- Republicans in the House of Representatives introduced legislation on Monday would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level and eliminate legal hazards for many cannabis-related businesses while regulating its use like alcohol.
Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina, who is directing the legislative effort, described the bill as a "compromise" with less restrictions than the previously proposed measures, including Democrats.
The legislation's path to the Democratic-controlled House was uncertain. Mace, a first-term lawmaker, said the measure had five Republican co-sponsors.
The shaming of marijuana is illegal in 18 states, and it is permitted medically in 36 states. But federal law makes a public nuisance, which disengaged investors from using marijuana or other products.
"I would like to pass that bill today. This bill would also support businesses, in particular small businesses." Mace told a news conference. "If we would pass this bill, businesses would operate and be legal and regulated like alcohol."
Titled the States Reform Act, the Republican legislation would give states the time to rule the laws on prohibition and regulation matters to state authorities.
It would prohibit marijuana use by those under 21st century, prohibit advertising, and protect veterans' rights for the use of cannabis, and expunge record records of people convicted on nonviolent, cannabis-only offenses.
That bill differs in several important ways from the bill that was proposed in July by Senate Democrats, as well as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Mace's bill would impose an 3% tax on cannabis compared to an increasing House tax proposal that would top out around 25%.
Where the Senate proposal would give the Food and Drug Administration a primary oversight role, the Republican legislation limits the FDA's involvement in medical marijuana and makes the Treasury's Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau the primary regulator for interstate commerce.