Bill Submitted for National Commission on Federal Marijuana Policy

On April 18, Congressman Steve Cohen introduced a legislation to create the National Commission on Federal Marijuana Policy Act, H.R. 1635.  The purpose of the bill is said to understand how current federal government policies interact with states.  If passed, the $10 million program would authorize a 13-member commission to study:

  • How federal laws should be reconciled with state marijuana laws
  • The cost of marijuana prohibition and potential regulation of marijuana, as well as the potential revenue generated by taxation of marijuana
  • The impact of federal banking and tax laws on businesses operating in compliance with state marijuana laws
  • The health impacts, both benefits and risks, related to marijuana use, and in comparison to alcohol and tobacco use
  • The domestic and international public safety effects of marijuana prohibition and potential regulation of marijuana
  • The impact of marijuana prohibition on criminal justice, including any racial disparities, and the collateral consequences of prosecution for marijuana possession, including lack of access to housing, education, and employment
  • The appropriate placement of marijuana in the schedule of the Controlled Substances Act
  • The effects of marijuana prohibition or future regulation and control of marijuana on international relationships and treaty obligations.

In the 2012 general elections, Colorado and Washington both legalized marijuana for recreational use.  Additionally, several other states have established some form of decriminalized policy.

The US federal government maintains marijuana/THC as a schedule 1 drug, with no currently accepted medical use in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse.

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