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Democratic Senate Leaders Announce Steps to Federally Legalize Marijuana in 2021
Three leading champions of marijuana reform in Congress said on Monday that the issue will be prioritized in the new Democratic Senate this year and that they plan to release draft legislation in the coming weeks to begin a conversation about what the federal policy change will look like.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said in a joint statement that ending cannabis prohibition “is necessary to right the wrongs of this failed war and end decades of harm inflicted on communities of color across the country,” but that alone “is not enough.”
Kansas Governor Proposes Legalizing Medical Marijuana to Fund Healthcare Expansion
The governor of Kansas on Monday unveiled a plan to legalize medical marijuana and use the resulting tax revenue to fund Medicaid expansion. This comes as lawmakers in the state have already introduced two separate cannabis proposals in recent days.
Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly held a press conference to announce her legislation, arguing that Kansans are ready for marijuana reform, which she said would provide patients with a critical alternative treatment option and would give the state the resources to expand healthcare with even more money left over.
Top Minnesota Lawmakers File Marijuana Legalization Bill For 2021
That’s the Democratic leader of the Minnesota House Rep. Ryan Winkler introducing a marijuana legalization bill. Under the proposal, social equity would be prioritized, in part by ensuring diverse licensing and preventing the market from being monopolized by corporate players. Prior marijuana records would also be automatically expunged.
On-site consumption and cannabis delivery services would also be permitted. And unlike in many legal states, local municipalities would be banned from prohibiting marijuana businesses from operating in their areas.
Retail cannabis sales would be taxed at 10 percent. Part of that revenue would fund a grant program designed to promote economic development and community stability.
People living in low-income neighborhoods and military veterans who lost honorable status due to a cannabis-related offense would be considered social equity applicants eligible for priority licensing.
New Mexico lawmakers introduce proposals to legalize recreational marijuana
That’s New Mexico Democratic Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto, referring to the bill he has filed to legalize recreational marijuana in the Land of Enchantment.
Ivey-Soto is proposing a program in which private businesses would control the sale of cannabis as opposed to the state, and it would be taxed 21%.
Republican Senator Cliff R. Pirtle is making his second run at getting a marijuana bill passed. Pirtle said his bill would keep taxes low by imposing a 2% excise tax on top of local gross receipt taxes.
Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Defied GOP, Restores Marijuana & LGBTQ Flags
Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman says state Republicans removed flags supporting the legalization of marijuana and LGBTQ rights from outside his office at the state capitol. Undeterred, the Democrat called out “the gay flag police” and hung them back up.
According to WGAL, the state Department of General Services said the flags were removed because of a provision passed by the Republican-controlled legislature barring the display of any flag other than the American flag at the capitol.
“The GOP collectively shrugged when a couple of its members were photographed down in D.C. on January 6, but my pride and weed flags are a point of outrage for them?” Lt. Gov. John Fetterman told NBC News.