA, or the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, would eliminate marijuana from the government’s illegal drugs list. It would then be transferred to the alcohol, firearms and tobacco act. The newfound revenue from this is unlikely to spark change for Republicans. Studies show that over 51% of people want to legalise weed, but only a third of conservatives want this to happen. Similar bills haven’t gotten anywhere in congress, so it will be interesting to see how this one will transition.
The sales figures for Colorado came out at $700 million, and that is only for the stores and dispensaries. In December, the state made around $8.5 million in pot related taxes as well as licensing fees.
Polis announced in a press release that he had acknowledged the prohibition of marijuana at a federal level, and that marijuana puts people who are new in the legal market at risk. If the federal law was lifted, small business owners and patients could live freely without having to worry about the state law or the new administration.
Blumenauer and Polis made an announcement after lawsuits were filed against recreational marijuana in their states. Both of the suits claim that legalised marijuana shops are causing a nuisance.
While there is no clear winner in the battle for pot legalisation, advocates are helping to push the bills through in states ranging from Vermont to Texas.