Bipartisan Group Of Lawmakers File Bill To Prepare America For End Of Cannabis Prohibition

On Thursday, congressman Dave Joyce (R-OH) introduced the PREPARE Act (Preparing Regulators Effectively for a Post-Prohibition Adult Use Regulated Environment), with congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Brian Mast (R-FL) “to better prepare the federal government for the inevitable end to cannabis prohibition,” stated Rep. Joyce in a press release.

What’s In The Bill?

The PREPARE Act would direct the Attorney General of the United States to establish the ‘Commission on the Federal Regulation of Cannabis’ to advise on the development of a regulatory framework modeled after Federal and State regulatory frameworks with respect to alcohol.

Specifically, the legislation would do the following:

  • Direct federal regulators to develop a regulatory and revenue framework to ensure safe production and consumption of cannabis, modeled after the alcohol industry which accounts for the unique needs, rights and laws of each state, and present such a framework to Congress within one year;
  • Build upon the Obama and Trump Administrations’ efforts to remedy the unjust consequences of the war on cannabis, particularly those suffered by minority, low-income, and veteran communities;
  • Help grant medical professionals critical research access and training, as well as an economic opportunity to individuals and smalls businesses by providing access to the financial sector; and
  • Develop protections for the hemp industry, including cross-pollination prevention efforts.

In Search Of Bipartisan Agreement

The PREPARE Act seeks to facilitate the bipartisan consensus necessary to legalize cannabis at a federal level.

“With 91% of Americans supporting either medical or recreational cannabis legalization, it’s time for the federal government to respect the will of our voters – both Democrat and Republican alike – and begin a serious conversation about what a post-prohibition America should look like,” said Joyce. “The PREPARE Act will give my colleagues the answers they need to effectively engage on cannabis reform.”

Rep. Jeffries added, “Since the failed war on drugs began over 50 years ago, the prohibition of marijuana has ruined lives, families, and communities – particularly communities of color. The PREPARE Act is one of the bipartisan solutions that will lay the groundwork to finally right these wrongs in a way that advances public safety and boosts our economy."

“48 states have already legalized some form of cannabis, so I would say the cat is out of the bag and Congress needs to legislate based on the reality in front of us,” Rep. Mast said. “The PREPARE Act is an important step to ensuring the necessary framework exists for a post-prohibition world.”

Others Join The Conversation

Justin Strekal from Better Organizing to Win Legalization -BOWL PAC, an organization that advocates for marijuana reform, explained the PREPARE Act can be the vehicle to address issues like “how to properly and efficiently address labeling, advertising, licensing, public health concerns, and other post-prohibition regulatory aspects,” which “are crucial components that have yet to be addressed in a bipartisan way.”

Saphira Galoob, executive director of the National Cannabis Roundtable said: “The PREPARE Act provides a pathway for Federal agencies to set their expectations for cannabis businesses."

Tom Rodgers, acting president of the Global Indigenous Council and enrolled member of the Blackfeet Nation added:

“The inclusion of Indigenous American stakeholders in the commission’s recommendations to create a regulatory structure for implementing the coming federal legalization of cannabis is a breakthrough for Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Pacific Islanders. This commission can correct some of the mistakes of omission that states have made in their rush to legalize with no consideration given to tribal stakeholders." 

Image Via El Planteo. 

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Posted In: CannabisGovernmentNewsRegulationsPoliticsMarketsGeneralBrian MastDave JoyceHakeem JeffriesPREPARE Act
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