Why the Marijuana Justice Act legalizes marijuana the right way

MJA CB

By Jim Patterson, Opinion Contributor – 08/16/17 02:10 PM EDT

Earlier this month, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) introduced the Marijuana Justice Act. To some, this bill may look like another liberal attempt to push for widespread legalization of marijuana across the country. But for those of us who work in this industry and understand the complexities and inequities of current marijuana policies, the bill is a bold step forward in transforming the industry as we know it.

I recommend that anyone who questions why marijuana should no longer be illegal under federal law, take the time to watch Sen. Booker’s three-minute video explaining his legislation. It will shine a light on how marijuana policies have negatively impacted targeted communities, specifically low-income communities of color. This bill seeks to undo some of the damage that Booker aptly describes as, “the unjust application of the law and economic bias.” For example, the bill would expunge convictions for those with marijuana use and/or possession charges at the federal level which, in turn, will allow for greater access to education and economic opportunities.

As CEO of a company which works in the legal marijuana industry, it is a priority for me that this industry gives everyone a fair and equal playing field. On a daily basis, I meet and speak with entrepreneurs and investors who are interested in becoming a part of the marijuana industry because of its huge growth potential and opportunity.

However, with opportunity come risks, and in this industry we take financial, legal and professional risks. That said, there is a large segment of the population that is not at the table for these types of discussions because they were previously targeted during the war on drugs and now cannot fully participate in the state legal boom of this business.

For them, the risks are still too high under marijuana’s current federal classification as a Schedule I drug. The Marijuana Justice Act seeks to change this by taking steps to fix the system so that marijuana is not just legal, but that the industry as a whole can move forward in a direction that we can be proud of.

Additionally, this legislation is important because it would also address a number of challenges marijuana businesses face such as lack of access to ordinary banking services. It would also move towards regulating the marijuana market as a whole and by regulating legal access, it would discourage and replace illicit drug activity.

I applaud Booker for introducing thoughtful legislation that would legalize the industry in the “right” way and that truly has the ability to move the ball forward on some of the historically negative aspects of this industry. Now is the time for the federal government to acknowledge that marijuana should be legal and removed from the list of controlled substances.

A recent CBS News poll showed that 71 percent of Americans oppose the federal government’s efforts to stop marijuana sales and use in states that have legalized it, and 61 percent of Americans want marijuana legal across the country. Additionally, in the first six months of this new Congress, over a dozen bi-partisan bills have been introduced aimed at moving marijuana policies and regulations forward. Like Booker’s legislation, these bills acknowledge that updated marijuana laws and policies will bring a plethora of economic and social benefits to our country through increased job opportunities and tax revenues.

Congress must acknowledge the position of the majority of the American public and respond accordingly. I call on lawmakers to support this legislation and will be doing my part to raise this bill as a priority in the technology, transportation, policy and marijuana business communities eaze is a part of.

Jim Patterson is the CEO of eaze, a cannabis technology that connects people to doctors and dispensaries for on-demand consultations and deliveries.


The views expressed by this author are their own and are not the views of The Hill.

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H.R.1227 – Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017

 

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PLEASE CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES TODAY AND SUPPORT THIS BILL TO REMOVE CANNABIS/MARIJUANA FROM THE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE ACT!

THIS IS THE CLOSEST THING TO A “REPEAL” BILL THAT HAS BEEN OFFERED AND IT IS BEING SUPPORTED BY MOST ACTIVISTS!

 

Find your legislator HERE!

 

To write or call the White House, click here

 

AND FINALLY, WE USE TWITTER!

The White House 

@WhiteHouse

 

President Trump

@POTUS

 

 

February 27, 2017

Mr. Garrett (for himself, Ms. Gabbard, and Mr. Taylor) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

To limit the application of Federal laws to the distribution and consumption of marihuana, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017”.

SEC. 2. Application of the Controlled Substances Act to marihuana.

(a) In general.—Part A of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“SEC. 103. Application of this Act to marihuana.

“(a) Prohibition on certain shipping or transportation.—This Act shall not apply to marihuana, except that it shall be unlawful only to ship or transport, in any manner or by any means whatsoever, marihuana, from one State, territory, or district of the United States, or place noncontiguous to but subject to the jurisdiction thereof, into any other State, territory, or district of the United States, or place noncontiguous to but subject to the jurisdiction thereof, or from any foreign country into any State, territory, or district of the United States, or place noncontiguous to but subject to the jurisdiction thereof, when such marihuana is intended, by any person interested therein, to be received, possessed, sold, or in any manner used, either in the original package or otherwise, in violation of any law of such State, territory, or district of the United States, or place noncontiguous to but subject to the jurisdiction thereof.

“(b) Penalty.—Whoever knowingly violates subsection (a) shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.”.

(b) Table of contents.—The table of contents for the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 (Public Law 91–513; 84 Stat. 1236) is amended by striking the item relating to section 103 and inserting the following:

“Sec. 103. Application of this Act to marihuana.”.

SEC. 3. Deregulation of marihuana.

(a) Removed from schedule of controlled substances.—Subsection (c) of Schedule I of section 202(c) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812(c)) is amended—

(1) by striking “marihuana”; and

(2) by striking “tetrahydrocannabinols”.

(b) Removal of prohibition on import and export.—Section 1010(b) of the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act (21 U.S.C. 960) is amended—

(1) in paragraph (1)—

(A) in subparagraph (F), by inserting “or” after the semicolon;

(B) by striking subparagraph (G); and

(C) by redesignating subparagraph (H) as subparagraph (G);

(2) in paragraph (2)—

(A) in subparagraph (F), by inserting “or” after the semicolon;

(B) by striking subparagraph (G); and

(C) by redesignating subparagraph (H) as subparagraph (G);

(3) in paragraph (3), by striking “paragraphs (1), (2), and (4)” and inserting “paragraphs (1) and (2)”;

(4) by striking paragraph (4); and

(5) by redesignating paragraphs (5), (6), and (7) as paragraphs (4), (5), and (6), respectively.

SEC. 4. Conforming amendments to Controlled Substances Act.

The Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.) is amended—

(1) in section 102(44) (21 U.S.C. 802(44)), by striking “marihuana,”;

(2) in section 401(b) (21 U.S.C. 841(b))—

(A) in paragraph (1)—

(i) in subparagraph (A)—

(I) in clause (vi), by inserting “or” after the semicolon;

(II) by striking (vii); and

(III) by redesignating clause (viii) as clause (vii);

(ii) in subparagraph (B)—

(I) by striking clause (vii); and

(II) by redesignating clause (viii) as clause (vii);

(iii) in subparagraph (C), by striking “subparagraphs (A), (B), and (D)” and inserting “subparagraphs (A) and (B)”;

(iv) by striking subparagraph (D);

(v) by redesignating subparagraph (E) as subparagraph (D); and

(vi) in subparagraph (D)(i), as redesignated, by striking “subparagraphs (C) and (D)” and inserting “subparagraph (C)”;

(B) by striking paragraph (4); and

(C) by redesignating paragraphs (5), (6), and (7) as paragraphs (4), (5), and (6), respectively;

(3) in section 402(c)(2)(B) (21 U.S.C. 842(c)(2)(B)), by striking “, marihuana,”;

(4) in section 403(d)(1) (21 U.S.C. 843(d)(1)), by striking “, marihuana,”;

(5) in section 418(a) (21 U.S.C. 859(a)), by striking the last sentence;

(6) in section 419(a) (21 U.S.C. 860(a)), by striking the last sentence;

(7) in section 422(d) (21 U.S.C. 863(d))—

(A) in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking “marijuana,”; and

(B) in paragraph (5), by striking “, such as a marihuana cigarette,”; and

(8) in section 516(d) (21 U.S.C. 886(d)), by striking “section 401(b)(6)” each place the term appears and inserting “section 401(b)(5)”.


All Actions H.R.1227 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)

 

03/16/2017
Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.
Action By: House Judiciary

03/03/2017
Referred to the Subcommittee on Health.
Action By: House Energy and Commerce

02/27/2017
Referred to House Judiciary
Action By: House of Representatives

02/27/2017
Referred to House Energy and Commerce
Action By: House of Representatives

02/27/2017
Referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
Action By: House of Representatives

02/27/2017
Introduced in House
Action By: House of Representatives


https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact

https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/write-or-call

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1227/all-actions

https://www.congress.gov/115/bills/hr1227/BILLS-115hr1227ih.pdf

https://www.congress.gov/115/bills/hr1227/BILLS-115hr1227ih.xml

Additional LINKS of Information:

http://www.constitutionalcannabis.com/kentucky-house–senate-action-alerts.html

https://www.facebook.com/Kentucky-House-Senate-Action-Alerts-133526500152199/