Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Sens. Cory Booker and Ron Wyden have released the draft of their bill to federally decriminalize marijuana.
The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act would ensure that Americans in all communities will not be arrested or barred from receiving essential services for using cannabis where it is legal. This proposal would also ensure state-compliant cannabis businesses will be able to access the essential financial services and will preserve the integrity of state cannabis laws while providing a path for federal regulation.
Importantly, this legislative proposal goes a step beyond legalizing cannabis by expunging federal non-violent marijuana crimes and allowing individuals currently serving time in federal prison for non-violent marijuana crimes to petition a court for resentencing. It will also establish a fund to reinvest in the communities that were hurt by the War on Drugs and provide restorative justice to communities of color.
Senators Booker, Wyden, and Schumer thank Senator Murray and her HELP Committee staff for their work in developing the Food and Drug Administration and public health components of the Discussion Draft.
Marijuana Legalization Is Popular In Red And Blue States
What makes this legislation so interesting is that 91% of Americans believe that pot should be legal for adult or medical use. Voting against this bill will put Senate Republicans in quite a bad political spot.
For context, Republicans are used to voting against popular measures. Expanded gun background checks have enjoyed more than 90% public support for years, but that hasn’t moved Republicans in the least.
Even if this legislation doesn’t pass in the current Senate, which it might, but if it doesn’t, Democrats are poised to bring it back if they add to their majority in the 2022 midterm election.
The Senate vote will be a big day for America, as it looks like the US is firmly on the path toward federal marijuana legalization.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association