Late last month, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer proposed legislation that would remove marijuana from the list of substances classified under the Controlled Substances Act, decriminalizing it on a federal level. In an interview with Vice News Tonight, he expressed that he had seen “too many people’s lives ruined because they had small amounts of marijuana and served time in jail much too long,” while simultaneously, “those who are entering into the marijuana market in states that have legalized are set to make a fortune.” Schumer noted that this disparity undermined “the basic principles of fairness and equal opportunity” so central to the American dream.
If this passes, the bill would regulate marijuana advertising to avoid targeting children, allow states to decide on how they want to regulate marijuana, and authorize federal law enforcement to penalize transportation of the drug across state boundaries where it isn’t legal.
This is a milestone for the cannabis industry—the legal grey area surrounding it has been the source of much confusion between state and federal sovereignty. By declassifying it, states would have tighter control over what they allow regarding medical marijuana and the cannabis industry as a whole.
Tatum, Sophie, and Veronica Stracqualursi. “Schumer to Introduce Marijuana Decriminalization Legislation.” CNN, Cable News Network, 20 Apr. 2018, www.cnn.com/2018/04/19/