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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is introducing legislation to decriminalize weed at the Federal level!

[npr.org]

Politics isn't always red or blue. Lately, it has been green.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., plans to introduce legislation on Friday to decriminalize marijuana on the federal level, adding a high-profile advocate in the effort to decriminalize, legalize and normalize marijuana use in America.

Schumer's legislation would remove marijuana from the list of scheduled substances under a 1970 law that classifies marijuana as dangerous as heroin for legal and regulatory purposes. It would establish funding for women- and minority-owned marijuana businesses, require more research on the drug's public health impact, and maintain federal authority to regulate commercial advertising, similar to existing regulations for tobacco and alcohol.

"If smoking marijuana doesn't hurt anybody else, why shouldn't we allow people to do it and not make it criminal?" Schumer told Vice News Tonight on HBO in a Thursday interview previewing his bill. To drive home that point, Schumer also agreed to sign a bong.

The move is coming on 4/20, the unofficial holiday celebrating marijuana use and culture.

Schumer's support is the latest indicator of the green wave affecting American politics, with growing support across the political spectrum to change the way the federal government sees marijuana.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., took a baby step in that direction last week by introducing legislation to permanently decriminalize hemp, a nonpsychoactive byproduct of cannabis, that has been a boom for Kentucky farmers in recent years.

The reversals are fueled by a growing number of states that are successfully experimenting with changing marijuana laws — and enjoying the revenue they are bringing in to help their cash-strapped states. Colorado voted to legalize the drug for recreational use in 2012, and there is essentially no lingering political dispute anymore about its merits from either party there.

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., waged a battle against the Trump administration this year after Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era memorandum that advised federal law enforcement to deprioritize marijuana for prosecution. Gardner held up Trump's nominees for the Justice Department until he received a personal assurance from the president that his administration would not crack down on states that have legalized marijuana.

Gardner is also drafting bipartisan legislation that would make it clear that states have the right to determine their own marijuana laws without federal interference.

Across the aisle, liberal lawmakers are likewise flocking to co-sponsor bills to roll back marijuana restrictions. On Thursday, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, became a co-sponsor of New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker's bill to legalize marijuana and let people convicted in the past of marijuana possession get their criminal records expunged. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., is already a co-sponsor.

Thirty states and the District of Columbia have already passed laws legalizing marijuana in some form, such as for medical use. Nine of those states and D.C. have gone a step further to legalize the drug for purely recreational purposes.

Marijuana is also making health care advances this week. The Associated Press reported that a group of U.S. health experts on Thursday endorsed the use of a medicine made from the marijuana plant to treat seizures in children. If the Food and Drug Administration follows the group's recommendation, it would become the first drug derived from the cannabis plant to win federal approval in the country.

The culture shift is also changing the way people celebrate 4/20. Revelers are trading in secret parties and furtive passes for public celebrations. USA Today reports that Denver is anticipating tens of thousands of people to gather Friday for what is considered "the world's largest 420 celebration."

By Suffolkian5
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8 comments

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0

Federal legalization is coming.
They're politicians.
They can't resist a good revenue stream.

0

Damn it, I want to hear what Amy Schumer has to say:

0

Hallefreakinlujah

1

I hope the he is successful! Criminalization of marijuana is one of the sickest chapters of the American story!

chollygee Level 4 Apr 20, 2018
1

Baby steps. South Carolina is a red state and CBD oil has been legal for a while (thanks Nikki Haley) that passed quietly through the senate. They also passed hemp farming, but only issued 10 permits, as an experiment, last year. SLED and the Behavioral Health Association was lobbying strongly against it. I hope it does pass on the federal level but I won’t hold my breath. Sessions is mean little troll and that would undermine his authority. But, stranger things have happened lately.

1

The more the better.

kenriley Level 8 Apr 20, 2018
3

The federal government never had the constitutional power to ban pot. If it took a consitutional amendment to ban alcohol, where did they get the authority to ban pot? They just usurped it.

That said, best evidence I know of is that pot is dangerous for adolescents. It favors the onset of schizophrenia, and should be restricted for minors...by the 50 states.

doug6352 Level 7 Apr 20, 2018
1

Finally Dems have something relevant to run on.

In my state I hear the Republicans are seriously considering legalizing before November so it won't have to be on the ballot pulling in the young Democratic vote. (Michigan)

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