Sen. Chuck Schumer's Long-Awaited Federal Marijuana Legalization Bill Unveiled: Will The Full Senate Accept It?

Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer flanked by Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) presented a highly-anticipated draft legislation bill on Wednesday to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, calling it “long overdue” and monumental.

"At long last, we are taking steps in the Senate to right the wrongs of the failed war on drugs,” Schumer said, calling arrests for marijuana a "waste of human resources" that cause agony to those whose lives have been ruined by criminal arrest records for small amounts of pot, especially among communities of color and the poor who have been disproportionally impacted by prohibition.

Schumer recognized that his own attitude toward legalization has evolved but now feels strongly about ending prohibition, as does "70% of the American population that support legalization."

He referred to the state of South Dakota. “If South Dakota can legalize recreational marijuana, so can the Senate!”

In addition to ending prohibition on cannabis and removing it from the Controlled Substance Act, the legislation seeks to:

  • Allow states to craft their own cannabis policies and regulate cannabis as they do with alcohol;
  • Expunge federal records of arrests and convictions for non-violent cannabis offenses;
  • Create a regulatory framework and federal excise tax for cannabis;
  • Establish a grants program to fund nonprofits to help equity applicants and states gain access to funds for programs;
  • Create provisions to facilitate research and to repair the harms of criminalization, including expungement.

Banking Bill

Asked about whether the bill contained banking provisions, Cory Booker stepped up to the microphone and categorically said: if the Senate attempts to pass a banking bill to please the large companies before dealing with the social justice and legalization issues of cannabis, "I will lay myself down to stop an easy banking bill so someone can make the big money” and leave all the others behind.

Response From Cannabis Community

Steven Hawkins, executive director at the Marijuana Policy Project said he was heartened by the bill: “For justice reform, for equity, for individual liberty, and countless other reasons, it is time to respect the will of the American people and legalize cannabis. I am heartened by the Booker, Schumer, Wyden bill draft, which is a promising first step towards Senate passage, and hopeful that it will lead to negotiations and bipartisan support for an inclusive and equitable legal cannabis industry.” 


Click here to learn more about what the Schumer bill means for the Cannabis Industry.


Now What?

Though the legislation faces a 50-50 Senate, it is clearly a major milestone for cannabis and social justice advocates.

Schumer explained in the press conference they, the sponsors, want public feedback on the proposal and are especially interested in hearing about cannabis potency, coordinating federal and state law enforcement and finding a fair system to reduce the often burdensome entry barriers to the cannabis industry while mitigating the influence of illicit cannabis operators, noted Marijuana Moment.

Interested parties are encouraged to submit comments on these and other issues to by September 1.

Encuentra nuestro contenido en Español en El Planteo:

Legalización de la Marihuana en EEUU: Qué Dice el Borrador del Proyecto de Ley Presentado en el Senado

Photo via YouTube.

Posted In: Chuck SchumerCory Bookermarijuana legalizationMarijuana Legalization BillRon WydenCannabisGovernmentMarkets

Ad Disclosure: The rate information is obtained by Bankrate from the listed institutions. Bankrate cannot guaranty the accuracy or availability of any rates shown above. Institutions may have different rates on their own websites than those posted on The listings that appear on this page are from companies from which this website receives compensation, which may impact how, where, and in what order products appear. This table does not include all companies or all available products.

All rates are subject to change without notice and may vary depending on location. These quotes are from banks, thrifts, and credit unions, some of whom have paid for a link to their own Web site where you can find additional information. Those with a paid link are our Advertisers. Those without a paid link are listings we obtain to improve the consumer shopping experience and are not Advertisers. To receive the rate from an Advertiser, please identify yourself as a Bankrate customer. Bank and thrift deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Credit union deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Administration.

Consumer Satisfaction: Bankrate attempts to verify the accuracy and availability of its Advertisers' terms through its quality assurance process and requires Advertisers to agree to our Terms and Conditions and to adhere to our Quality Control Program. If you believe that you have received an inaccurate quote or are otherwise not satisfied with the services provided to you by the institution you choose, please click here.

Rate collection and criteria: Click here for more information on rate collection and criteria.