GOP Bill Wants To Decriminalize Cannabis: Lawmaker Believes It's 'Possible and Passable'

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The US House of Representatives easily passed the bill on decriminalizing cannabis, but it stands little chance in the Senate, which is controlled by Republicans
The US House of Representatives easily passed the bill on decriminalizing cannabis, but it stands little chance in the Senate, which is controlled by Republicans AFP / Raul ARBOLEDA

A Republican lawmaker from South Carolina, Nancy Mace, introduced a bill that would decriminalize marijuana use at the federal level, but still allow states to operate individually, and it has started to gain some bipartisan support. 

Mace broke down the bill in a Thursday interview with NewsNation Now “Morning in America’s” Adrienne Bankert, explaining that “The goal is to get Democrats and Republicans to work together on a bill that’s viable, this one is the art of the possible and passable.”

“I crafted this bill in a way that brought together pieces of different bills that have been filed previously or discussed whether those were Republicans or Democrats,” Mace added.

The bill would include a 3% federal excise tax on all marijuana products, and the funds would go towards supporting small businesses, retraining law enforcement, mental health services, and others.

Mace believes that the 3% tax is more realistic versus Chuck’s Schumer’s decimalization bill, which proposed a 25% tax because  25% could still encourage an illicit black market for marijuana.

“It allows states to do what they are doing today and want to do with regards to release and expungement,” Mace said. “It gets the federal government out of the way of what states are already doing today and levies a 3% excise tax. It creates a framework for regulation at the federal level much like alcohol,” Mace said.

The bill would allow better regulation of recreational marijuana by allowing it to be USDA regulated for growers, ATP regulated for products and TTB regulated for interstate commerce. Mace said she’s calling it an “FDA light” for some labeling on medical marijuana as well.

“States would be able to operate the way they are operating today, this really just provides the framework for how it would get regulated,” Mace added.

Currently, 36 states and four territories allow medical cannabis use, while 18 states, two territories and the District of Columbia allow recreational use, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

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