Representative Nancy Mays (SC-Republic) revealed earlier today that states reform law, a measure that would remove marijuana from the federal schedule of controlled substances and allow each state to regulate the substance as its leaders see fit.
Representative Nancy Mays (SC-Republic) makes an intriguing Republican proposal to end the federal ban.
Democrats have led most of the cannabis legalization measures, but a bill from a South Carolina representative breaks that pattern.
The State Reform Act puts a traditional Republican influence on legalization proposals by floating a very low (3%) federal tax rate and removing most social justice provisions.
Quoting the vast majority of Americans who support decriminalization of cannabis (70%, according to recently Polls), Rep. Maes noted that “only three states today lack some form of legal cannabis (Idaho, Kansas, and Nebraska).”
“This legislation, I think, has something for everyone. Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, you are,” Mays said at a news conference this afternoon.
What is the State Reform Act?
According to a policy brief provided by Mace’s office, the states reform act would “federally decriminalize cannabis and completely defer state powers with respect to prohibiting and regulating trade.”
“This bill will also reduce a number of barriers to innovation and entrepreneurship in a free and open market,” Maes added.
So what’s on the bill? here it is The full text of the bill. Leafly’s analysis of the measurement continues below.
How will this affect the current law?
Under the states reform act, cannabis will be removed from the federal schedule of controlled substances. Individual states will be free to ban, allow, and/or regulate marijuana as they see fit. As with alcohol, cannabis is no longer illegal under federal law, but can be prohibited under state law.
Can cannabis crimes be erased?
The law promises “federal release and write-off only for those convicted of nonviolent offenses related to cannabis.” This includes only people convicted of federal cannabis offenses. Crimes committed on a state basis must be dealt with by a judicial system completely separate from the state.
Federal releases and delistings will not be available to “cartel members, agents of cartel gangs, or those convicted of driving under the influence (DUI),” according to an analysis provided by Representative Mace.
Deletion requirements have teeth. Delisting orders “must” “issue”.
Will medical marijuana be affected?
Medical cannabis is protected by law for the following uses: arthritis, cancer, chronic pain, sickle cell, HIV/AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other medical uses in accordance with state cannabis regulations.
Rep. Mace also pledges to “ensure safe harbor for government medical cannabis programs and patient access while allowing the development of new medical products and research.”
What is the tax rate?
Here the Mace MP scale is very different from previous rationing offerings. The bill I’ve proposed would impose a 3% selective tax on cannabis products. This is well below the 10% to 25% tax rate proposed in current proposals by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and others.
How will tax revenue be spent?
Here’s another difference with bills led by Democrats. Under state reform law, a large percentage of federal cannabis tax revenue will go toward law enforcement programs.
That same money could go toward social justice and education programs aimed at balancing the playing field for those hardest hit by the war on drugs. But terms like “social justice” are notably absent from the 131-page bill.
Here is the breakdown:
- 40% for Federal Law Enforcement Scholarship Programs
- 30% to support Small Business Administration funds for newly licensed small businesses
- 10% for veterans mental health programs
- 5% mention opioid response programs
- 5% to underage cannabis prevention programs
The reason for the lower tax rate is to give legal firms opportunities against the illicit market. “If you look at states like California where taxes are very high on cannabis, there is still an illicit market,” Rep. Mays said Monday afternoon.
“To fund this selective tax, we want to make sure it’s very low, it should be less than 4% in order to reduce the opportunity for illegal markets or black markets in different states, depending on how they are legalised.”
Representative Nancy Mess
How will the law support small businesses?
The law proposes immediate action for cannabis companies that have been banned from simple tasks such as banking.
Rep. Maes explains that if the full completion bill is passed today, “SAFE Banking (Act) would not be needed, because businesses would operate and would be just as legal and regulated as alcohol.”
Regulations at the federal level from seed to sale will be split between four agencies.
According to the plan, the USDA will oversee agriculture; The Food and Drug Administration oversees access to medical services; The ATF will oversee legal cannabis products; The Treasury Department’s Office of Alcohol Tax and Trade will oversee interstate commerce.
The bill has traditionally been conservative in allowing each state to regulate its own unique cannabis market differently. Thus, there are no federal provisions in the law that prevent large corporations from controlling state markets.
What about social justice?
The bill does not specifically cover any social justice measures. The easy explanation is that each state’s market is too unique for a one-size-fits-all fix. But with President Biden staying Unfulfilled campaign promise In cases of mass amnesties and purges, political interests may also play a role.
With 40,000 nonviolent cannabis perpetrators currently in prison, according to Another prisoner project, Rep. Mays’s bill only to launch 2,600 at the federal level. Her office advises that “issues and surveys at the state level will be left to each state to determine.”
The proposed bill does not state that all relevant charges must be dismissed within 14 days of the law being enacted for those with state cannabis pending “charges or cases and convictions awaiting judgment.”
Some states give former cannabis offenders and their families exclusive access to certain licenses. Other countries have completely ignored the communities hardest hit by the failed war on drugs.
Read seeds of change Report to see how legal states stack up when it comes to social justice.
Leafly’s Equity Score measures delisting, fair licensing regimes, medical access and protection, reasonable home planting, taxes toward healing, not harm, and proactive tracking and data sharing to reduce stigma and career development opportunities.
Who supports the bill?
Rep. Mace revealed that the SRA had five original Republican sponsors shortly before the bill was introduced this afternoon.
“We’re getting a lot of great reactions from Republicans and Democrats for this bill,” she added. “My main goal was to get as much Republican support as possible in the beginning. We hear great comments from both sides of the aisle on this legislation.”
The bill was approved by Americans for Prosperity, the Cannabis Freedom Alliance, and the Global Cannabis Trade Alliance.
NORML’s political director, Justin Strickall, hailed the bill as a “comprehensive and reasonable” proposal that “deserves serious consideration.”
Strickall added: “Between the Moore Act that was previously passed, the recent Senate proposal by Leader Schumer, and the new bill, it really is a race to the top to get the best ideas and smartest methods to repeal the failed marijuana ban policy.”
Not all Democrats are in agreement with legalization, nor are all Republicans. Shortly after introducing her bill, Representative Maes received scorn from her party back home, which issued a statement explicitly rejecting the idea of legalization. Politico Natalie Fertig Post the full response from the South Carolina Republican Party:
The State Reform Act does not impose a minimum age imposed by the federal government, but it does incentivize individual states to make cannabis legal only for adults age 21 or older, with medical exceptions for those under 21.
The measure also includes provisions that prevent advertisements from reaching minors under the age of 21.
How will veterans be affected?
The bill protects military veterans by ensuring that they are not discriminated against in federal employment for cannabis use, or lose their health care benefits simply because of legal adult use.
Mace was joined this afternoon by veterans who thanked her for her leadership and invited the rest of the hill to follow her plan.
“In the past 20 years since the conflict began in 2001, we have lost nearly 7,000 service members,” said Gary Hess, a veteran of the Veterans Alliance for Alternatives Holst. “In the same time period we lost 120,000 veterans to suicide. That tells the story.
“I can tell you that collectively veterans gravitate more towards plants than grains,” Hess added.
Interstate cannabis trade in operation
“The Secretary must urgently develop and implement a tracking and tracing system for cannabis in the interstate trade.”
This schedule saves ailing cannabis businesses crushed by taxes
Descheduling cannabis raises the burdensome “280E” tax penalty on the marijuana business and will enable many more to survive.
Names and words matter. The bill would change all federal references from marijuana or marijuana to cannabis.
What time to be alive
Here you have a South Carolina Republican saying that cannabis doesn’t meet the requirements to be scheduled at all – what the hippies said in the ’60s. This is a big deal. Between this proposal and the Democrats’ two main measures, there should be enough common ground to get something done.
It’s great to even see the phrase “regulating marijuana is like alcohol” written by a congressman from the South. This version of the republican “freedom” and low-tax philosophy will attract a lot of liberal voters.
State reform law depends on what the states have accomplished. Do not close or bypass government medical cannabis product regulations. Instead, they’re their ancestors (with some FDA reviews).
Growing hemp will be farming
Discrimination against cannabis growers will be reduced under the law, which calls on the USDA to treat raw cannabis as a “traditional agricultural commodity” and a “special crop” like hops. Farmers can get insurance on crops.
The new cannabis plant harvest report ‘Hemp fly’ estimates the country’s fifth crop
Who Federally Regulates Cannabis?
The law mandates the Federal Treasury to regulate cannabis. That’s promising, because the Treasury is where the drug war began in the 1930s. Treasury was first in the drug war, and it will likely be last. The ban on alcohol also ended with the authority of the Treasury. (Federal Treasury agents, otherwise known as “Avengers, “Long after the alcohol ban was repealed, because isolated distillers refused to pay a federal excise tax on alcohol.)
Cannabis businesses will need a federal permit, with a maximum fee for this license of $10,000. There will also be exemptions for small businesses.
Responsibility for stopping the illicit trade in marijuana will pass from the Drug Enforcement Administration to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, which will extend to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Hemp and Firearms.
Any Cannabis Advertising Restrictions?
Many people are afraid of direct advertising to consumers about medicines of all kinds. The states reform act would give regulators some control over false and misleading statements, as well as advertising that could affect minors’ usage rates.
Will federal drug testing still be allowed?
Do you want more information?
Leafly News Senior Editors David Downes and Bruce Barcot contributed to this report.