In short, the goal of this bill is to decriminalize marijuana. Specifically, this bill removes marijuana from the list of scheduled substances that exists in accordance with the Controlled Substances Act. It also eliminates penalties for an individual who manufactures, distributes, or possesses marijuana.
The bill seeks to:
- replace statutory references to marijuana and marihuana with cannabis
- require the Bureau of Labor Statistics to regularly publish demographic data on cannabis business owners and employees
- establish a trust fund to support various programs and services for individuals and businesses in communities impacted by the war on drugs
- imposes a 5% tax on cannabis products and require revenues to be deposited into the trust fund
- make Small Business Administration loans and services available to entities that are cannabis-related legitimate businesses or service providers
- prohibit the denial of federal public benefits to a person on the basis of certain cannabis-related conduct or convictions
- prohibit the denial of benefits and protections under immigration laws on the basis of a cannabis-related event (ex: conduct or a conviction)
- established a process to expunge convictions and conduct sentencing review hearings related to federal cannabis offenses
The vote from Friday, December 4th 2020, is the first time that a chamber of Congress has voted on federal marijuana decriminalization, however, it must also pass through the Senate. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, marijuana is legal for recreational use in 15 states and medical use in 36.
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