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

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Confirmed Cases: 3949

Reported Deaths: 148
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah104558
Marion90925
Washington69517
Clackamas29410
Deschutes1200
Linn1159
Umatilla1123
Polk9610
Lane672
Yamhill657
Jackson600
Benton555
Clatsop450
Klamath410
Coos310
Malheur280
Josephine261
Douglas250
Jefferson240
Wasco181
Columbia160
Hood River120
Morrow120
Lincoln90
Tillamook60
Curry60
Union60
Crook50
Wallowa20
Sherman10
Grant10
Harney10
Baker10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 96400

Reported Deaths: 3769
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles460232116
Riverside7004292
San Diego6701249
Orange5469133
San Bernardino4365176
Alameda287493
Santa Clara2652139
San Francisco238640
Kern187129
San Mateo183376
Tulare164175
Santa Barbara155112
Fresno148222
Contra Costa133637
Sacramento130256
Imperial127423
Ventura91230
San Joaquin75233
Kings6472
Stanislaus64628
Sonoma5004
Solano45520
Monterey4138
Marin40314
Merced2616
San Luis Obispo2591
Santa Cruz2002
Yolo19422
Placer1859
Napa1013
Humboldt932
Madera842
El Dorado780
San Benito722
Nevada411
Sutter402
Del Norte370
Shasta364
Butte340
Mono341
Yuba281
Mendocino210
Inyo191
Mariposa151
Calaveras130
Lake120
Glenn120
Amador100
Siskiyou61
Colusa50
Lassen40
Plumas40
Tuolumne30
Tehama31
Alpine20
Trinity10
Sierra10
Unassigned00
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