The US Senate has experienced a power shift, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has publicly reiterated the legalization of marijuana as a prime concern.
Since reclaiming leadership, his initial comments on cannabis legalization said that lawmakers would follow the federal marijuana reform in the 117th Congress as a part of the racial justice plan and establish equity. The Congressman believes the current laws are the most significant examples of racial injustice and lack of individual freedom.
The Senate Majority Leader has been advocating to advance legalization pre-election and is now following through on his comments, ensuring that it was not just a political play, with two congressional bills already filed in 2021.
Former NBA player and current CEO of cannabis company Viola Brands, Al Harrington, interviewed the Congressman through Instagram live on the motion to decriminalize marijuana. Congressman Chuck Schumer went on to say, "our bill - the bill that I put in - now we're putting it together with some other bills." He called out the unfairness the current law enforced on the minority community and affirmed his belief in freedom. The Congressman made the same comments in another interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow.
Which bills will be merged are still unclear, but they will center around the "Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act" that he had previously filed in the last two sessions of Congress. "I think we'll have a good chance to pass it," said Chuck Schuman.
The Reform bill calls for three critical things: removal of cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, $20 million worth of funds to expunge convictions due to marijuana possession, and "level the economic playing field" by directing 10% of total tax revenues or $10 million, whichever is greater, towards the Marijuana Opportunity Trust Fund.
However, the president is not in full support of this reform and would like to keep its legislation relatively modest due to misuse. To put fears of Congress at ease, Schumer continues to work towards affirming its position rather than exploiting. He talks about allocating funds to developing a breathalyzer to detect cannabis use for those driving under the influence, similar to testing for drunk drivers.
With the Democrats in control of the two chambers, advocates of full decriminalization are happily anticipating the passing of these bills soon under the new administration.
For more cannabis news and trends, here's what you should know about Arizona recreational cannabis sales.