U.S. Senators Introduce Bill To Legalize Marijuana

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U.S. Senators Introduce Bill To Legalize Marijuana
08-May-24 05:27:58

A group of 18 Democratic Senators this week reintroduced a bill to legalize marijuana nationwide, only a day after news reports revealed that the U.S. government would reclassify cannabis under federal law. The legislation, known as the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, was introduced in the Senate on Wednesday by Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Senate Majority Chuck Schumer and Oregon’s Sen. Ron Wyden, with co-sponsorship by an additional 15 lawmakers in the upper chamber of Congress.

“It’s past time for the federal government to catch up to the attitudes of the American people when it comes to cannabis,” Schumer said in a statement about the bill. “That’s why we’re reintroducing the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, legislation that would finally end the federal prohibition on cannabis while prioritizing safety, research, workers’ rights and restorative justice. We have more work to do to address decades of over-criminalization, particularly in communities of color, but today’s reintroduction shows the movement is growing, and I will keep working until we achieve meaningful change.”

The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA) would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), ending the criminal prohibition of marijuana at the federal level and allowing the states to adopt their own laws to regulate the drug. So far, 24 states have legalized recreational marijuana, while 35 has passed legislation to permit the medicinal use of cannabis.

“Our comprehensive Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act doesn’t tell states what to do—but it provides them with the tools to effectively implement the laws their voters and legislators choose,” said Wyden. “Public health, public safety, opportunity and social justice must be at the core of any cannabis reform proposal, and it’s crucial stakeholders continue to have a seat at the table. I look forward to working with my colleagues and advocates across the country to make these priorities a reality.”

The comprehensive legislation goes further that the Biden administration’s proposal to reclassify marijuana under the CSA that was advanced by the Department of Health and Human services last year. If approved by the White House Office of Management and Budget, the proposal would remove cannabis from Schedule I, the strictest classification that includes heroin and LSD, and instead place it under Schedule III, a group of drugs such as Tylenol with codeine and testosterone. In January, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined that marijuana was eligible for reclassification after a review of relevant scientific data. On Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that the Drug Enforcement Administration had approved the bid to reschedule marijuana and ease restrictions on the drug under federal law.