WASHINGTON, DC – An effort to legalize marijuana on the federal level is coming from an unlikely source: a Republican Congresswoman from the South.
Representative Nancy Mace wants to tax marijuana like alcohol and tobacco.
South Carolina Congresswoman Nancy Mace wants to legalize marijuana at the federal level.
“We have no federal framework for cannabis being legal in this country. It’s sort of insane,” says Mace.
Past efforts have failed in Congress but Mace says her bill is different because it gives states more control.
“We want the federal government to stay out of it as much as possible and really let the states take the lead,” says Mace.
Her States Reform Act would not only legalize marijuana but would make it taxed like alcohol and tobacco,
“I think that bill does the right thing in terms of treating cannabis like alcohol and) putting it in the appropriate federal jurisdiction,” says Steve Hawkins of the US Cannabis Council.
Under the legislation those convicted on nonviolent cannabis charges would also have their records expunged.
“It would allow those who are serving today that are strictly cannabis in federal prison for that that they will be released,” says Mace.
Gary Hess says legalizing marijuana would help veterans like him suffering from PTSD.
“This comes from a personal testament of someone who has struggled himself and has used the natural plant to facilitate recovery, stability and post-traumatic growth,” says Hess.
While Republicans support for legalization is growing – shortly after Mace’s press conference, the South Carolina Republican Party issued a statement opposing any effort to legalize marijuana.
Mace says she wants to get more Republican support before reaching out to Democrats.