Bipartisan legislation to end cannabis prohibition filed in Congress

Bipartisan legislation was filed Tuesday in Congress to prepare the federal government and regulators for federally legalized adult-use cannabis.

The bill, titled the Preparing Regulators Effectively for a Post-Prohibition Adult-Use Regulated Environment (PREPARE) Act, is sponsored by Congressman Dave Joyce (R-OH) and House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY).

The PREPARE Act would direct federal regulators to develop regulatory framework regarding the safe production and consumption of cannabis, while also accounting for each state’s individual laws and needs. That regulatory framework is to be presented to Congress within one year, according to a news release.

The legislation would also direct U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to establish the Commission on the Federal Regulation of Cannabis to advise the framework’s development.

“With nearly every state adopting its own set of cannabis reforms, an end to federal cannabis prohibition is inevitable,” Joyce said. “Now is the time for the federal government to respect the will of our constituents and begin the conversation on fair and effective cannabis regulation. The PREPARE Act will give lawmakers a bipartisan platform to legislate not only a fair and responsible end to prohibition but also a safer future for our communities.”

In addition, the PREPARE Act would assist those most impacted by the war on drugs, particularly people in minority, veteran, or low-income communities. It would also develop protections for the hemp industry, and would help medical professionals access cannabis training and research.

“Americans across the political spectrum recognize that now is the time for cannabis reform, and the federal government should be ready to embrace and lead this change. Since the failed war on drugs began over 50 years ago, the prohibition of marijuana has ruined lives, families and communities – particularly communities of color,” Jeffries said. “The PREPARE Act is one of the bipartisan solutions that will lay the groundwork to finally right these wrongs in a way that advances public safety and boosts our economy. I am grateful to Congressman Joyce for reintroducing this important bill and his leadership to help the federal government be ready for the inevitable end to cannabis prohibition.”

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Zach Mentz

Zach Mentz is an editor at Flavor Fix, covering cannabis, CBD and alcohol news and featured stories. Previously, he worked as senior editor of Cannabis Business Times (CBT). Mentz is a graduate of the Tim Russert Department of Communication at John Carroll University.

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