Today is April 20, known as 420 Day, which is now well-referenced in popular culture as referring to marijuana. Even the 2003 California state bill codifying the medical marijuana law voters had approved was named SB 420. While urban legand often points to police code as the origins, Ryan Grim, author of This Is Your Country On Drugs, disagrees. Instead, Ryan was able to trace the roots of 420 to a group of five San Rafael High School friends who coined the term in 1971 — when marijuana was very much illegal.
Since then, public perception and public policy around marijuana has changed considerably. In November 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize marijuana use. And last year, US Attorney General Eric Holder said the US Justice Department is "deferring its right to challenge their legalization laws at this time." Meanwhile, 20 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws allowing for the medical use of marijuana. This state-level activity is prompting greater interest in federal marijuana legislation. (Read about the history of marijuana laws.)
Federal Marijuana Legislation
- HR 3483
To provide exceptions from the firearm prohibitions otherwise applicable in relation to marijuana if its possession is lawful under State law. *Bipartisan*
- HR 1523
Would prevent the federal government from continuing to prosecute residents who are acting in accordance with their state’s marijuana laws. The bill would legalize marijuana at the federal level to the extent it is legal at the state level, according to bill sponsor. *Bipartisan*
- HR 1635
To establish the National Commission on Federal Marijuana Policy. The Commission would undertake a comprehensive review of the federal government’s current policies toward marijuana, particularly in light of the growing number of states where marijuana is already legal for medicinal or personal use, according to bill sponsor.
- HR 499
To decriminalize marijuana at the Federal level, to leave to the States a power to regulate marijuana that is similar to the power they have to regulate alcohol. *Bipartisan*
- HR 4046
To strike provisions that prohibit the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy from studying the legalization of marijuana, that require the Director to oppose any attempt to legalize marijuana.
- HR 4179
To establish requirements relating to marijuana impaired driving.
Legislation about the Sale of Marijuana
- HR 2652
Would allow banks, credit unions and other depository institutions the legal clearance to provide banking services to a marijuana-related legitimate business, ensuring these businesses do not have to operate on a cash-only basis, according to bill sponsors. *Bipartisan*
- HR 501
To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for the taxation of marijuana.
- HR 4142
To amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to prohibit the use of benefits to purchase marijuana products, to amend part A of title IV of the Social Security Act to prohibit assistance provided under the program of block grants to States for temporary assistance for needy families from being accessed through the use of an electronic benefit transfer card at any store that offers marijuana for sale. *Bipartisan*
- HR 4137
To prohibit assistance provided under the program of block grants to States for temporary assistance for needy families from being accessed through the use of an electronic benefit transfer card at any store that offers marijuana for sale.
- HR 2240
To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow deductions and credits relating to expenditures in connection with marijuana sales conducted in compliance with State law. *Bipartisan*
Medical Marijuana Legislation
- HR 689
To provide for the rescheduling of marijuana and for the medical use of marijuana in accordance with the laws of the various States. *Bipartisan*
- HR 784
To amend the Controlled Substances Act so as to exempt real property from civil forfeiture due to medical-marijuana-related conduct that is authorized by State law.
- HR 710
To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide an affirmative defense for the medical use of marijuana in accordance with the laws of the various States. *Bipartisan*
Please keep in mind that highlighting a bill doesn't imply a POPVOX endorsement in any way. Rather, we're simply trying to offer one more way to stay informed of an overwhelmingly complex legislative system.