Sen. Chuck Schumer to introduce bill decriminalizing marijuana

Saturday, 21 Apr, 2018

In a shocking announcement of global and historic significance, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., which would legalize cannabis on the federal level and leave it to the states to decide whether they will allow legal marijuana within their own borders.

"I have long believed that states should function as their own laboratories of democracy", Schumer said in a Twitter post. The leading Senate Democrat also suggested that his bill would also respect states' rights to prevent the federal government from cracking down on states that have legalized marijuana.

Democrats in the Senate have been especially reluctant to come out against federal marijuana prohibition.

"The legislation is long overdue", Schumer said in the VICE News interview. 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.

Similar legislation has been proposed in Congress by both Democratic and Republican lawmakers, but Schumer would be the first congressional leader to sponsor such a measure.

There are two paths here: One is decriminalization of marijuana at the federal level and there's another path already being pursued in a bipartisan way by people like Sen. So the chances of anything coming of this sort of legislation in the near term aren't good.

"Under existing law, the federal government considers marijuana as risky as heroin and treats it less favorably than cocaine".

Indeed, marijuana legalization hasn't just occurred in blue states.

It remains illegal, however, under federal law. That has to change.

Schumer also noted that the bill would ensure that marijuana advertisement would not target kids by enforcing the same advertising guidelines for cannabis as other controlled substances, like alcohol and tobacco. "I'm a little cautious on this", he commented, noting that he wanted to "see the outcomes before we make a decision".

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

And there would be funding to give women and minorities "a fair shot" in opening legal marijuana businesses.