Senate Democrats indicated last Wednesday that they are moving for the decriminalization of marijuana at the federal level. Democrats are proposing the removal of cannabis from the federal list of controlled substances. In fact, Democrat Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that he will use his influence to make decriminalization a Senate priority.
‘Failed War On Drugs’
Schumer met with reporters to discuss their move. “This is monumental. At long last we are taking steps in the Senate to right the wrongs of the failed war on drugs,” he said. However, he did admit that not all Democrat Senators are onboard the draft decriminalization bill.
Schumer insisted that the announcement is a milestone that can help address injustice, especially among people of color. “The war on drugs has really been a war on people, particularly people of color,” he added. “The waste of human resources because of the historic over-criminalization has been one of the great historical wrongs for the last decades and we are going to change it.”
Removal of Criminal Records
The marijuana decriminalization draft bill is currently making the rounds among Senators. The chief proponents include Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ).
The bill also aims to drop all criminal records from marijuana-related offenses. In addition, it also works on creating banking systems that will accept marijuana businesses especially from small and minority owners. In fact, Wyden termed the bill as “cannabis common sense.”
Meanwhile, Senator Cory Booker, a long-time advocate for decriminalization, said the bill is an urgent measure. “Lives are being destroyed every single day and the hypocrisy of this is that, right here in the Capitol now, people running for Congress, people running for Senate, people running for president of the United States, who readily admit that they've used marijuana, but we have children in this country people all over this nation, our veterans, black and brown people, low-income people, now bearing the stain of having a criminal conviction for doing things that half of the last four presidents admitted to doing,” Booker added.
States That Legalized Recreational Use
To date, some 18 states already legalized the recreational use of marijuana. In addition, 37 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands, allow medical use for marijuana.
The discussion draft wrote that the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act can help Americans avoid arrest. This also ensures that minorities remain eligible for financial aid even if they use cannabis.
Also, state-compliant cannabis businesses can now have access to bank services and loans. In addition, medical research can now proceed without a hitch.
Some Republicans Oppose The Measure
However, a number of Republicans led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnel (KY), oppose the measure. “I do not have any plans to endorse the legalization of marijuana,” McConnell said in 2018 when he announced his support for legalizing hemp. He said that the two are “entirely separate plants.”
Watch the CNBC Television video reporting that Senate Democrats propose legalizing cannabis at the federal level:
Do you support the decriminalization of marijuana? In addition, do you think it solves problems attributed to drug-like convictions and illegal use?
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