A Republican member of the House of Representatives from South Carolina has introduced a bill that would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level and hopes to garner enough bipartisan support to push the bill into law.
currently 18 states The District of Columbia has legalized the recreational use of marijuana, while 36 states allow the medical use of cannabis products. Now, Republican Representative Nancy Mays of South Carolina is trying to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level.
Scepter introduced legislation on Monday, called states reform law. It aims to eliminate cannabis as a Schedule I drug under law Controlled Substances ActRegulating cannabis as with alcohol, institute a 3 percent federal tax on cannabis products and release and write off only those convicted of nonviolent offenses related to cannabis.
Mayes estimated that 2,600 people will be released at the federal level from nonviolent cannabis crime, while states will be left to decide whether to also allow similar releases and erasures.
The States Reform Act will make cannabis illegal for anyone under the age of 21, while allowing for medical exemptions.
speaking in Press Conference Introducing the new bill, Mays said, “This legislation, I think, has something good for everyone, whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican.”
Mace also explained that a lower excise tax is necessary in order to prevent the illicit market for cannabis products, giving the example of California which despite the legalization of recreational use of marijuana, continues to experience significant growth in the underground drug market.
However, the bill would allow states to decide what level of cannabis reform or legalization they want to regulate or not. No state or local government will be forced to make changes to existing cannabis policies.
Mays emphasized that her bill includes a compromise that could satisfy Democrats and Republicans.
but, According to NBC NewsD., South Carolina Republican Party chairman, Drew Kasich was not a fan of the Mays legislation. “Categorically, the South Carolina Republican Party is opposed to any effort to legalize and decriminalize controlled substance use, and that includes this bill. Because that would have wide-ranging negative effects, from higher crime rates, violence, and mental health issues in children, I think It’s a safe bet to say that most Republicans would oppose it, too.”
Democrats previously tried to pass a federal marijuana law last year, titled More work. The bill had hoped to decriminalize marijuana but did not get enough votes to pass it. The bill died in the Senate.
Despite conflicting opinions on Capitol Hill regarding marijuana legalization, a public opinion poll This month, 68 percent of Americans were in favor of legalizing it. Since 2013, Gallup has seen a sharp increase in public support for marijuana legalization across all major subgroups by gender, age, income, and education.
However, Gallup noted substantial differences by the political party. They found that 83 percent of Democrats and 71 percent of independents support legalizing marijuana, while only 50 percent of Republicans support it.
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