US House Bill to Decriminalize Cannabis

The House has introduced a bill to decriminalize marijuana, per the official text of the bill.

The bill explains that those communities harmed the most by cannabis prohibition have benefited the least from the legal marijuana marketplace, and have suffered a “legacy of racial and ethnic injustices,” along with “the disproportionate collateral consequences of 80 years of cannabis prohibition enforcement, [which] now limits participation in the industry.”

The new bill, if passed, would remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances.

The bill says 47 states have changed their laws to make it so that cannabis isn’t the same Schedule I criminalized drug it used to be. And there are 37 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which have made laws giving legal access to cannabis. Fifteen states have allowed some access for recreational use among adults.

Legal cannabis sales have been popular. The proposed bill says there have been $20 billion in cannabis sales in 2020. And by 2025, that number is projected to hit $40 billion.

And meanwhile, the lawsuit contends that the current criminal status of cannabis isn’t doing any good – per the ACLU, the current cannabis prohibition laws, when enforced, cost taxpayers $3.6 billion.

And by continuing to enforce them, there are around 600,000 arrests per year. They disproportionately impact people of color, who the lawsuit says are more than four times as likely to be arrested for cannabis possession as white people.

PYMNTS wrote that the U.S. House has also recently passed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which would protect banks doing business with cannabis companies in states where such a thing is legal.

House Passes Cannabis Banking Initiative as Part of Defense Bill

Called the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, its purpose would be to cut down on violent crime and foreign cartel action.

The SAFE Act, introduced by Colorado Democrat Ed Perlmutter, could help businesses that become targets for robberies and other crimes because of their primary cash dealings.




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