Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley joined with Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici to introduce a bill that would allow publications in Oregon and other states where marijuana is legal to mail their publications containing written advertising for the product.
The Marijuana Advertising in Legal States (MAILS) Act would reverse the outdated declaration by the U.S. Postal Service in December 2015 that prohibited the mailing of newspapers with ads offering to buy or sell marijuana, even if the marijuana-related ad complies with state law.
“Federal agencies must respect the decisions made by law-abiding Oregonians and small business owners in the state,” Wyden said. “Our bill updates the federal approach to marijuana, ending the threat to news publications that choose to accept advertising from legal marijuana businesses in Oregon and other states where voters also have freely decided to legalize marijuana.”
“Oregon voters have made it clear that they support marijuana legalization, but in area after area, federal regulation makes it difficult for legitimate marijuana businesses to operate. It’s time the federal government starts updating its rules and regulations in states where marijuana is now legal,” said Merkley. “This is common sense legislation to ensure that the U.S. Postal Service treats marijuana advertising like any other regulated product.”
“Regardless of how you feel about our failed prohibition of marijuana, every American should agree that the U.S. Postal Service should not be censoring what is or is not published in newspapers,” said Blumenauer. “This USPS policy is outdated and ignores reforms happening in Oregon and across the country. The federal government must stay out of the way of these state legalization efforts.”
“Oregon voters have spoken, and the federal government should respect our state laws and stop punishing local businesses,” said Bonamici. “It’s time for the US Postal Service to update its rules and allow legitimate and legal businesses to advertise in local newspapers.”
Other co-sponsors of the bill are Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) and Rep. Dana Rohrbacher (R-Calif.).
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