Two House bills were filed last Friday that together would legalize, regulate and tax marijuana at the federal level, effectively ending the U.S.’s decades-long prohibition on marijuana.
The first bill, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act’s schedules, transfer oversight of the substance from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and would ultimately regulate marijuana in a way similar to alcohol.
The second bill, the Marijuana Tax Revenue Act, would set up a federal excise tax for regulated marijuana sales in the U.S.
“As more states move to legalize marijuana as Oregon, Colorado, Washington and Alaska have done,” noted Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), “it’s imperative the federal government become a full partner in building a workable and safe framework.”
The bills wouldn’t force states to legalize marijuana, but the new federal regulatory framework would be set in place for the states that do decide to legalize marijuana.