A bill filed in the United States House of Representatives on Wednesday by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) that aims to remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances was assigned a familiar number. HR 420, also known as the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, would remove cannabis from the federal Controlled Substances Act if it is signed in to law.
“While the bill number may be a bit tongue in cheek, the issue is very serious. Our federal marijuana laws are outdated, out of touch and have negatively impacted countless lives,” Rep. Blumenauer said in a press release. “Our federal marijuana laws are outdated, out of touch and have negatively impacted countless lives. Congress cannot continue to be out of touch with a movement that a growing majority of Americans support. It’s time to end this senseless prohibition.”
Removing marijuana from the list of federally controlled substances would make way for federal money to fund research in to the benefits of medical marijuana. The act would also provide access to traditional banking services for cannabis-related businesses, one of the biggest issues facing cannabis entrepreneurs today.
If the bill passes, law enforcement responsiblities would shift from the DEA to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF). The agency’s name would also be changed to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana, Firearms and Explosives.
A similarly renamed Alcohol, Tobacco and Marijuana Tax and Trade Bureau within the Department of the Treasury would also have oversight authority, as would the FDA. Federal permits would be issued for cultivating, packaging, selling and importing marijuana, though it would still remain illegal to ship marijuana to states that choose to remain in the dark ages and continue to beat a dead horse with antiquated cannabis laws.