Skip to content

Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On Dear Colleague Letter Urging Bipartisan Cooperation On Comprehensive Cannabis Reform Legislation

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor urging bipartisan cooperation on comprehensive cannabis reform. This morning, Senator Schumer, along with Senators Booker and Wyden, sent a Dear Colleague letter to all 100 Senators urging them to work together on comprehensive cannabis legislation. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

All of these issues I have mentioned—forced arbitration reform, appropriations, VAWA, Postal Reform—have been bipartisan efforts. They reflect a commitment that Democrats made, at the start of last year, to work with the other side when the opportunities presented themselves. And I thank my Republican colleagues for working with us.

Before I close, there is one more appeal I want to make for bipartisan cooperation, and that is on Cannabis reform.

This morning, I joined with Senators Booker and Wyden in sending a Dear Colleague inviting members from both sides of the aisle to join in an effort to draft and finalize comprehensive cannabis reform. Last summer, I joined with Senators Booker and Wyden in introducing our framework legislation for federal reform on cannabis—and we want to build on this framework as we prepare to introduce legislation in the near future.

Today, hundreds of millions of Americans live in states – both blue and red – where cannabis has been legalized in some way. It’s long past time for the federal government to catch up.

This is about individual freedom and about basic fairness. For decades federal cannabis laws have caused immense damage to millions of Americans, particularly Black and Hispanic people who have been unfairly targeted by these laws. We need to change that, we need to create opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses to legitimately pursue new opportunities, and comprehensive federal cannabis legislation is critical, critical to reaching that goal.

So I want to thank Senators Booker, Wyden, and all my colleagues who have worked with us on this important and long-overdue change. I hope we can make more progress towards cannabis reform in the near future.