Formal Introduction of New Legislation Follows Schumer’s Announcement in April That He Now Supports The Decriminalization Of Marijuana – Original Co-Sponsors of Schumer’s Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act Include Senators Bernie Sanders, Tim Kaine and Tammy Duckworth
New Legislation Will Deschedule Marijuana At Federal Level, Take Steps To Help Women and Minority-Owned Businesses Enter Into The Marijuana Industry, Invest In Research To Fully Understand Effects Of THC On Driving And Public Health,
Schumer’s New Bill Will Also Authorize New Grant Program To Provide Incentives For States And Local Gov’ts To Adopt or Expand Expungement Or Sealing Programs For Convictions Of Simple Possession Of Marijuana
Washington, D.C. – Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today formally introduced new legislation to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. Specifically, the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act removes marijuana from the list of scheduled substances under the Controlled Substances Act, effectively decriminalizing it at the federal level. The legislation allows states to continue to function as laboratories of democracy and ultimately decide how they will treat marijuana possession. The legislation, however, does not change federal authorities’ ability to prevent trafficking from states where marijuana is legal to states where is not. The bill also preserves the federal government’s ability to regulate marijuana advertising - just as it does tobacco - so that advertisers cannot target children. Schumer has long advocated for states’ rights when it comes to medical marijuana.
Leader Schumer’s new legislation also takes steps to help communities that have been disproportionally affected by our current marijuana laws. The bill includes authorization of grant programs designed to encourage states and local governments to allow individuals to seal or expunge marijuana possession conviction records, and it creates a new funding stream to help ensure that women and minority entrepreneurs have access to the new marijuana industries in their states. The bill also makes new investments in research to fully understand the effect of THC on both driving and public health – particularly in adolescents.
Leader Schumer’s Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act is cosponsored by Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL).
“The time to decriminalize marijuana is now,” said Senator Schumer. “The new Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act is about giving states the freedom to be the laboratories that they should be and giving Americans – especially women and minority business owners as well as those convicted of simple possession of marijuana intended for personal use- the opportunity to succeed in today’s economy. This legislation is simply the right thing to do and I am hopeful that the balanced approach it takes can earn bipartisan support in Congress and across the country.”
A fact sheet on the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act can be viewedHere. The full text of the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act can be viewedHere. A section-by-section summary of the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act can be foundHere.
Specifically, Leader Schumer’s new legislation would: