In the midst of our generally polarized congress, while prospects remain highly uncertain, bipartisan action on the federal level regarding the status of cannabis is heating up in 2017 in major new ways…..

“U.S. lawmakers have introduced a package of reform bills aimed at protecting and preserving existing state-based programs while creating a framework for the federal regulation of cannabis.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-OR and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-OR, announced the “Path to Marijuana Reform,” a bipartisan package of three related bills that address issues such as taxation, banking, civil forfeiture, descheduling, decriminalization, research, individual protections and regulation. Included in the package is the reintroduction of legislation from Rep. Polis, D-CO, to regulate marijuana like alcohol.

‘This is the most comprehensive package that’s (yet) been advanced,’ Blumenauer said. While other elated bills have been introduced to get at portions of the issue, ‘this is an opportunity to have the big picture.’

The Path to Marijuana Reform includes the following bills, according to the announcement from Wyman and Blumenauer:

The Small Business Tax Equity Act — Create an exception to the IRS allowing businesses compliant with state laws to claim deductions and credits associated with the sale of marijuana. Currently, people and businesses cannot claim deductions or credits for the sale of Schedule I or II substances.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY is a cosponsor of Wyden’s Senate bill and Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-FL is sponsoring companion legislation in the House.

Responsibly Addressing the Marijuana Policy Gap Act — Remove federal penalties and civil asset forfeiture for individuals and businesses complying with state law; ensure access to banking, bankruptcy protection, research and advertising; expunge the criminal records for certain marijuana-related offenses; end requirement for residents of marijuana-legal states to take a marijuana drug test for positions in the federal civil service; and ease barriers for medical marijuana research.

Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act — Remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act; impose an excise tax regime on marijuana products; allow for the permitting for marijuana businesses; and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. Polis is sponsoring a portion of this legislation in the House, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act.

The legislative package is the latest in a series of marijuana law reform put forth by federal legislators. Blumenauer and Polis launched the inaugural Congressional Cannabis Caucus earlier this year with Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-California, and Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska.”

There’s much more in this potentially important story in the linked article. Highly recommended for keeping up on the possibilities ahead.

#MMJ #USpol #Congress #Utpol #GetSerious #TRUCE    

See full article – Bipartisan “Path to Marijuana Reform” bills introduced to decriminalize, protect, regulate cannabis industry