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Colorado politician introduces bills to legalize marijuana on federal level, tax it like alcohol

This is his second time introducing this kind of legislation.

By
Thor Benson
Cannabis plant growing in a greenhouse. Photo by Iriana Shiyan/Shutterstock.
Cannabis plant growing in a greenhouse. Photo by Iriana Shiyan/Shutterstock.

DENVER, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., introduced two bills on Friday that have to do with legalizing marijuana on a federal level.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., co-sponsored the bills. The first bill is called the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act; it would regulate marijuana under restrictions similar to those on alcohol.

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The second bill, the Marijuana Tax Revenue Act, would set up a federal excise tax on marijuana. The tax would initially be 10 percent of the sales price, and it would eventually rise to 25 percent. Medical marijuana would remain untaxed.

"Rather than be a medicinal substance, it would be a controlled substance like alcohol and tobacco so there's still a federal interest in enforcement," Polis told The Denver Post. "It's important as we head into a presidential election. We don't know if the next president will have the same hands-off approach that Barack Obama and Eric Holder eventually found their way towards."

Polis said legalizing and regulating marijuana "takes money away from criminals and cartels, grows our economy, and keeps marijuana out of the hands of children" in a statement.

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