Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced Wednesday that he will propose draft legislation to decriminalize marijuana on a federal level, potentially ending an ongoing conflict between states, which are generally moving towards decriminalization, and the federal government, which has kept older, stricter laws against pot on the books.
The New York Times reported Wednesday that the “draft bill, called the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act” but it would also allow the federal government to move in on marijuana production and sales, “begin regulating and taxing” pot, and potentially “placing federal rules on a burgeoning industry that has faced years of uncertainty.”
The bill would allow states to keep their own marijuana laws in place, but “businesses and individuals in states that have legalized its use would be free for the first time to sell and consume it without the risk of federal punishment.”
The bill also has a criminal justice reform element, following on the heels of the Trump administration’s “First Step Act.” According to The New York Times, the bill would make an effort to reverse years of overcriminalization of pot consumption, “immediately expunging nonviolent marijuana-related arrests and convictions from federal records,” and it would “earmark new tax revenue for restorative justice programs intended to lift up communities affected by ‘the failed federal prohibition of cannabis.’”- READ MORE
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