Schumer introduces legislation that would decriminalize marijuana

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WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Wednesday he will co-sponsor a bill in the U.S. Senate to decriminalize marijuana.

The measure, co-sponsored by Oregon Senator Ron Wyden and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, aims to decriminalize and deschedule cannabis, reinvest in communities impacted by the war on drugs and expunge certain cannabis offenses.

It would also create provisions to federally tax and regulate marijuana. The law would not prevent states from creating their own regulations, but it would prevent people from facing any criminal charges federally for having or selling marijuana.

37 states and several U.S. territories have adopted laws allowing for legal access to marijuana, several of them for both medical and recreational use.

The bill states that “Legal cannabis businesses sales totaled $20,000,000,00 in 2020 and are projected to reach $40,500,000,000 by 2025.”

There has been a growing push to decriminalize and legalize marijuana at the federal level as more states legalize marijuana.

Schumer previously publicly spoke out in support for decriminalizing marijuana in a speech on April 20, the day frequently associated with the drug’s use.

Bipartisan legislation with similar aims was passed in the House of Representatives last Congressional session but died at the end of the term. House members plan to reintroduce a legalization bill this session.

President Joe Biden has expressed support for legalizing marijuana in the past, but has not weighed in on this particular bill yet.

“I’ve spoken in the past about the president’s views on marijuana and there’s no change,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday when asked about the bill.

Not all Senate Democrats support legalization though. Senators Jon Tester and Jeanne Shaheen both expressed doubts about the benefits of decriminalizing marijuana.

Legalization would “cause more problems than it solves,” Tester said in an April interview with Politico.

Ohio Republican Rep. Dave Joyce previously announced a new House bill to decriminalize marijuana in May.

You can read the full bill below:

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