Republican Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) is leading the charge for marijuana legalization in the United States through the proposed STATES 2.0 Act.
As first reported by Forbes, the co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus intends to imminently file the bill, aiming to amend the Controlled Substances Act and reclassify state-legal marijuana, currently categorized as a Schedule I drug.
Anticipated to be officially introduced this week, the STATES 2.0 Act aims to rectify the current federal-state discord in cannabis laws by acknowledging individual states’ decisions. The legislation, an enhanced version of Joyce’s 2019 STATES Act, seeks to enable the descheduling of state-legal marijuana while upholding federal illegality for marijuana produced outside regulated markets.
Dave Joyce underscores the imperative to support states and Native American tribes, expressing frustration with the inconsistent federal approach. He envisions the STATES 2.0 Act providing a comprehensive framework aligning federal and state perspectives on cannabis laws.
“States and [Native American] tribes have had enough with the federal government’s half-in-half-out approach that is applied without rhyme or reason,” asserts Joyce. “Numerous tribes and over 40 states now, including my own, have made it clear that the federal government needs to support their cannabis laws. I’m hopeful this legislation will do just that.”
Recognizing the diverse approaches of 38 states, along with Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, which currently have some form of state-regulated marijuana market, the STATES 2.0 Act upholds states’ rights. It enforces federal regulation solely in states opting to legalize, leaving prohibitory states unaffected.
“This legislation would make it the federal government’s policy to recognize and legitimize the decisions of each state,” emphasizes a spokesperson for Joyce. “If the state decides they want to remain prohibitory, the federal government will provide enforcement; if a state decides they want to legalize, the federal government will provide regulation.”
STATES 2.0 Act: Key Provisions
Key provisions of the proposed legislation include the transfer of cannabis regulation from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would oversee cannabis-infused products with medical claims.
Funding for federal marijuana regulation would derive from a federal excise tax, designed to be sufficiently low to avoid exacerbating state taxes.
Addressing challenges faced by the cannabis industry, such as the federal tax rate applied to marijuana companies and restrictions on interstate commerce, the STATES 2.0 Act, if enacted, would eliminate the punitive tax under section 280e for state-legal cannabis companies.
The legislation acknowledges the existing illegal interstate commerce in cannabis and empowers individual states to determine regulations for product sales across borders.
Finally, the bill embodies a bipartisan effort to navigate the complexities of cannabis reform in a politically divided landscape.
Read the full story at Forbes.
Image by El Planteo