Sen. John Hickenlooper on Thursday introduced a bill that would set the regulatory framework for when the federal government legalizes marijuana.
Colorado Democrat Hickenlooper said effectively preparing regulators for the Post-Prohibition Adult Use Regulatory Environment (PREPARE) Act will help the government prepare for such a dramatic policy shift. said it would be useful for
The bill’s introduction comes a decade after Colorado voters, of which Hickenlooper was governor, approved the 64th Amendment, making Colorado the first state in the country to legalize recreation pots. was done later.
A month after the 2012 vote, Hickenlooper launched a task force to provide recommendations on state cannabis regulation.
Regarding the PREPARE Act, Hickenlooper said it draws from the same playbook.
“Colorado successfully legalized marijuana 10 years ago, thanks to the Amendment 64 Task Force,” Hickenlooper said. Said in a statement Thursday. “Federal legalization doesn’t have to start from scratch. We need to be ready when it happens.”
The senator’s office said the bill “establishes a fair, honest, and publicly transparent process for developing regulation at the federal level that incorporates the many lessons these states have learned.” and said the legislation “will be a ally of the Senate.” Republican Rep. Dave Joyce’s bipartisan bill in the House.
“I am thrilled that the PREPARE Act will be introduced into the Senate, making it not only bipartisan but also bicameral, one step closer to legislation,” Joyce said in a press release Thursday. Giving lawmakers on both sides of the aisle the answers they need to effectively engage, regulate safely and effectively, and rectify the harm caused by the failed cannabis wars.With these answers, Congress will , much-needed federal regulation that not only respects the unique needs, rights, and laws of each state, but also ends bans responsibly and ensures a more secure future for our communities. I am proud to have led the introduction of this common-sense bill into the House, and I thank Senator Hickenlooper for moving it forward in the Senate. We look forward to continuing to work together to pave the way for more comprehensive reform.”
Despite controlling Congress and the White House, Democrats have failed to pass the federal legalization bill before next week’s midterm elections.
The House passed the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Elimination (MORE) Act in April.
But the Democratic-led Senate has yet to introduce its own legalization bill.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said last weekend that he was “very close” to passing a bill that would allow state-compliant cannabis retailers to obtain financial services from banks. The law also includes the expungement of marijuana convictions, but does not legalize cannabis.
President Joe Biden last month announced a pardon for all federal convicts of marijuana possession, announcing his intention to remove cannabis from controlled substance laws.
“Federal law currently classifies marijuana in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, a classification that signifies the most dangerous substance. Even higher – drugs causing overdose epidemics.
“Too many lives have been lost because of failed approaches to marijuana,” the president added. “It’s time to right these wrongs.”