Joyce, Jeffries Reintroduce Bipartisan Legislation to Prepare for Inevitable End to Federal Cannabis Prohibition

Apr 14, 2023
Health Care
Press

WASHINGTON, DC –  Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) and House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries reintroduced bipartisan legislation to better and immediately prepare the federal government for the inevitable end to cannabis prohibition. Titled the Preparing Regulators Effectively for a Post-Prohibition Adult Use Regulated Environment (PREPARE) Act, this bill creates a fair, honest and publicly transparent process for the federal government to establish effective regulations to be enacted upon the termination of its 86-year prohibition of cannabis.

Joyce and Jeffries designed the PREPARE Act to provide experts across the ideological spectrum the opportunity to engage on cannabis reform and best equip lawmakers with the information necessary to establish a safe and effective federal regulatory system. Without such engagement, it is unlikely Congress can establish the bipartisan consensus necessary to enact the federal cannabis policy change Americans across the country have called for.

“With nearly every state adopting its own set of cannabis reforms, an end to federal cannabis prohibition is inevitable,” said Congressman Joyce. “Now is the time for the federal government to respect the will of our constituents and begin the conversation on fair and effective cannabis regulation. The PREPARE Act will give lawmakers a bipartisan platform to legislate not only a fair and responsible end to prohibition but also a safer future for our communities.”

“Americans across the political spectrum recognize that now is the time for cannabis reform, and the federal government should be ready to embrace and lead this change. Since the failed war on drugs began over 50 years ago, the prohibition of marijuana has ruined lives, families and communities – particularly communities of color,” said House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries. “The PREPARE Act is one of the bipartisan solutions that will lay the groundwork to finally right these wrongs in a way that advances public safety and boosts our economy. I am grateful to Congressman Joyce for reintroducing this important bill and his leadership to help the federal government be ready for the inevitable end to cannabis prohibition.”

The PREPARE Act would direct the Attorney General of the United States to establish the ‘Commission on the Federal Regulation of Cannabis’ to advise on the development of a regulatory framework modeled after Federal and State regulatory frameworks with respect to alcohol. Specifically, the legislation would:

  • Direct federal regulators to develop a regulatory and revenue framework to ensure safe production and consumption of cannabis, which would account for the unique needs, rights and laws of each state, and present such a framework to Congress within one year;
  • Build upon the Obama and Trump Administrations’ efforts to remedy the unjust consequences of the war on cannabis, particularly those suffered by minority, low-income, and veteran communities;
  • Help grant medical professionals critical research access and training,
  • Develop protections for the hemp industry, including cross pollination prevention efforts. 
  • Help ensure that absent the physician prescribed treatment of a minor, cannabis remain an adult-only product. 

“The PREPARE Act would ensure that Congress thoughtfully approaches regulating the rapidly growing legal consumer marketplaces at a time when a majority of Americans live in a state that has legalized adult-use cannabis. With Congressional precedent to pass a bill to end prohibition and expunge prior marijuana charges, the biggest remaining unknown is how to properly and efficiently address labeling, advertising, public health concerns, and other post-prohibition regulatory aspects that have yet to be approached in a bipartisan way and this bill can be the vehicle to do just that,” said Justin Strekal of Better Organizing to Win Legalization.  

 “Once again Indian Country applauds both Representative David Joyce and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries for their tremendous leadership in preparing the way for plant medicine to help heal the trauma of this nation. Central to this sacred effort is having the original healers of our country – it’s Indigenous people – at the genesis of this journey,” said Tom Rodgers, Acting President of the Global Indigenous Council and enrolled member of the Blackfeet Nation. 

“CFCR endorses the Prepare Act and is grateful to Representative Joyce for his work on propelling this needed legislation which is critical and needed for comprehensive and coordinated federal legalization,” said Sheri Orlowitz, Board Chair of the Council for Federal Cannabis Regulation. 

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