WASHINGTON — An Oregon senator used a number commonly used to refer to the act of using marijuana when introducing a proposal to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana at the federal level.

Today, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., introduced S. 420, the Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act.

In addition to federal regulation, the legislation aims to preserve state laws governing marijuana.

The legislation is part of a broader package dubbed the Path to Marijuana Reform introduced last Congress by Wyden and by Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., to the House of Representatives. That proposal includes the Small Business Tax Equity Act, which prevents legal marijuana businesses from getting hit with an unfair tax bill, and a measure to shrink the gap between federal and state marijuana policies.

“The federal prohibition of marijuana is wrong, plain and simple. Too many lives have been wasted, and too many economic opportunities have been missed,” Wyden said in a news release. “It’s time Congress make the changes Oregonians and Americans across the country are demanding.”

The Path to Marijuana Reform includes the following three bills:

The Small Business Tax Equity Act, which would repealing the tax penalty that singles out small marijuana businesses and bars from claiming deductions and tax credits.

Responsibly Addressing the Marijuana Policy Gap Act, which would reduce the gap between federal and state laws by removing federal criminal penalties and civil asset forfeiture for individuals and businesses complying with state law. It would also reduce barriers for state-legal marijuana businesses by ensuring access to banking, bankruptcy protection, marijuana research and advertising.

Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act, which would responsibly de-schedule, tax and regulate marijuana. It also would impose an excise tax on marijuana products similar to current federal excise taxes on alcohol and tobacco, escalating annually to a top rate equal to 25 percent of the sales price. Marijuana producers, importers and wholesalers would be required to obtain a permit from the Department of Treasury, and the marijuana industry would be regulated in a manner similar to alcohol.


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