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Comprehensive Marijuana Bill Package Would Protect Cannabis Industry's Future

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Congressman Earl Blumenauer

An additional bill was filed this morning that would reform section 280E of the U.S. Tax Code to allow state-legal cannabis businesses to deduct ordinary and necessary business expenses from their federal taxes.

Polis's bill would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, move federal jurisdiction over marijuana oversight from the DEA to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and puts in place regulations over marijuana similar to those in place for alcohol - including its advertising standards.

"The federal government must respect the decision Oregonians made at the polls and allow law-abiding marijuana businesses to go to the bank just like any other legal business", Sen.

"As more states follow Oregon's leadership in legalizing and regulating marijuana, too many people are trapped between federal and state laws", Rep. Blumenauer said in Thursday's statement. "It's not right, and it's not fair", said Blumenauer.

Wyden, the top Democrat on the powerful Senate Finance Committee, joined Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon, and several other lawmakers in backing a series of pro-marijuana bills that were introduced Monday. Ron Wyden and Rep. Earl Blumenauer from OR have sponsored the set of bills that seek to end prohibition in a way that serves the government and marijuana business while keeping the public out of jail for minor marijuana related offenses. A companion bill was filed in the House by Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Rep. Blumenauer. It would also make it impossible to deport someone from or deny them entry to the United States exclusively on the grounds that they used marijuana in accordance with state law.

The Small Business Tax Equity ActThe package of bills could result in marijuana being regulated like alcohol on a federal level.

Heather Steans (D-Il.) and Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Il.) introduced legislation in Illinois that would legalize recreational marijuana.

Robert Capecchi, the director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, also said he supports the bills.

Ron Wyden is becoming an all-out supporter of protecting and promoting the legal marijuana industry and its consumers. Some states, like OR and Washington, levy a marijuana sales tax at the consumer level.

Marijuana now remains illegal under federal law, though the Obama Justice Department in 2013 announced guidelines that limited federal enforcement of marijuana laws in states that had opted to legalize medical or recreational use.

"States are adopting laws created to improve public safety by replacing the illegal marijuana market with a tightly regulated system of production and sales", he said. By rescheduling the plant, the federal government would be able to add a federal tax to the sale of marijuana products and actually make a lot of money as opposed to spending it on law enforcement, court and jail costs for minor marijuana offenses.

The duo is set to discuss the proposal in detail Wednesday, and a spokesperson for Wyden, who has been one of the Trump administration's most outspoken critics in the Senate, said he plans to address likely opposition from the Department of Justice and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Indeed, residents of states that have already legalized appear to be much more open to pot use, with most reporting higher than average marijuana usage rates, even before the drug was legalized.

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