All jokes aside, marijuana should be legalized in America. It would cut down on the obscene criminalization of a recreational drug—criminalization that disproportionately affects people of color—and generate a good deal of tax revenue for our state treasuries.
Now, bringing jokes back to the forefront: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) has introduced a bill called S.420, the intent of which is as follows:
S.420, would deschedule marijuana by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), establish a federal excise tax on legal sales and create a system of permits for businesses to engage in cannabis commerce.
Now, associating a bill numbered “420” with the legalization of weed is apparently not a novel practice. Nor is it the first time a Congressman from Oregon has used the trick…in 2019. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, another Oregon Democrat, trotted out H.R. 420 in January, the purpose of which was to “regulate marijuana like alcohol.”
The examples abound, per Forbes:
Also last month, Minnesota state lawmakers introduced a marijuana legalization bill designated as HF 420.
In California, the first move to establish statewide medical cannabis regulations was through 2003 legislation numbered SB 420.
In 2017, a Rhode Island senator introduced bill to legalize marijuana that was designated as S 420.
And back on Capitol Hill, the first House vote on an amendment to prevent the Department of Justice from interfering with state medical cannabis laws was via 2003’s Roll Call 420.
We’ll call this the best worst joke in politics. Here’s Wyden on his new bill:
NEW: I introduced S.420, my bill to legalize and responsibly regulate and tax marijuana. It’s time to bring our country’s marijuana policies into the 21st century, and my legislation is the way to do it. https://t.co/l5wKIWeZwV— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) February 8, 2019
The federal prohibition of marijuana is wrong – plain and simple. Too many lives have been wasted and too many economic opportunities have been missed. It's time for Congress to respect the will of the voters in Oregon and nationwide, who are demanding common-sense drug policies.— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) February 8, 2019