Two Oregon congressional democrats, a senator and a representative, show ground-breaking leadership with their “Path to Marijuana Reform.” Three pieces of excellent legislation showcase the effort by Senator Ron Wyden and Representative Earl Blumenauer. This proposal has excellent cannabis policy goals. It would:
- Deschedule Marijuana Completely. No Schedule II, maybe Schedule III, categories that would leave cannabis in the clutches of the DEA. One of the Oregonians’ proposals, the Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act, would remove cannabis entirely from the Controlled Substance Act, freeing it from most federal control. States would be free to prohibit or legalize with their choices and their votes. As with alcohol and tobacco, marijuana products would be subject to a federal excise tax.
- Provide Tax Equity. Although descheduling would effectively free cannabis business owners from the ruinous tax restrictions of IRS 280E, The Small Business Tax Equity Act would explicitly change the tax code to allow state-legal marijuana businesses to use normal business deductions. The act has a bi-partisan cosponsor, cannabis freedom fighter Rand Paul, R-Kentucky.
- Enable Banking Equity. Again, descheduling would remove most of the legal objections bankers have with dealing with cannabis businesses. Even so, banking inequity along with a host of other key cannabis injustices, are addressed by the third piece of legislation, the Responsibly Addressing the Marijuana Policy Gap Act.
- Protect Against Asset Forfeiture. This act will provide protection against Jeff Sessions’ favorite tool, asset forfeiture for state-legal activities.
- Promotes Medical Cannabis Research. The act removes many of the road blocks that have (so immorally) blocked most medical cannabis research in the USA.
This is the biggest and best cannabis reform ever to be introduced to the US Congress. Bernie Sanders tried to deschedule cannabis in the Senate last term, but got no cosponsors.
Oregon is blessed with some of the very finest in congress. Ron Wyden is the powerful Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member. Earl Blumenauer has consistently stood with cannabis law reform and helped create and pass some of the first true national legislation protecting Americans in legal states. Both patriots work for the rights of Oregon voters and the civil and health rights of all Americans.
Photo by Jeff Blume OregonLive