Maybe we should start calling him Sen. Ron “Weeden” because Wyden just introduced a bill, S. 420, which would legalize, tax and regulate marijuana at the federal level.
“The federal prohibition of marijuana is wrong, plain and simple. Too many lives have been wasted, and too many economic opportunities have been missed,” Wyden said in a statement. “It’s time Congress make the changes Oregonians and Americans across the country are demanding.”
Furthermore, the proposed bill would reduce federal barriers that affect marijuana businesses. This includes banking, declaring bankruptcy, research and advertising. Marijuana consumers would be able to access federal affordable housing or federal financial aid for higher education.
Of course, there’s a downside to de-scheduling: taxes. The legislation would impose a federal tax on weed products similar to what is placed on tobacco and alcohol.
The legislation is a part of a broader package introduced in the Senate by Wyden and in the House of Representatives by Rep. Earl Blumenauer. This includes The Small Business Tax Equity Act, which would treat state-legal marijuana businesses like other small businesses by repealing the federal law that prevents claiming deductions and tax credits.
The package also includes a bill that reduces the gap between federal and state law by removing federal criminal penalties and civil asset forfeiture for individuals and businesses following state law.
The ACLU says police departments use forfeiture to increase cash revenue, which encourages seizures motivated by cash rather than preserving public safety.
Blumenauer calls Oregon the leader of “commonsense” marijuana policies and says the federal government must catch up.
“The American people have elected the most pro-cannabis Congress in American history and significant pieces of legislation are being introduced,” he said in a statement. “The House is doing its work and with the help of Sen. Wyden’s leadership in the Senate, we will break through.”
Despite being a “pro-cannabis” Congress, the two legislators still have to convince Republicans and President Donald Trump, who has said in the past he supports ending the ban. However, Trump’s actions, especially in nominating Jeff Sessions, an anti-weed attorney general, have sent a different message.