Democratic Senators say they'll file legislation to legalize weed

Feb 3, 2021 at 1:58 pm
Democratic Senators say they'll file legislation to legalize weed
Rena Schild /

This is the first time we've heard this kind of thing from as high up the ladder as the U.S. Senate.

On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, along with Sens. Cory Booker and Ron Wyden, all Democrats, announced that they're working on comprehensive marijuana reform legislation.

This could be the big chance with a new administration. President Joe Biden ran on a platform that was marijuana-friendly.

There are no details of the possible legislation, but one indication is that marijuana tax money would go toward helping communities that have suffered most during the war on drugs, just as Michigan's legalization law was aimed.

Practically speaking, two federal policies need to change: one is that marijuana needs to be removed from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act and banks need to be able to do business with marijuana companies without the fear of money laundering charges.

For the average patient or user that would mean they can use a credit card at the marijuana shop. It would also mean removal of the shady but real chance that anyone involved in the marijuana business could be charged under prohibitive federal law even though they're operating legally under state law.

In December, the U.S. House passed the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act, HR 3884 — the first cannabis legalization bill to ever make it to the floor of Congress.

The 228-164 vote fell largely along party lines, with six Democrats voting against the bill and five Republicans voting for it.

The legislation would remove marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act, expunge some criminal records, create funding for people and communities impacted by the War on Drugs, and allow for more testing and research of cannabis.

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