Saturday, May 15, 2021
In a post last month, titled "Senate majority leader shrewdly emphasizing "freedom" in his push for federal marijuana reform," I explained why I viewed Senator Chuck Schumer's focus on "freedom" in his marijuana reform pitch to be appealing and shrewd given that it lines up with a lot of the smaller-government rhetoric often coming from GOP politicians and activists. Consequently, I was not surprised to see this past week that part of the pitch for a notable new GOP-sponsored bill to end federal marijuana prohibition includes an emphasis on greater liberty for individuals and states concerning marijuana practices.
This new 14-page marijuana reform bill is available at this link, and it is formally titled the "Common Sense Cannabis Reform for Veterans, Small Businesses, and Medical Professionals Act." This press release from Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14), one of the sponsors, provides these details:
Through his work with the Cannabis Caucus and his position on the House Appropriations Committee, Joyce has helped lead the effort to reform the federal government’s outdated approach to cannabis and protect the rights of states across the country, like Ohio, that have voted to implement responsible cannabis policies. Specifically, the Common Sense Cannabis Reform for Veterans, Small Businesses and Medical Professionals Act, which has been applauded by several organizations, would:
- Remove cannabis from the Federal Controlled Substances Act.
- Direct the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to issue rules to regulate cannabis modeled after the alcohol industry within one year of enactment.
- Create a federal preemption to protect financial institutions and other businesses in non-cannabis legal states so that they can service cannabis companies.
- Allow the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to prescribe medical cannabis to veterans.
- Direct the National Institutes of Health to conduct two studies on cannabis as it pertains to pain management and cannabis impairment and report to Congress within two years of enactment.
And here is some of the media coverage that provides a review of this bill:
- From Marijuana Moment, "Congressional Bill To Federally Legalize Marijuana Filed By Republican Lawmakers"
- From MJBizDaily, "Two US House Republicans pitch federal marijuana legalization bill"
- From Newsweek, "Republicans Push for Federal Legalization of Marijuana to Ensure 'Individual Liberty'"