This is a move that has been on the horizon for some time. Sen. Chuck Schumer is making a huge 4/20 move as the Democrats introduce a bill to decriminalize marijuana across the country.
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 HBO’s Vice News in a Thursday interview previewing his bill. To drive home that point, Schumer also agreed to sign a bong.
THREAD: It’s official. Today, I am formally announcing my plan to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. It’s time we allow states, once and for all, to have the power to decide what works best for them.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) April 20, 2018
During an interview with Vice News, Schumer explained his reasoning for the legalization. Much of it is based around mass incarceration and racial injustice. This interview explains why the bill is so important to him.
The market for legal marijuana was supercharged when Trump signaled that he will respect state legalization.
Per USA Today:
The legal marijuana market was already growing exponentially despite fears of a federal crackdown under Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, but Trump’s signal that he’ll respect state legalization may swing open the floodgates by reassuring traditional investors, entrepreneurs and local lawmakers that it’s OK to jump in.
Across the nation, risk-takers have poured billions of dollars into the industry while knowing they could be arrested by federal agents at any moment.
They’ve built — largely unseen — a powerful network of businesses poised to take advantage of a more favorable federal climate. That industry has already woven itself into the fabric of the states where pot is legal, providing tens of thousands of jobs and generating billions of dollars in new tax revenues.
Experts say those numbers are now likely to rise rapidly thanks to Trump’s promised hands-off approach and support of some sort of federal solution.