Democratic Senate leader announces plans to introduce bill to 'decriminalize' marijuana

21 April, 2018, 10:33 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer holds up talking points from the Republican Senate tax reform bill on Capitol Hill in Washington DC Nov. 9 2017

In a Thursday night interview with VICE News, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced he is crafting legislation that would result in the effective end of federal marijuana prohibition.

In 2015, almost two decades after California became the first state to legalize medical use of cannabis, Schumer backed the CARERS Act, which would eliminate federal penalties for conduct that complies with state medical marijuana laws.

The law would maintain federal authority to regulate marijuana advertising the same way it does alcohol and tobacco. It's time we allow states, once and for all, to have the power to decide what works best for them.

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The complete interview will be televised Friday night at 7:30 on HBO's "Vice News Tonight". Justice Brandeis said let the states be laboratories, now we've had a few states, we've had a few laboratories, the experience's been a success.

Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in 2012, and six states have followed since then.

Schumer is another high-profile advocate that has entered the foray into working towards the legalization of the plant, with the goal of normalizing marijuana use in America. The bill would not impact the government's ability to prevent trafficking between states where marijuana is legal and those where it is not. Both political parties in either state have essentially come to terms with the benefits that legalization has brought, with there being little to no debate on the topic anymore.

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Guy Cecil, chairman of Priorities USA, a Democratic super PAC, said that decriminalizing marijuana is a clear motivator for younger voters. "I've seen too many people's lives ruined because they had small amounts of marijuana and served time in jail".

Currently, marijuana is still present on the list of scheduled substances on the federal level. According to CBS News, Session made "it clear that marijuana possession and distribution is against federal law" and directed US attorneys to prosecute it accordingly. Boehner, former Republican speaker of the House announced that his "thinking on cannabis has evolved" and he's joining the board of a cannabis corporation.

If the bill passes, it is good news for marijuana businesses across the country.

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The top Senate Democrat says he now supports making pot legal under federal law.

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