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Are Feds Trying to Change Pot Laws to Become Like Washington?

Could federal laws soon match ours when it comes to pot?
(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Apparently federal legislators are seeing the writing on the wall — or the smoke in the air, if you will.In a movement that’s gone largely unnoticed by many in the mainstream media, a series of bills are quietly being worked on by both Democrats and Republicans in Congress. The end result could be federal laws looking like Washington’s.

Some of these bills would legalize the production of hemp, establish a federal pot tax, and perhaps relaxing federal laws in states that have passed marijuana statutes.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D) of Oregon and Rep. Jared Polis (D) of Colorado have introduced bills that would allow growers to obtain a federal permit to grow pot in states where it’s been legalized. Former Reps. Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Ron Paul of Texas have favored similar measures.

Federal plans could also shift oversight of marijuana from the Drug Enforcement Administration to the newly-renamed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana and Firearms. It would remain illegal to transport pot out of a state where it’s legal into one where it’s not. There could also be a new federal tax on marijuana as well, which would lead one to believe federal legalization could possibly be coming. Some believe the feds will stop prosecuting legal amounts in Washington and Colorado.

Many federal lawmakers have seen the marijuana measures in Colorado and Washington as a shifting of public opinion and political tides. Some believe it’s better to revise laws to be in line with the states now, rather than face showdowns further down the road.

No word as to when Congress will vote on these bills.

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