Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said he and several colleagues will introduce legislation soon to decriminalize cannabis at the federal level, opening the door for states to establish their own legalization policies.
“I support decriminalization at the federal level,” Schumer told ABC News on Wednesday, “and we’ll be introducing legislation with a few of my colleagues shortly.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on decriminalizing marijuana: “I support decriminalization at the federal level, and we’ll be introducing legislation with a few of my colleagues shortly.” pic.twitter.com/fkc9HE2wQB
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) March 31, 2021
Marijuana Moment reports that the legislation — while still unrevealed — is expected to remove cannabis from the federal Controlled Substances Act and will likely include social equity elements, as well as restrictions to prevent large tobacco firms from overtaking the industry. The anticipated bill, according to the report, will instead prioritize small business owners and entrepreneurs, particularly individuals who have been most heavily affected by the oppressive drug war.
Sen. Schumer’s announcement came on the same day that Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law the formal legalization of adult-use cannabis in New York, the Majority Leader’s home state.
In January, Schumer hinted that lawmakers planned to merge several pieces of cannabis legislation in their quest for federal reform.
Earlier this month, members of the U.S. House of Representatives reintroduced the SAFE Banking Act, which seeks the normalize the relationship between financial institutions and state-legal cannabis businesses. The bipartisan bill was first passed in the House 18 months ago but it never reached a floor vote in the Senate.
Another bipartisan bill recently introduced to the House and Senate seeks to guarantee the cannabis industry’s access to typical insurance packages like property insurance and worker’s comp.
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