Washington D.C. – Today US Representatives Jared Polis (D-CO) and Earl Blumenauer
(D-OR) introduced separate bills to tax and regulate the sale of marijuana for adults at the federal level. Polis introduced a bill that would allow states the ability to choose to legalize marijuana without fear of federal intervention, and a federal regulatory structure would be built to accommodate those new laws. Blumenauer’s bill would tax marijuana at the federal level, in addition to any taxes that may be imposed by state and local jurisdictions. Marijuana is already state-legal in Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon, and medical marijuana is allowed in 23 states and Washington, DC.
Yet despite a Department of Justice memo that instructed federal prosecutors to be sparing in their interference in state-legal operations, “using [their] limited investigative and prosecutorial resources to address the most significant marijuana-related cases,” whichthe memo explained, and passage of the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment defunding federalprosecution of medical marijuana cases, some US attorneys, such as Melinda Haag,continue to inappropriately use federal law to go after state-legal operations.
“Cops have better things to worry about than the recreational habits of responsible, nonviolent adults,” said Maj. Neill Franklin (Ret.), executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), a group of criminal justice professionals opposed to the drug war. “And dispensary owners have better things to worry about than whether the federal government is going to arrest them and/or seize their assets for acting in accordance with state law.”