Marijuana

A Senate bill — called S. 420 — has been filed to legalize marijuana

Senator Ron Wyden, joined at left by Senator Patty Murray, spoke during a news conference in December 2018.
J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press/File
Senator Ron Wyden, joined at left by Senator Patty Murray, spoke during a news conference in December 2018.

Another bill to federally decriminalize, regulate, and tax marijuana products has been filed, this time in the Senate, reserving the name S. 420.

The bill, filed by Senator Ron Wyden, of Oregon, on Feb. 7, seeks to update tax law by providing “for the taxation and regulation of marijuana products, and for other purposes.” The bill is called the Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act, and its number, 420, honors a commonly celebrated symbol of marijuana consumption.

In the House of Representatives, the legislation number H.R. 420 was reserved last month by Representative Earl Blumenauer, also of Oregon, who filed the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act.

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Wyden’s bill is part of a legislative package that would “lay [the] foundation for responsible, comprehensive federal regulation of marijuana,” according to a statement from the senator, who serves on the Senate’s committee on finance. As part of the package, Blumenauer filed an identical piece of legislation in the House, H.R. 1120.

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The package also includes two other bills — S. 421 and S. 422. The former would aim to “shrink the gap between federal and state marijuana policies,” and the latter aims to treat marijuana businesses like other small businesses when it comes to their tax bills.

The statement emphasizes that the package of bills also “empowers states to implement” their own marijuana laws.

“The federal prohibition of marijuana is wrong, plain and simple. Too many lives have been wasted, and too many economic opportunities have been missed,” Wyden said in a statement. “It’s time Congress make the changes Oregonians and Americans across the country are demanding.”

Felicia Gans can be reached at felicia.gans@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @FeliciaGans.