Chuck Schumer Finally Introduces Bill to End Federal Marijuana Prohibition

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Thursday introduced a bill to lift the federal prohibition on marijuana, Politico reports.

The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act would decriminalize marijuana federally and allow states to set their own rules.

Schumer, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker first completed a draft bill more than a year ago.

The odds of the legislation passing the evenly-divided Senate remain slim but parts of the bill could be added to other pieces of legislation before the end of the year.

“When a state like South Dakota votes by referendum to legalize, you know something is out there,” Schumer said last year. “The American people started speaking sort of with a clear message. More than two-to-one, that they want the law changed.”


The bill would expunge federal marijuana-related criminal records.

The legislation would also provide funding to law enforcement agencies to combat illegal growing operations.

The bill would create grant programs for small businesses entering the industry that are from communities disproportionately affected by past drug laws.

The legislation would also restrict the marketing of marijuana to minors and direct the Department of Transportation to study and create a national standard for marijuana-impaired driving.

Not enough votes:

There are not enough votes in the Senate to pass the bill, even though 19 states have already legalized recreational use and 37 states have legalized medicinal use.

Montana Sen. Jon Tester, whose state has legalized weed, said he opposes federal decriminalization.

Other Democrats like Jeanne Shaheen, Joe Manchin, and Bob Casey are undecided.

Even if Schumer can win over every Democrat, the bill would still require 10 Republican votes to pass.


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