Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) introduced bill H.R. 420 to the House of Representatives on Wednesday, which, if signed into law, would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and charge the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms with regulating it, Willamette Week reports.
The bill proposes that the federal government treat cannabis like alcohol. It would decriminalize cannabis completely and allow more latitude for states that have already legalized cannabis, such as banking system access.
“While the bill number may be a bit tongue-in-cheek, the issue is very serious. Our federal marijuana laws are outdated, out of touch and have negatively impacted countless lives. Congress cannot continue to be out of touch with a movement that a growing majority of Americans support. It’s time to end this senseless prohibition.” — Rep. Earl Blumenauer, via Willamette Week
The bill would allow federal funding for cannabis research to flow more easily and allow funds currently used for enforcement to be allocated elsewhere.
The move would also open interstate commerce for cannabis, a potential huge boon for states with functioning cannabis systems. Notably, Rep. Blumenauer’s home state of Oregon has already started pushing for a regulatory structure that would allow the state to sell its surplus cannabis to other states.