regulate marijuana like alcohol act 2020

Below The Radar: Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act

United States – -( Many Second Amendment supporters don’t follow the debate over the legalization of marijuana. For many, it doesn’t seem to register. But right now, some of the effects of that debate could impact people’s Second Amendment rights.

Put it this way – while some states have decriminalized even the recreational use of marijuana, the federal government has not. 21 USC 802(16) lists marijuana (spelled marihuana in the law) as a controlled substance, and it is listed among such substances that can get a person a felony drug conviction. Such a conviction means good-bye to your Second Amendment rights.

Under 18 USC 922, though, one doesn’t need to be convicted on a drug charge to get hit with a 10-year federal sentence. All one has to be is an unlawful user of a controlled substance. This can include marijuana, as this case in Iowa illustrates. The United States Concealed Carry Association has outlined a lot of that on its site.

Here, a number of normal Second Amendment champions have not really been moving on this issue. But Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) has introduced HR 420, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act. This legislation takes marijuana and puts it on the same tier as alcohol with regards to federal regulation. The most important feature is that marijuana no longer becomes a controlled substance, which ends a lot of legal jeopardy for those who exercise their Second Amendment rights while using marijuana.

There will be a secondary bit of impact – the law renames the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana, Firearms, and Explosives. There is no indication that extra funds would be given to this agency to handle the extra workload that would result from adding pot to its jurisdiction. That is a mixed blessing.

On the one hand, the additional workload might mean that there would be less chance of harassment of Americans who wish to exercise their Second Amendment rights. Simply put, if ATF has to also regulate marijuana on the same basis as alcohol, they will be a lot busier, especially in the months and years as marijuana is transitioned from “controlled substance” status.

But there is a flip side: There may be fewer agents available to prosecute some real cases that involve the misuse of firearms. Put it this way, depending on a presidential administration’s priorities, we could see some gun laws that should be enforced not get enforced.

It should be noted Representative Blumenauer doesn’t have the best record on our rights. That said, HR 420 marks a marginal improvement in advancing our Second Amendment freedoms on the margins. As was the case with another law that we covered, Second Amendment supporters should read the text, think it over, and if they feel strongly about it, contact their Representative and Senators and politely urge them to act.

The legalization of marijuana at the state level could create a booby trap for some who exercise their Second Amendment rights.

Marijuana Legalization and Regulation

There is more public support for marijuana law reform than ever before with new polls showing more than half the country is in favor of legalizing marijuana. The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) believes marijuana should be removed from the criminal justice system and regulated like alcohol and tobacco.

Current Marijuana Laws in the U.S.

Where in the U.S. is marijuana legal?

Safer Cannabis Use

You can’t die of a cannabis overdose, but it’s still important to use harm reduction strategies to have a safer experience. Get tips on safer use of cannabis and other drugs and learn what actions you can take in a medical emergency.

2020 Initiatives

Federal Initiatives

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) introduced the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (MORE Act). It is the most sweeping marijuana reform bill ever in Congress.

What does the MORE Act do?

  • De-schedules marijuana at the federal level to let states set their own policies without federal interference
  • Expunges prior marijuana convictions so we can start repairing the extensive damage done to communities of color from decades of biased law enforcement
  • Establishes a federal tax that would be used to assist the people and communities most harmed by marijuana prohibition with programs like job training, substance use treatment, and cannabis business licensing
State Initiatives

New York
We believe that it is time to stop the ineffective, racially biased, and unjust enforcement of marijuana prohibition in New York. With our Start SMART NY campaign, we are working to create a well-regulated and inclusive marijuana industry that centers equity, is rooted in racial and economic justice, and reinvests in communities that have been the most harmed by marijuana criminalization. Smart regulation can support community well-being and safety while building a diverse, socially equitable industry that strengthens all parts of NY state.

Watch DPA’s Executive Director Kassandra Frederique speak at a BRIC TV town hall about what it would mean to legalize marijuana in NYC.

DPA is dedicated to ending marijuana prohibition in New York with the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA).

What does the MRTA do?

  • Allows the responsible use of marijuana by adults 21 and over within a tightly regulated system
  • Significant updates and improvements for the medical marijuana and hemp farming programs
  • Includes vital protections against housing and employment discrimination and addresses additional devastating impacts of marijuana prohibition in the fields of immigration and child welfare
  • Protects young people by reducing access to marijuana and promotes comprehensive, reality-based drug education
  • Establishes a licensing system that favors small businesses and family farmers, not large corporations, including co-op and microbusiness licenses that can reduce barriers to entry for people with less access to capital and traditional avenues of financing
  • Uses tax revenue for social good like community reinvestment, job training, youth programs, and drug treatment programs

New Mexico
DPA has been advocating at the state legislature for passage of a Constitutional Amendment allowing the possession, use, and sales of marijuana in New Mexico. This will increase tax revenue, generate commerce and support the agricultural economy.

What do we know so far about marijuana legalization so far?

Why Should We Legalize?

Reduce harm
The criminalization of marijuana use disproportionately harms young people and people of color, sponsors massive levels of violence and corruption, and fails to curb youth access.

Create jobs
Legalizing and regulating marijuana will bring one of the nation’s largest cash crops under the rule of law. This will create jobs and economic opportunities in the formal economy instead of the illicit market.

Save money
Scarce law enforcement resources will be better used to ensure public safety while reducing corrections and court costs. State and local governments would acquire significant new sources of tax revenue from regulating marijuana sales.

Promote consumer safety
Marijuana product testing is becoming a standard requirement for legalized marijuana markets. This means consumers are better informed about the marijuana they use.

DPA product safety recommendations

There is more public support for marijuana law reform than ever before with new polls showing more than half the country is in favor of legalizing marijuana. The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) believes marijuana should be removed from the criminal justice system and regulated like alcohol and tobacco.