On Friday, February 20, U.S. Representatives Jared Polis (D-CO) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced two separate bills in Congress to legalize adult-use marijuana at the federal level.
Polis’ bill, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, would let states choose to legalize cannabis without any fear of federal intervention. The bill would put a federal regulatory structure into place to accommodate the new law. Blumenauer’s bill, the Marijuana Tax Revenue Act, would tax cannabis sales at the federal level, in addition to any state and local taxes.
Four states have already legalized marijuana use for adults over 21 (Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon), and 23 states (and Washington DC) allow medical marijuana use. Eleven more states have restrictive medical marijuana laws in place allowing the use of low-THC forms of marijuana (usually high in CBD)to treat certain medical conditions.
As noted on Polis’ website, “more than 213 million people live in a state or jurisdiction that allows the some form of legal use of marijuana.”
The Obama administration has implemented a “turn the other cheek” sort of policy when it comes to statewide cannabis legalization. The Department of Justice issued a memo stating that federal prosecutors should not interfere in any state-legal cannabis operations, “using [their] limited investigative and prosecutorial resources to address the most significant marijuana-related cases.” The memo outlined exactly which cases those were. Additionally, the bipartisan Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment was passed last year, making it unconstitutional to use any federal funding in the prosecution of medical marijuana operations. Despite those mandates, a few U.S. attorneys, like Melinda Haag of San Francisco, have continued to unlawfully prosecute state-legal cannabis operations.
While the Obama administration has been relatively non-combative when it comes to statewide cannabis, a future administration might not be so amiable. If passed, the new bills would ensure the future of legal cannabis in the U.S., and likely change the game globally.
America has a vote 82 percent to legalize cannabis America has seen how marijuana makes good sense it has more bennefits then this don’t do nothing congress if they had only a brain and could see the light. In COLORADO THEY MADE 700,000,000 just last year. That just makes good sense. And look at the money that’s being made it makes their state greater then these stupid rednecked asshole states that don’t make no sense or that kind of money THE STUPID OKIES & NEBRASKANS STUPID FOOLS check it out in COLORADO they’re making so much moneythey have no place to put so their giving it back to the public helping the lawenforcement the hospitals,clinics, the diseases, being cured from the cancers in society crohns, autoimmune, ptsd, see so when asking does cannabis makes good sense only a foolish idiot would say no that’s the a fact stupid people should tooking out of there position
Josh Winkleman says
Your 700million statement is not true. Not sure where you get your facts. In fact they overestimated the money they thought they were going to make also
Josh Winkleman says
2014 Colorado made 60 million in revenue. They estimated they would make 100 million. Don’t make statements about facts….then not bring any facts in your argument. Yes….it will help ease some financial burden for the state. But 700 million…..you must be high
700 million in revenue you dumb fuck. The 60 million and 100 million numbers represent only the tax income out of that 700 million.
Josh Winkleman says
So how did that 700 million go back into the state for PTSD law enforcement hospitals etc dumb shit. Oh ya 60 million did. Not 700 million
Josh Winkleman says
Next argument is the trickle down effect on the economy. OK feel free to play that card.
Josh Winkleman says
I guess when it has been reported that the budgetary gap in Colorado between 2012-2015 is on 2-3 billion dollars. It will help
Marty Moose says
Of the 14,000 full time jobs created in CO, did any of those employees get paid, did any of them spend that money they earned on any type of extra curricular activities or did they dine out or buy goods that they wouldn’t have been able to? if any of these are correct, then yes, Trickle down effect is working perfectly as intended.
Sondra Lee Plunk says
Well there were 14000 full time jobs created and salaries have been paid out of that $700 million as well as those taxes…we are doing awesome out here in CO
700 million that didn’t go to drug cartels. Who gives a ratzass how much tax went to the state… That should NOT be the defining reason by which we decide to legalize and end this joke known as prohibition. If I had the resources I would grow enough to give away to everyone so they are not giving a dime to these frauds (politicians). The tax scheme is absolutely ridiculous and still perpetuates an illegal market because who wants to pay that 28% tax. They call it weed for a reason…it grows like one!
Brit Mckay says
This is a handy-dandy graph that will show you some nice totals.
Josh Winkleman says
That is not tax revenue. That is sales. How much of that went back into the state.
Josh Winkleman says
In 2014 it was reported 60 million in tax generated for the state. 40 million less then their prediction
Brit Mckay says
You’re absolutely right that it’s not tax revenue, but the $700m number was never meant to reflect tax revenue. It was total sales for the year.
Also, consider that the (accurate) $60m figure is still too much tax for the state to just keep due to previous laws. So, while it’s less than what they predicted, it’s still more than they’re allowed to take for a single industry currently.
Even money not directly funneled to the state through taxes is still effective, not only do you have an extra 60M in taxes coming in but also of importance are the facts that a lot of money is coming from out of state and further it both cuts into illegal dealing as well as converting that into what is basically a legal industry that is worth hundreds of millions if not more.
Nivek Ciitsacras says
enough where the state of colorado was legally required to refund citizens on their taxes, as they had generated too much from marijuana sales tax
If they got one cent its more than they deserve.
they ran out of stock….
$700 million in sales $60 million in tax revenue
Jose Cruz A says
Actually, no it is true, they made a grand total of 700 million in marijuana sales in Colorado last year. This guy never said they made 700 million in tax revenue. You need to improve your reading skills Josh. It is true that the tax revenue was around the 60 million, 63 million if I am correct, and even then imagine what a 60+ million extra tax revenue will do for the state, changes many things don’t you think so?
Wayne Peeples says
Think for a second. Tax Revenue of 63 Million. That’s great. ALSO – what about the figures for money saved by spending millions to have thousands of people arrested and subjected to the legal system. That includes police, jails, courtrooms, judges, bailiffs, public defenders, stenographers, probation officers…get the picture? Isn’t the saving of untold millions of dollars kind of like revenue? And they quit treating their citizens like evil wrongdoers.
Josh Winkleman says
I am actually all for legalization. Not sure why I’m even arguing…other then the fact people are acting like this will save all the states woes. Which is far fetched. What needs to be done is a overall federal overhaul when it comes to marijuana. They need to kick out non violent drug offenders. They need to make most of these issues citations rather then arrests and incarceration. Need to use any money generated to help others with addiction to Much worse drugs.
This money generated is a drop in the bucket. I just hate how people are hailing it to be some sort of fix. Its not. Sure the money is great. But they could make more by cutting life long politician’s pensions. Watch were money is going. Not bowing down to big business. Taxing the higher income families and businesses. That is how you fix the system.
I’m doing this ony phone. So I apologize for any grammatical issues. Or auto correct issues
The Dude says
U sound like a fuck tard Winkletoes….
Jonathan Doane says
You sound like an immature brat, Dude. I’m glad your only refrain is calling him a “fucktard” and “Winkletoes.” Fucking grow up and act like an adult.
Kay Cee says
That’s Cuz the Government does not give 2 shits unless big money is involved
What???Why should higher income families have to pay more taxes than the average families? As for bowing down to big business and taxing them more, where do you think jobs come from? It’s big businesses that signs your paychecks! Forget it, I gotta get out of here! I’m surrounded by a bunch of liberal democrats that don’t understand a thing about big business! I guess you people love paying higher gas prices like we are! We don’t need to rely on other nations for oil when we have it right in our own back yards!! But you don’t want to upset the natural habitats in Alaska, so we cannot drill for oil there. We know it’s there, we just can’t touch it because of some crazy tree huggers that won’t allow it. As for my stand on Marajuana, Yes, I hope they make it legal! walk a mile in my shoes! Literally! I have neuropathy in both feet. For those of you that don’t know what it is, The nerve endings in my feet are damaged which makes it very painful to walk. There is nothing effective for treating my pain, except marajuana. I would love to get out of pain for a while, but cannot try this method of pain relief until it is legal. The laws were put in place for a reason. so, if it becomes legal, then and only then would I try it. Thanks for hearing me out. Every person is entitled to have their own opinion. That’s why we have freedom of speech and live in this great country called
The United States of America.
Um, high income families should pay higher taxes because they’re reaping the largest benefit of living in this country, for whatever reason. Low to moderate income families work hard too.
Higher income families work hard at what they do and have worked hard to get where they are today. They have studied hard for their Masters and Doctorates, then paid back their huge student loans, so why should they have to have it taken away in taxes? Think about it, if you were won of the more fortunate families would you think it fair to have to pay more taxes then the next guy because you make more???
I would think it’s fair JoAnn. You’re implying that lower income families haven’t worked just as hard, and you’re assuming that they’re uneducated. The basic costs of living are the same for both, but the percentage of income spent on those costs are very disproportionate. Quite simply, the wealthier you are the more duty you have to give back to the society that has fostered your success. Just because someone may have to pay a higher tax rate doesn’t mean it’s unfair to do so. No one is ever truly “self-made”. Don’t be so selfish.
Flava Futha Muckin J says
Yes, I believe those in higher income brackets should pay more in taxes, as in the same amount they did back in the 1950s, when America ruled everything. The fact is, the more taxes get cut for the rich the worse America becomes on multiple levels, such as infrastructure, education, public health and security to name a few. And just because someone is in a higher income bracket doesn’t mean they work harder than anyone else, most of those people were raised in that bracket.
Don Don says
Low to moderate income families work hard too.
No. These families work harder than the elite. The more money I make, the easier the work gets.
Well, I’m not trying to put anybody down, like some elitists might want 🙂
P Suzanne Garrett says
Absofuckinlutely TRUE… and I know from personal experience. I got to be in management by WORKING my way to the top. And managers perform FAR less actual labor than hourly workers. In ANY industry.
Lol! So only your nanny government tells you what you can do? That makes it ok? What if they told you that you had to do something against your morals? Do you even have self imposed morals? Do you even know how to tell if somethings immoral? If you cant discern whats harmful and whats not by your own judgement, then youre the problem.
Well JoAnn, first, it sounds like you have plenty of money yourself the way you go on about signing peoples checks. Good for you.
However, why do you play the Liberal Democrat card? How about if, for instance, i said, up tight, cheap, stick up their ass Republican who cares not about our beautiful wildlife habitat and pure nature that future generations can enjoy, but only a self centered narcissist who worries about a couple extra pennies she pays for gas.
(You probably drive a gas guzzler)
Anyway, i also have neuropathy in my feet, it’s a bitch, i know. What i don’t understand is you say that nothing helps the pain except good old cannabis, weed, pot.
How do you know it helps if you haven’t already tried it? Then your Republican kicks in and you go on about how it’s illegal.
Sounds like a lot of Republican Flip Flopping to me. BUSTED!!
The Dude says
Yep maybe u check your sources Josh Winkletoes
the dude toldu
Sumdum Fuk III says
70 not 700….
Natural Fool says
It’s stated Colorado received 74 million in tax for 2014.
Pheo Smith says
Get a life mind your bizz u don’t like what’s happening then go drink a beer I hate when people talk sh-t about what other people want it doesn’t matter how many people want it more than half Americans do so make it happen do u want the cartels to keep killing people over it cops beating and robbing Americans over a plant use tax payers money to chase pot smokers are real criminals I mean wake up
hey im from nebraska. we arent all against it 😉
Then vote your puritan cretin congress clowns out of office so your state can join the union of Non-retarded states of America.
I’ll get right on that with my one single vote.
Kaylene Conner says
As the owner of an MJ delivery service here in LA, I honestly prefer the market to stay medical here as it it much more lucrative than recreational where you face much larger governmental fees, setup costs, and overall friction in running your business. However as a patient myself with Crohn’s Disease; I would love to see nationwide safe access to medicine for patients, and recreational access for those who wish to use MJ 🙂
Boo Radley says
Things can change in the future, but so far, this is a good start.
Good Ole Boys Network says
The biggest monetary gain here is being over looked. Think… this was all illegal moneys and it wasn’t helping any institution except drug dealers. Now it’s grown into an argument as the actual amount of monetary funds go to the state from the sales of cannabis. Years ago you all would’ve been sought out and locked up for your thinking. Now we discuss it like the commodity it is… Legalize it people!! :/
Wesley Gage says
legalize the freedom of choice we are adults and it’s our choice of what we consume , i do not use cigarrettes or alcohol but if legal cannibas has some positive benefits of releasing stress and anxiety and that in itself helps you live better and longer in life legalize the quality of life
Jason Long says
You cannot put a monetary value on a civil liberty.
Never would have guessed America legalizes weed before Canada.
This is only a proposal and would need to pass through Congress to actually be implemented. In this Congress, it’s unlikely such a bill would pass due to the Republican majority.
Marty Moose says
Jacob,one of the most outspoken congressmen is a Republican, one specifically that was part of Reagan’s administration.
didn’t’ even have to go far to find this article either, the bottom of this page.
Pipe dream in this congress, but who knows.
“turn a blind eye” not “turn the other cheek”
Turn the other cheek makes no sense in this context.
GOP is always more interested in spreading cheeks.
Dave Garofolo says
they mean the same thing….
although i would agree this article is poorly written.
Mark Eyestone says
No, they are two different things. One means to “ignore undesirable information” while the other is to “respond to insult without revenge.”
Dave Garofolo says
Considering they are just English words, they don’t necessarily have to mean/refer to an old, outdated phrase. Words do have their own meanings, you know. So “turning the other cheek” could just as easily refer to one ignoring something as much as “turning a blind eye.”
Ken Warren says
If we have to go and wonder what an author might have meant by mis-using some extremely common phrases (that aren’t at all outdated, but rather are part of everyday speech across the Anglophone world), then the author screwed up. Creating an elaborate linguistic argument about what words may or may not mean is sophistry at best.
Dave Garofolo says
There is no need to wonder what the author meant if you understand the language you’re reading. The original poster made it abundantly clear that he knew what the sentence meant. I’m not the one arguing what words may or may not be best, simply stated that a phrase originating in a different language from religous texts can have a different meaning 2000+ years later. Goodbye amigo.
The religious defects will fight it to their last breath, they make too much money with the treasonous drug war they wage on fellow citizens.
Its difficult to rein in feral psychopaths once they have been unleashed upon the citizens.
Any feral animal involved with the drug war should just be deported.
Legalize, yes!!! Put that money into teaching people how to write. Geeze, it gave me a headache reading that. Try a period and spell checker
robert j martin says
NOTHING….I repeat NOTHING is going to change until marijuana is REMOVED from the DEA drug schedule. anything else is smoke and mirrors.
I live in Colorado and am proud to have been a part of the regained sanity we are starting to experience. Making criminals out of people who’s only crime, or wrongdoing, is they happen to have a different opinion over what they choose to ingest, is a terrible misuse of our criminal justice system. It’s also an obscene abuse of the power of criminal laws. For an act to be a crime, there should be a non-consenting adult, or their property being harmed, period.
One thing I’ve personally noticed are the sheer number of MMJ dispensaries here in Colorado Springs, (we foolishly didn’t allow recreational sales down here in GOP central). These businesses are leasing storefronts that were, and would otherwise be vacant. We seem to have a glut of business real estate, and it’s nice to see at least some of it being filled. I firmly believe marijuana legalization has been a success in Colorado in ways that range from moral correctness to positive economic impact, to strengthening our basic American values and ideals about what Freedom is.There is no downside.
I’m going to predict that marijuana legalization will be very similar to the way gaming legalization spread several years ago.Many states have now allowed MMJ, just as many states began their state lotteries. You know, get the folks used to the change that’s coming, in steps. At one time, there was only gaming in Nevada. Then Atlantic City happened. Indian reservation Casinos were next, and now, I’m not 100% sure, but I doubt there isn’t a state that doesn’t have some type of legal gaming that’s generating revenue for them. That change, which took gaming from being an illegal vice in all but one state, to the widespread acceptance it now enjoys happened in less than a decade.
I believe the same will happen, is already happening, with marijuana and hemp.
Dont worry anti-marijuana advocates. Your beer and cigarettes will still be legal. As will your prescription grade painkillers. So, all is not lost.
This is smoke and mirrors in my opinion. The bills are only being introduced to create a wedge issue and attract young people to the D’s. How is it that neither of these bills were introduced before congress flipped? The D’s had both chambers at one point, but nobody brought it up. Doesn’t anybody find that odd? I question the sincerity of this effort, but even more I doubt these will ever even make it to the floor for a vote.
Ken Lewis says
Money talks, bullshit walks. It always does. The tax revenue Colorado produces is too important to ignore.
Tom Gray says
The bottom line is how much it is helping people not how many dollars it is making
Bex Hill says
It’s time people, stop living in the dark ages of lies.
Joe Stauffacher says
This is a greedy attempt for the federal government to gain control of cannabis financially. This is an industrial crop, medicinal crop, recreational crop, and a crop that offers various resources for numerous industries. Anything shy of being able to grow in one’s garden is criminal. If states desire to tax recreational use so be it… leave the feds out of it. Simply need the feds to remove it from being a schedule 1 narcotic of the US Controlled Substance Act and apologize for breaking a treating while making efforts to amend a new treaty moving forward. Why do American’s allow China to grow 70+% of the world’s hemp? How much longer will US funds be prey for global economy?
Matthew Groves says
The reason Chris Christie wont help legalize it is because he is already the size of a blimp and dose not want gain all that extra election weight back due to the munchies
These bills do not allow for home grown marijuana. they only support big cannabis.
23 ‘‘(b) MANUFACTURE AND SALE.—It shall be unlaw
24 ful, except pursuant to a permit issued under this title
25 by the Secretary—
1 ‘‘(1) to engage in the business of cultivating,
2 producing, manufacturing, packaging, or
3 warehousing marijuana
I have been blocked on many sights that use a auto sign in. they just want stupid americans that will not read for themselves. they are purposedly misleading the people!
Tim Pehlke says
Caleb McKean says
It makes since that they would legalize and regulate cannabis since a large percent of the states are going up for legalization during the presidential election next year. There is a lot of pot being sold. Its in the best interest of their budget to pass it. Prohibition. This is going to be an awesome part of history.
THE SOONER THE BETTER!!! Tax Herb like you tax alcohol, and tobacco, etc….
Danger Pig says
So what is the bill title or number? I Googled news on this and there is nothing. Your article does not say anything about the name or the bill number so it can be researched. So far I haven’t found any bill that reflects what you say.
Judith Legendre says
The facts are the plant was put on the earth by god all thing put here by god was made for the use of man …not pills and man made drugs ….every thing there is on this earth was put here to cure all of mans illnesses if we do not destroy the earth before we find them all…only when we start treating people for there drug addictions and stop putting them behind bars for taking a natural plant can we be called human again…right the wrong we have done with man made pills and take some of the over flow of money and set pill prevention programs would be a good start …..do I think Marijuana is a gate way to another drug no …There is people on this earth that is pre- genetically deposited to being a addict the drug some times has very little to do with it ….If they do not use one thing they will use another ……I do not look at this from a stand point of money ….it helps there is no denying that but its more important we have the right to use our body’s the way we want or we have no freedom….
Matt D. says
I am glad (if this is true) that they have pushed this through. It’s about time that the congress wakes up and accept the facts on how beneficial it is to use medical marijuana. We at Budslist fully supports this decision.