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Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on Feb 25, 2013

In recent years, drug legalization has become a hot topic in Washington. The heated discourse has been stemming from issues like prison overpopulation and cartel violence near the border, sparking a need for change. With the evolving state of America’s drug laws, some members of congress are pushing for a shift regarding the country’s marijuana usage. Part of the effort is to also push the industrial harvesting of hemp, which has virtually none of the toxicities commonly found in the drug. Hemp is a versatile material which can be used in textiles, automotive parts, fuel, and cosmetics but was banned after World War II.

In November 2011, Colorado and Washington each passed measures which ended the prohibition of pot, even with the ongoing tensions between state and federal law. Many states, including Arizona, have voted in favor of legal medicinal marijuana usage, but have faced challenges due to the debacle over complete marijuana legalization.

Oregon Senator, Earl Senator Blumenauer’s new bill proposing pot legalization imposes a hefty tax on the plant, which could be expected to bring in about $20 billion dollars each year from taxing $50 per ounce. This tax structure would also charge growers and importers about $1,000 and other marijuana-related businesses around $500.

Colorado Senator, Jared Polis, also wants to see marijuana legalization and for it to be regulated similarly to alcohol. Growers would need to obtain a federal permit before harvesting, and a new bureau would evolve from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to oversee these operations. Part of the bill also calls for an end on Federal drug raids on State-owned businesses where medicinal marijuana is legal. In an address in Washington, Rep. Blumenauer stated, “We’re still arresting two-thirds of a million people for use of a substance that a majority feel should be legal.”  Although many believe this legislation could take years to go through, the future looks promising for marijuana-supporters.