Schumer to Introduce Bill to Decriminalize Marijuana

Georgia Reed
April 22, 2018

Just in time for 4/20, an annual celebration for marijuana users, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer announced he would introduce legislation to decriminalize the substance at the federal level.

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.

According to Schumer, the existing federal law lists marijuana as being as unsafe as heroin, and it is also treated "less favorably than cocaine".

The reversals are fueled by a growing number of states that are successfully experimenting with changing marijuana laws - and enjoying the revenue they are bringing in to help their cash-strapped states.

It was later endorsed by Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of OR, whose state legalised marijuana in 2015, and Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of NY, who is also seen as a potential presidential contender.

The American system of government works best when states are allowed to serve as the laboratories of democracy, as the founders intended. The New York Democrat, who telegraphed his plan in a Vice interview that aired last night, says "there's no better time than the present to get this done". "It's simply the right thing to do".

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The three are all possible 2020 presidential contenders - another indicator of which way politicians see the country moving when it comes to marijuana policy.

Earlier this week Mr. Gardner said Mr. Trump promised him states will be free to pursue their own path on marijuana. It has attracted three cosponsors: Sanders, Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). Meanwhile, those who are entering into the marijuana market in states that have legalized are set to make a fortune.

"It's long overdue. 63 percent of all Americans are for legalization of marijuana, except the very old", Schumer said. "Critically, we ensure that advertising can't be aimed at kids, and put real funds behind research into the health effects of THC", referring to the primary psychoactive substance in marijuana. This is in order to ensure companies are not directing ads toward juveniles.

His announcement came on 420 Day, an informal marijuana holiday, as a CBS News poll said nearly 6 in 10 USA adults believed cannabis should be legal, 59 percent to 36 percent.

Much like my own personal views on this issue have evolved, it is clear that the American people no longer view marijuana with as much skepticism as they once did.

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