Can Congressional Bill H.R. 420 End Cannabis Prohibition in 2019?
By Dalton Rosario
In a bold move this past Wednesday, the 116th Congress made nationwide headlines filing bill H.R. 420, titled the “Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act.” This legislation intends to combat federal prohibition by removing cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, effectively streamlining statewide efforts for pro-cannabis regulation by transferring authority of cannabis oversight within our country from the Drug Enforcement Administration to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana, Firearms and Explosives.
Leading H.R. 420 author and Co-Chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), commented in a press release following the filing of this bill, “Congress cannot continue to be out of touch with a movement that a growing majority of Americans support. It’s time to end this senseless prohibition.” This bill marks the third piece of pro-cannabis legislation filed this year, showcasing Congress’ progressive stance towards ending federal prohibition favored by popular public opinion.
As outlined in this legislation, licensing would be permitted and issued federally for cultivation, distribution and fulfillments by the Department of Treasury under the Alcohol, Tobacco and Marijuana Tax and Trade Bureau coupled with oversights from the Food and Drug Administration. Despite the increase of nationwide transparency delineated in bill H.R. 420, pro-cannabis states are still federally prohibited from supplying the demand of neighboring regions that have yet to regulate cannabis both recreationally and medicinally.