Today three separate bills aimed at protecting medical marijuana rights at the federal level were introduced in the United States Congress. Two are designed to help medical marijuana businesses in the areas of banking and the tax code. Colorado Congressman Jared Polis (D) authored the Small Business Banking Improvement Act, which would allow state-certified medical marijuana operations to take advantage of the full array of banking services available to other businesses. It was co-sponsored by Texas Congressman Ron Paul (R), Barney Frank (D-MA) and Pete Stark (D-CA).
The Small Business Tax Equity Act – authored by CA Congressman Pete Stark and co-sponsored by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Ron Paul, Barney Frank and Jared Polis – would bring MMJ operations into line with every other business, meaning they can use business deductions on their federal tax returns. The third bill was authored by MA Congressman Barney Frank and co-sponsored by Stark, Polis and Rohrabacher. Known as the States’ Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act, this bill would make medical marijuana operators who comply with state law immune to federal prosecution. The bill would also start the process of rescheduling cannabis into a schedule other than I or II.
An incredibly historic day on Capitol Hill, and we need to make sure these bills don’t languish in the halls of Congress. The last bill in particular is very necessary to the continuation of medical marijuana in this country. The feds are gunning for MMJ, which they see as an easy target. The DEA must be reigned in by law, since the Obama Administration isn’t going to do it.
An email sent out today by The Marijuana Policy Project tells citizens how they can make their voice heard and get their representatives on board with these bills.
Having lobbied Congress for years on these issues, MPP is excited to see the sponsors of these pieces of legislation sending a strong message to the rest of the nation about the need for the federal government to respect state medical marijuana laws and to treat fairly the individuals following them.
Now that these bills have been introduced, we need members of the House to sign on as co-sponsors. This is where you come in. We have drafted an email for you to send to your U.S. representative. With less than two minutes of your time, you can let your representative know that his or her constituents care about this issue. This really makes a difference.
History can be made and medical marijuana patients and operators can get the protection they deserve, but only if we let our reps know we are watching. They either vote the way we want, or they can be replaced.