PORTLAND — A bill introduced Wednesday by U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Portland, seeks to regulate marijuana like alcohol.
The bill would take marijuana off the federal controlled substances list and establish a nationally regulated industry overseen by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Blumenauer has long advocated legalizing marijuana at the federal level. He authored a blueprint last year for like-minded lawmakers on how to achieve that goal now that the House has a Democratic majority.
The bill number for the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act is H.R. 420 — a tongue-in-cheek reference to 420, a slang term frequently used to reference marijuana.
Blumenauer is founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus.
Last week, Gov. Kate Brown said in a conference call with reporters that the discrepancy between state and federal marijuana laws is a big hurdle for the industry in Oregon, which has legalized marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes. Brown said she hopes Congress will act to allow banks to do business with the marijuana industry.
At the state level, state Sen. Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, plans to reintroduce parts of a 2017 bill that would have allowed Oregon to enter into agreements with California and Washington for coordination of marijuana-related businesses. Recreational pot is legal in both neighboring states, as well as seven others across the country.
— Previous Associated Press reporting is included in this story.