New Congressional Marijuana Bill Is Actually Numbered H.R. 420

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Tom Angell Contributor

In a hat tip to marijuana culture, lawmakers on Capitol Hill have officially reserved the number H.R. 420 for a bill that would dramatically change federal cannabis laws.

420, of course, is a special number for marijuana enthusiasts, who celebrate the plant extra hard every April 20.

The new bill filed in the House on Wednesday by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) is titled the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act. If passed, it would remove cannabis from the federal Controlled Substances Act.

“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 Our federal marijuana laws are outdated, out of touch and have negatively impacted countless lives,” Blumenauer said in a press release. “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.”

This isn’t the first time that 420 has worked its way into official legislative numbering.

California’s first effort to create statewide medical cannabis regulations was through a bill numbered SB 420 in 2003.

In 2017, a Rhode Island senator filed a marijuana legalization bill given the designation of S 420.

And on Capitol Hill, the first time the House voted on measure to block the Department of Justice from interfering with state medical cannabis laws, it was through an amendment considered under 2003’s Roll Call 420.

The current legislation, which Blumenauer picked up from former Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), who was sworn in on Tuesday as Colorado’s new governor, would also transfer cannabis enforcement authority from Drug Enforcement Administration to a renamed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana, Firearms and Explosives.

A similarly renamed Alcohol, Tobacco and Marijuana Tax and Trade Bureau within the Department of the Treasury would also have oversight authority, as would the Food and Drug Administration. Federal permits would be issued for cultivating, packaging, selling and importing marijuana.

Shipping or transporting marijuana into states that have not legalized it would be prohibited.

Last Congress, Polis’s version of the bill garnered 26 cosponsors.

Separately, Blumenauer recently released a step-by-step plan to federally legalize marijuana in 2019.

His new bill is the third piece of standalone cannabis legislation filed in the new Congress, which began last week.

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0 Replies to “New Congressional Marijuana Bill Is Actually Numbered H.R. 420”

  1. Obviously, I support what Rep. Blumenauer is doing but the ATF will surround you and shoot your dog the same as the DEA. Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firarms are carcinogenic and machinations used to fund terrorist groups. This is not the case with marijuanna. Evidently, Marijuanna is more efiiciently regulated at the state level than federal. God gave every plant which bears seed. The constitution being under God, there should be no regulation for cannabis at the federal level.

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