Dem senator introduces S. 420 bill that would legalize marijuana

Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenCongress gears up for battle over expiring unemployment benefits Hillicon Valley: Senate panel advances bill targeting online child sexual abuse | Trump administration awards tech group contract to build 'virtual' wall | Advocacy groups urge Congress to ban facial recognition technologies Senate panel advances bill targeting online child sexual abuse MORE (D-Ore.) on Friday introduced legislation that would legalize marijuana at the federal level, designating the measure S. 420 in a nod to cannabis culture.

The bill, known as the Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act, would “responsibly legalize, tax and regulate marijuana at the federal level,” according to the Democratic side of the Senate Finance Committee, where Wyden is the ranking member. 

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The measure is one of three bills in a broader legislative package — the Path to Marijuana Reform — introduced by Wyden and, in the House, by Rep. Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerChuck E. Cheese files for bankruptcy protection Bipartisan bill introduced to provide 0B in relief for restaurants OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Dems press Trump consumer safety nominee on chemical issues | Lawmakers weigh how to help struggling energy industry | 180 Democrats ask House leadership for clean energy assistance MORE (D-Ore.), a member of the Ways and Means Committee. The package aims to “preserve the integrity of state marijuana laws and provide a path for responsible federal legalization and regulation of the marijuana industry.”

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

“The American people have elected the most pro-cannabis Congress in American history and significant pieces of legislation are being introduced,” Blumenauer said. “The House is doing its work and with the help of Senator Wyden’s leadership in the Senate, we will break through.”

The package also includes the Small Business Tax Equity Act, which aims to prevent marijuana businesses “from getting hit with an unfair tax bill” and another measure that seeks to “shrink the gap between federal and state marijuana policies.”