Republican-Backed Bill Would Decriminalize Marijuana

Andrew Trunsky 

South Carolina Republican Rep. Nancy Mace introduced a bill Monday that would decriminalize marijuana nationwide.

The bill, titled the States Reform Act, would strike marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act while still allowing states to regulate the drug as they see fit, a news release touting the legislation said. It would establish a 3% federal marijuana tax which would help “fund law enforcement, small businesses and veterans mental health initiatives.”

Every state is different. Cannabis reform at the federal level must take all of this into account,” Mace said in a press conference Monday. “The States Reform Act takes special care to keep Americans and their children safe while ending federal interference with state cannabis laws.”

The bill would also expunge people federally convicted of “nonviolent, cannabis-only related offenses,” the release said, adding that approximately 2,600 people could benefit.

Marijuana legalization is overwhelmingly popular across the United States, with most surveys showing it near 70% approval. States across the country have legalized its recreational use in recent years, while Mace said that marijuana remains fully illegal in just three states: Kansas, Nebraska and Idaho.

“Washington needs to provide a framework which allows states to make their own decisions on cannabis moving forward,” Mace said Monday. “This bill does that.”

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