Senate Democrats to introduce bill to federally decriminalize marijuana

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says the bill would begin to right the wrongs of the war on drugs.

Published: July 14, 2021 3:36pm

Updated: July 14, 2021 4:21pm

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Senate Democrats plan to unveil legislation Wednesday that would decriminalize marijuana on a federal level.

The legislation, called The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, was drafted by Democratic Sens. Cory Booker, Ron Wyden, and Schumer. The bill would place the marijuana industry under federal rules and guidelines.

"This is monumental," Schumer said Wednesday during a press conference announcing the legislation, according to USA Today. "At long last, we are taking steps in the Senate to the right the wrongs of the failed war on drugs."

The measure would not only decriminalize the substance federally but also would wipe out all nonviolent marijuana-related arrests and convictions from federal records. It would allocate new tax revenue from marijuana sales to restorative justice programs for so-called victims of the drug war.

"By ending the failed federal prohibition of cannabis, the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act will ensure that Americans, especially Black and Brown Americans, no longer have to fear arrest … for using cannabis," a release accompanying the bill read.

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