A bipartisan bill reintroduced in the U.S. House on Tuesday aims to prepare the federal government for the end of cannabis prohibition nationally. The Preparing Regulators Effectively for a Post-Prohibition Adult Use Regulated Environment (PREPARE) Act is sponsored by Republican Rep. Dave Joyce (OH) and Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (NY).
In a joint statement, the sponsors said the measure “creates a fair, honest and publicly transparent process for the federal government to establish effective regulations to be enacted upon the termination of its 86-year prohibition of cannabis.”
The PREPARE Act would direct the Attorney General to establish the Commission on the Federal Regulation of Cannabis to advise on the development of a regulatory framework modeled after federal and state alcohol regulatory frameworks.
The legislation would direct federal regulators to develop a regulatory and revenue framework to ensure safe production and consumption of cannabis, which the authors say, “would account for the unique needs, rights and laws of each state, and present such a framework to Congress within one year.”
The sponsors said the proposal builds upon the Obama and Trump Administrations’ efforts to “remedy the unjust consequences of the war on cannabis, particularly those suffered by minority, low-income, and veteran communities.”
Additionally, the bill would:
- Help grant medical professionals critical research access and training.
- Develop protections for the hemp industry, including cross-pollination prevention efforts.
- Help ensure that absent the physician-prescribed treatment of a minor, cannabis remains an adult-only product.
In a statement, Joyce said the “end to federal cannabis prohibition is inevitable.”
“Now is the time for the federal government to respect the will of our constituents and begin the conversation on fair and effective cannabis regulation. The PREPARE Act will give lawmakers a bipartisan platform to legislate not only a fair and responsible end to prohibition but also a safer future for our communities.” — Joyce in a press release
Jeffries added that the legislation, “is one of the bipartisan solutions that will lay the groundwork to finally right these wrongs in a way that advances public safety and boosts our economy.”
“Americans across the political spectrum recognize that now is the time for cannabis reform, and the federal government should be ready to embrace and lead this change,” Jeffries said in a statement. “Since the failed war on drugs began over 50 years ago, the prohibition of marijuana has ruined lives, families and communities – particularly communities of color.”
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