Cannabis reform is now a Senate priority.
That's according to a statement from a coalition of Democratic Senators who announced imminent plans to advance legislation aimed at descheduling marijuana on a federal level.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, along with Sens. Ron Wyden and Cory Booker, issued a statement on Monday saying that they will “release a unified discussion draft on comprehensive reform” during the early part of 2021.
An End To The War on Drugs
“The War on Drugs has been a war on people—particularly people of color,” reads the official statement.
“Ending the federal marijuana prohibition is necessary to right the wrongs of this failed war and end decades of harm inflicted on communities of color across the country. But that alone is not enough. As states continue to legalize marijuana, we must also enact measures that will lift up people who were unfairly targeted in the War on Drugs.”
All three senators have pronounced themselves in favor of marijuana legalization. The recent shift in power balance in the Congress allows for the possible approval of cannabis reform measures on a federal level.
In 2018, as Senate Minority leader, Schumer introduced the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act, a bill meant to effectively decriminalize the plant. In a recent interview, he stated that democratic control of the Senate would result in effectively achieving this goal.
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker introduced a similar bill in 2019, which was backed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Vice President Kamala Harris, a Senator at the time.
“We are committed to working together to put forward and advance comprehensive cannabis reform legislation that will not only turn the page on this sad chapter in American history, but also undo the devastating consequences of these discriminatory policies,” continued the statement.
In December, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (or MORE Act) passed the Democratic-led House in a landmark vote, making it the first piece of cannabis legislation to become approved by any chamber of the Congress.
The measure, meant to decriminalize cannabis on a federal level and expunge criminal convictions for non-violent cannabis crimes, was not discussed in the Senate at the time, being that it was under Republican control.
“In the early part of this year, we will release a unified discussion draft on comprehensive reform to ensure restorative justice, protect public health and implement responsible taxes and regulations. Getting input from stakeholder groups will be an important part of developing this critical legislation,” concludes the statement.
Photo by Joshua Sukoff on Unsplash.
© 2023 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
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