Fixing California and federal marijuana laws – Press Telegram

Despite the legal ability of adults to buy and use marijuana, the legal market struggles to compete with California’s black market, where state and local tax burdens on legal marijuana products approach 40%. As a result, more than half of California’s cannabis market continues to be supplied by unlicensed dealers.

California aims to improve marijuana law, so it would also benefit if the outdated and unproductive federal law banning marijuana was eventually abolished.

Currently, 18 states have legalized the use of marijuana by adults, and 36 states have legislation permitting the use of medical marijuana. According to polls, nearly 7 in 10 Americans support the legalization of marijuana use by adults, and 90% support medical use. Nevertheless, federal law still bans marijuana, treating it as an illegal “Schedule 1” substance like heroin and more rigorously than cocaine or methamphetamine.

Therefore, in California, it remains illegal by the federal government for Americans to own, grow, distribute, or transport marijuana, even for medical purposes. Recently, two comprehensive federal bills have been introduced to legalize marijuana. It’s the Marijuana Opportunity in the House of Representatives, the Reinvestment and Elimination (MORE) Act, and the new Senate Bill by Chuck Schumer, the leader of the Senate in New York. Both bills are at the heart of the matter by removing marijuana from the list of regulated substances.

Unscheduling is the cornerstone of marijuana reform, as it allows marijuana to be treated like other legitimate substances such as alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine.

It removes federal penalties for the use of marijuana, but still allows the state to regulate, ban, or legalize it as it pleases, like alcohol.

Unscheduling has the advantage of ensuring that state law marijuana is just as legal under federal law.

It also clears old federal regulations on banking, medical access, research, immigration, housing, employment and gun rights.

A weaker alternative, known as reschedule, regulates marijuana as a prescribing substance such as opiates, but does not meet existing state legislation for both medical and adult use.

Limited federal oversight of interstate trade, such as selling and promoting the Internet, importing from abroad, and exporting to states that ban marijuana, will promote an orderly and legitimate marijuana market. Federal authorities over-regulate and tax the entire marijuana industry, as currently envisioned by Senator Schumer’s bill, which imposes federal regulations on product testing, labeling, packaging, record keeping, cultivation, manufacturing, and inventory tracking. is not necesary to. The Food and Drug Administration regulates cannabis products.

States, including California, have already done much of this, and such regulations are within the scope of constitutionally reserved authority. The federal role in cannabis regulation should be properly restricted to products in interstate or foreign commerce.

Taxation in some states, such as California, will make the prices of goods in the black market more attractive to consumers and producers, and high federal taxes will exacerbate that trend. A good example is that the total tax burden on legal cannabis should not exceed the amount currently imposed on alcohol spirits, which is 15 percent. Federal sales tax must only cover the costs of facilitating inventory movements between state regulatory frameworks that continue to control cannabis product standards.

Finally, it is imperative that federal marijuana reform address the damage caused by the ban. Both the current House and Senate bills wisely incorporate restorative justice provisions that eradicate or resent people about crimes decriminalized by federal legalization. The proposal also includes a stock clause to ensure that former marijuana criminals are not excluded from working in the legal market, to promote competition and reduce barriers to entry for small entrepreneurs.

It’s time to unschedule marijuana. There are many ways to reform cannabis, but the wisest way is to free the state from abolished federal law and not burden the state with new federal taxes and regulations.

Dale Gieringer is the director of the California branch of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Geoffrey Lawrence is responsible for the Reason Foundation’s drug policy and a founding member of the Libertarian Cannabis Liberal Alliance.

Fixing California and federal marijuana laws – Press Telegram Source link Fixing California and federal marijuana laws – Press Telegram

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