New federal marijuana bill seeks to offer sweeping consumer protections

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Lawmakers are working on a bill to bring parity to the US cannabis industry

Combating illicit marijuana cultivation on federal lands has been an effort that has been ongoing in Congress for some time now. Several bipartisan lawmakers have now reintroduced a related bill, framing the measure as a key way the federal government can intervene to protect the health of marijuana users. As is well known, unregulated cultivation of unregulated crops has an enormous amount of banned pesticides that can ultimately affect human health.

While for many, the idea of a new federal initiative to heavily punish illegal marijuana production may be seen as an extension of surface-level prohibitionist enforcement, Representative Scott Peters has made it clear what his intention is. During a conference held last Thursday, Targeting and Offsetting Existing Illegal Contaminants (TOXIC) Act has consumer safety and environmental protection as its primary goal.

“No buyer should be unknowingly consuming marijuana contaminated by dangerous, banned pesticides,” the congressman said. “That’s why [Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA)] and I introduced the TOXIC Act to go after these illegal, cartel-linked grow operations on federal lands.”

The environmental damage associated with illicit crops has long been criticized by advocates, industry stakeholders and regulators. The issue has become quite concerning to stakeholders as banned pesticides are sometimes used and can damage the ecosystem by contaminating water and soil and poisoning wildlife.

On the other hand, advocates argue that consumer safety can benefit as regulated marijuana markets continue to be created across the country. This makes products subject to testing and other compliance policies.

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