Top Senators Fighting for Cannabis Reform


The future is looking bright for the cannabis industry in the United States as top lawmakers pledge to push for legislative reforms to decriminalize and legalize the use of cannabis in 2021. 

The trio of the Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senators Cory Booker and Ron Wyden have pledged to bring to the front burner of legislative priorities a reform of the cannabis laws. 

You would recall that while in most states across the United States cannabis enjoys a varying degree of legalization, the substance is still considered a controlled substance federally. It remains a federal felony to possess, deal or consume cannabis or transport same across state lines.

Speaking to reporters, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that the lasting effects of criminal records owing to cannabis convictions are not only unjust but also disenfranchising and that the Senate would be working to right the wrongs.

To put the effects of a criminal conviction for offenses related to cannabis in perspective, he said, “Imagine a young man is arrested with a small amount of marijuana in his pocket.

He now has a criminal record the rest of his life, he can’t become a productive citizen—this one won’t hire him, that won’t hire him. We need to change that. There’s a lot to do, and we have to succeed.”

Schumer spoke last week about pushing for legislation that would legalize marijuana federally but also allow states the freedom to choose their own direction.

In an interview with former NBA basketball player Al Harrington, Schumer also discussed directing tax revenues to minority communities most affected by the war on drugs.

In another joint statement issued by the Senate trio on their course of action, they said, “In the early part of this year, we will release a unified discussion draft on comprehensive reform to ensure restorative justice, protect public health and implement responsible taxes and regulations.”

The statement added that input from stakeholder groups “will be an important part of developing this critical legislation.”

U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat and co-chair of the Cannabis Caucus, said in a statement that he’s excited the senators are prepared to move forward with comprehensive marijuana legislation after being blocked from doing so by the former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Blumenauer noted that the MORE Act, passed by the U.S. House in December, serves as a “great foundation” for such legislation.

Noting that Senate action is the last hurdle to achieving a reform that is beneficial for all, Blumenauer said, “We look forward to working with the Senate to refine the bill, advance its core principles, and end the federal prohibition of cannabis once and for all.” 

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