Yesterday, three members of Congress introduced new legislation that would allow for marijuana to be legalized in all fifty states. This piece of legislation was proposed by Jared Polis (D-Colorado), Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), and Congressmen Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon).
If this bill, called the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, passes then cannabis would be removed from its Schedule I listing on the Controlled Substances List which would mean that the FDA would be required to treat marijuana as medicine. The bill also states that marijuana would be regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The bill would also require that all states make the legal age of purchasing and consuming marijuana to be 21 and up. And that marijuana would also follow the same rules as alcohol when it comes to advertising.
This legislation could be a huge humanitarian effort against the War on Drugs in America. According to Justin Strekal, the Executive Director of NORML, "Annually, 600,000 Americans are arrested for nothing more than the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Passing this legislation would end the current conflict between state and federal laws and allow the states to implement more sensible and humane marijuana policies free from the threat of federal incursion."
Although this bill has high hopes, it might be very difficult to get it through Congress. Right now, Congress is dominated by Republicans in the Senate and in the House. Buy many advocates are hoping for an honest shot. Robert Capecchi, the Director of Federal Policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, stated "It's time for Congress to come to grips with the fact that marijuana is safer than alcohol, and most Americans think it should be treated that way. We hope their colleagues will take an objective look at the benefits of replacing prohibition with a system of regulation."