A bold plan to legalize marijuana at the federal level has been laid out, and Democratic leaders say that if control of the House goes in their favour, US residents could see the change as early as 2019.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer, R-OR, released an eight-page memo written to fellow leaders, outlining the current legislation that will need attention for this measure to move forward. The so-called “Blueprint for Legalizing Marijuana” notes that plans should be put in place to hold hearings in early 2019, with plans to look at policies currently in place and the necessary measures to fix these policies. From there, new legislation should be created to right social injustices and make sure that veterans have better access to marijuana for pain management, among other vital concerns.
Other notable mentions in the “Blueprint” include removing barriers for research regarding marijuana as well as helping improve financial support for businesses within the market. The memo also hopes to see legislation in place to protect private property from seizure and enhance employment opportunities.
The efforts to legalize at the federal level should still keep measures in place to respect state-level legislation, according to the “Blueprint”. Amendments will be required to prevent interference with the laws already on the books in 46 states. Expansion of the amendment will be required to address adult marijuana use.
Blumenauer hopes to see measures passed to address and resolve the various problems before Congress takes its annual recess in August, with full federal de-scheduling to occur within the year.
Response to Blumenauer’s plans has been less than heated. Other leaders, including Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, sidestep the issue with claims that discussions in recent months have not been focused on issues like federal law changes for marijuana.
For other leaders, like Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-CA., the decisions will focus on the support of the president. Pelosi says the President’s support is an uncertainty in the consideration of federal marijuana legalization. However, Trump’s most recent stance, reflected in comments earlier in 2018, showed he may be fully in favour of a move toward federal legalization.
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