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Senator Wyden Introduces 'S.420' Bill to Legalize, Regulate Cannabis

A U.S. senator from Oregon has proposed legislation that would give states a free hand to allow legal marijuana markets without the threat of federal criminal intervention.

Posted: Feb 8, 2019 10:26 AM
Updated: Feb 8, 2019 12:01 PM

By MICHAEL R. BLOOD , Associated Press

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden proposed legislation Friday that would give states a free hand to allow legal cannabis markets without the threat of federal criminal intervention, a move that marked the latest push in Congress to bolster the nation's burgeoning pot industry.

The proposal, identical to a bill in the House, aims to ease the longstanding conflict between states where cannabis is legal in some form and the U.S. government, which categorizes marijuana as a dangerous illegal drug, similar to LSD or heroin.

"The federal prohibition of marijuana is wrong, plain and simple," Wyden, a Democrat, said in a statement. "Too many lives have been wasted, and too many economic opportunities have been missed."

Most Americans live in states where pot can be legally purchased for medical or recreational use, and the move to loosen federal restrictions on marijuana came as the issue has played into the emerging 2020 presidential campaign.

A similar proposal previously languished in Congress.

But Rep. Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat carrying the current bill in the House, said voters have "elected the most pro-cannabis Congress in American history."

The proposal would remove federal criminal penalties for individuals and businesses acting in compliance with state marijuana laws. It would also reduce barriers for legal marijuana businesses to get access to banking.

A separate bill would impose a tax on marijuana products similar to federal excise taxes on alcohol, while another would allow state-legal marijuana businesses to claim tax deductions and credits.

Justin Strekal, political director of the pro-legalization group NORML, said in a statement that the proposal is another sign of the "growing public support for ending our failed war on cannabis consumers."


CLICK HERE for more on a corresponding bill (H.R. 420) introduced by U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 154554

Reported Deaths: 2204
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah31785528
Washington21060212
Marion18335285
Clackamas13310175
Lane10172126
Jackson8299111
Umatilla763181
Deschutes591859
Yamhill375964
Linn356556
Malheur334358
Polk302942
Klamath277455
Douglas242853
Benton231816
Josephine231649
Jefferson195028
Coos142519
Union127519
Columbia124321
Wasco122026
Lincoln112820
Hood River106329
Morrow104414
Clatsop7756
Crook77518
Baker6487
Curry4166
Tillamook4122
Lake3746
Harney2726
Grant2221
Wallowa1424
Gilliam531
Sherman530
Wheeler221
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Reported Deaths: 51395
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San Bernardino2853342673
Orange2603483889
San Diego2589823260
Santa Clara1098411765
Kern102627811
Fresno947941412
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Alameda800881224
Ventura77238834
San Joaquin665691082
Contra Costa62164674
Stanislaus55775944
Tulare47784746
Monterey42138327
San Mateo38763515
San Francisco34061398
Santa Barbara31763407
Solano29968164
Merced28915395
Sonoma27954298
Imperial26843589
Kings21951218
Placer19713231
San Luis Obispo19612227
Madera15390209
Santa Cruz14588183
Marin13136197
Yolo12760185
Shasta10944174
Butte10915160
El Dorado9095100
Napa897668
Sutter884597
San Benito574359
Yuba573336
Lassen560119
Tehama508152
Tuolumne394659
Nevada393274
Mendocino379643
Amador344441
Humboldt316033
Lake313440
Glenn221023
Colusa212813
Calaveras190547
Siskiyou174014
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