A pair of Oregon senator Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, have introduced a new bill S. 3281 to promote in the US congress. The bill covers the recycling of beverage containers.
Cannabis Still Illegal At Federal Level
Despite the fact that cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, the “Original Recycling (OR) Bottle Act,” explicitly mentions a category of recycled beverage containers labeled Cannabis and Hemp.
Proposed Federal Bill Includes Regulation on Marijuana Based Drinks
The five categories of beverage containers were as follows:
- Carbonated soft drinks.
- All other non-alcoholic beverages (excluding dairy milk and plant-based milk, infant formula, and liquid meal replacements).
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Beverages containing marijuana or hemp.
This legislation is modeled after legislation currently enacted in the state of Oregon. The legislation if passed would require a minimum refund for all recycled containers at the federal level.
The Bill may Just serve to Raise the Price of all Bottled Drinks
In my opinion this bill will only make things like bottled water and other drinks even more expensive. Even if an individual decided to recycle they won’t get a refund if they deposit the recycling in their community recycling bin.
Cannabis Advocates Say this Bill is an Important Signal
Unsurprisingly, legalization advocates believe that this proposed legislation is a n important signal, that the federal policies may soon be changing.
“By taking the Oregon Way nationwide, this legislation will do more than sweep the garbage under the rug,”
“It will ensure an all-hands-on-deck effort to clean up our roadsides, beaches, and rivers to protect the health of our planet and families.”Senator Wyden
Many states already have bottle return initiatives, however this is not something the federal government has ever ruled on.
Due to the fact that the legislation has previously been dictated by the individual states, it will likely be considered a states rights issue and as a result be turned down, or ruled unconstitutional in court.
That is only my opinion. Either way it is interesting to see that the federal government is introducing legislation that looks at marijuana as a product rather than a drug.