Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013: Read Jared Polis-sponsored bill
Original post, 9:52 a.m. February 5: Representative Jared Polis has long been among the most progressive members of Congress on the subject of marijuana. Today, however, he's launching his most ambitious effort yet to reform pot policy, by introducing the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2013.
A complete copy of the bill is below, but here are some of the basics.
The opening section of the document features "Amendments to Decriminalize Marijuana at the Federal Level." It begins with a call for the U.S. Attorney General to issue an order removing marijuana -- or "marihuana," as it's spelled in at least one instance -- from the Schedule I list encompassed by the Controlled Substances Act. The bill also calls for penalties associated with marijuana to be stricken from laws such as the National Forest System Drug Control Act of 1986.
Permitting of marijuana businesses under the act would be handled by the Treasury Department. Meanwhile, marijuana would be added to the Act of August 8, 1890, otherwise known as the Wilson Act or the Original Packages Act, which pertains in part to alcohol. An amendment would mandate the insertion of the words "or marijuana" after the phrase "intoxicating liquors or liquids."
Photo by Kim Sidwell. Polis at a marijuana industry event last year.
Likewise, the bill states, "The Food and Drug Administration shall have the same authorities with respect to marijuana as the Administration has with respect to alcohol" -- and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives would be renamed the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana, Firearms and Explosives."
The time frame for action after hoped-for passage? According to the text, "The Comptroller General shall conduct a review of Federal laws, regulations, and policies to determine if any changes in them are desirable in the light of the purposes and provisions of this Act. Not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act the Comptroller General shall make to Congress and the relevant agencies such recommendations relating to the results of that review as the Comptroller General deems appropriate."
The document adds that "neither this Act nor any amendment made by this Act shall be construed to affect Federal drug testing policies."
Polis is sponsoring the bill with Oregon Representative Earl Blumenauer. We're expecting statements from both shortly. In the meantime, here's an early look at the measure.
More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana: Eighteen legislators ask feds to respect Colorado's Amendment 64."