- The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act is the new bill that proposes removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act.
- The new regulations mean that the new federal regulations will remove the current uncertainty in the industry.
- Federal sentences are suspended and non-violent offenders are removed from their criminal records.
- Tax rates and the deduction of expenses can be set for cannabis products.
New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer passed the recently proposed law to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. This is an ambitious bill on a controversial issue, but the Democratic-controlled House tabled a similar bill in December that failed.
With nearly 60% of Americans supporting the legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational uses, it remains to be seen whether state restrictions will finally be lifted.
Different state and federal laws lead to several disruptions
Despite the legalization of recreational cannabis use in 18 states and its medicinal use in 37, its use is still illegal under federal law. Possession of cannabis is classified as a List 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act and is punishable by a fine of at least $ 1,000 and one year in prison.
Another area where federal restrictions are causing disruption is logistics. Cannabis producers and dealers face challenges with shipping their products and making bank and tax payments, even in states where marijuana is legal.
What difference will the new bill make?
The proposal in the draft law provides for the abolition of federal penalties for cannabis. It also suggests removing criminal records for past nonviolent offenders charged under federal law. Finally, she also suggests putting aside funds for restorative justice programs, officially allowing states to legalize marijuana, and setting tax rates on products of the cannabis plant.
If the law is passed, the governments of the states where weed is illegal can choose to leave it that way, but states where it is legal will face issues with full access to the banking system, easier transportation and the ability to make federal claims solve tax deductions for expenses.
One of the most important things that will happen when the law is passed is that states that prohibit cannabis cannot prevent the interstate transport of the plant and its products. Unfortunately, these states will also not receive any tax revenue, a move that could lead the governments of these states to change their minds about legalizing marijuana.
Federal excise tax
The proposed bill empowers the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade in the Treasury to begin regulating cannabis, including its production, distribution and sale.
They envisage the gradual introduction of a federal excise tax like that on tobacco and alcohol. The tax is likely to reach 25%, revenue used to help the communities hardest hit by federal drug policies. That is a formidable income considering the industry made $ 20 billion in 2020. Additionally, medical research on cannabis is still very limited due to federal laws, and the income from taxation would help that area too.
Years of aggressive policing mean many people have unfair criminal records from arrests and convictions. Many people have also been discriminated against for their cannabis use, with no access to federal housing and other services such as health and food. In addition to compensating people in these areas, the federal government could also set up a cannabis justice bureau to provide detainees with legal assistance, professional training, and a smooth transition into society.
Getting the bill through the Senate will not be easy as the opposition is not confined to Republicans. Senator Schumer knows that he does not have the full support of his group either. New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen recently told the press: “I still don’t think there is enough data on marijuana use and whether it is a gateway drug to be able to decide whether to legalize it. Our state is facing a significant problem with substance use disorders. “
Legal Scoops’ senior editor Jacob Maslow has founded several online newspapers, including the Daily Forex Report and Conservative Free Press