Saturday, April 20, 2024

Sen. Chuck Schumer To File Cannabis Legalization Bill In April, Welcomes GOP Support

Previously, Schumer said that he would like for the bill to reach President Biden’s desk before the unofficial cannabis holiday 4/20, though it is highly unlikely this will happen.

By Nina Zdinjak

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and fellow Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced the outline of the proposed Cannabis Administration & Opportunity Act in July last year. Then on Friday, Schumer told reporters that he plans to officially file the long-awaited bill to federally legalize cannabis this April reported Marijuana Moment.

At the same press conference in New York City, House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), talked about the advancements on his separate legalization measure. The event also included House Small Business Committee chairwoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), New York lawmakers and advocates with the Drug Policy Alliance and other organizations.

Chuck Schumer's Long-Awaited Federal Marijuana Legalization Bill Unveiled
Photo by Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images

“In the coming weeks, we’re ramping up our outreach—and we expect to introduce final legislation. Our goal is to do it in April,” Schumer said. “Then we begin the nationwide push, spearheaded by New York, to get the federal law done. As majority leader, I can set priorities. This is a priority for me.”

It’s been around six months since Schumer unveiled details of the bill.

“Right now, we’re taking those comments [on the draft version] and reaching out to Democratic and Republican senators,” Schumer said, adding that “we have some Republican support.”

It was not clear if Schumer was referring to having GOP cosponsors of the legislation or if he was talking about general support from voters.

RELATED: Sen. Chuck Schumer’s Federal Legalization Bill Falls Flat With Marijuana Industry

“If any senators have other ideas that they want to add to the bill, as long as it keeps social and economic justice as the spearhead, we’re happy and willing to listen,” he said.

Previously, Schumer said that he would like for the bill to reach President Biden’s desk before the unofficial cannabis holiday 4/20, though it is highly unlikely this will happen, seeing that the official filing is announced for April, and there has to be several committee hearings afterward.

Senate Parliamentarian May Have Foiled Schumer’s Marijuana Legalization Plan
Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

New York As The Model To Look Imitate 

“We want to renew the case for comprehensive marijuana reform that repairs the harm of the war on drugs at the federal level, using the great work that has been done here in New York as an example and way to lead,” Schumer said, “Just because we have a state law, the federal law still creates problems, and that’s why one of the many reasons we need to change it.”

RELATED: What Chuck Schumer Can Do For Marijuana As Senate Majority Leader

In the meantime, Nadler talked about his Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act.

“The war on drugs—and particularly the criminalization of marijuana—has been a failure that has unleashed untold suffering on millions of Americans, especially within minority communities,” Nadler said. “I am proud to stand here with Senator Schumer, and with the many other legislators and advocates with us today, who are leading the way in reforming our laws and bringing justice to those who have been harmed by these unfair and destructive policies.”

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.


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