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National Commission on Federal Marijuana Policy Act

Dan Barrett
May 7, 2013

While NTUF highlights at least four newly-scored bills in our weekly newsletter, The Taxpayer's Tab, we have a lot of legislation that don't necessarily fall into the "Least Expensive" or "Most Friended" categories. So, as a supplement, here's another bill introduced in the 113th Congress that taxpayers may find interesting. Just as the bills that appear in the Tab, this is a preliminary score and may be updated with new information.

The Bill: H.R. 1635, the National Commission on Federal Marijuana Policy Act of 2013

Annualized Cost: $5 million ($10 million over two years)

Twenty-three states currently allow their residents to possess cannabis, otherwise known as marijuana, to be used for medical or personal use. In the 2012 general elections, Colorado and Washington both legalized the drug and, at varying times, eight other states have established some form of decriminalized policy. The federal government maintains that the possession, sale, or cultivation of marijuana is strictly illegal and the resolution to this conflict between state and federal statutes remains unresolved.

To understand how current federal government policies interact with states, Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) has introduced H.R. 1635, which would create a 13-member commission. The National Commission on Federal Marijuana Policy would investigate the costs, health effects, business compliance expenses, and potential solutions in bridging the laws between different levels of government. Similar to other short-term panels, members would be permitted to hear testimony and deliver a formal report to Congress one year after the Commission was established.

The text of the bill would authorize a total of $10 million to be spent while the Commission is in operation. NTUF assumes that the spending would take place over two years.

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