Never mind that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is the lead sponsor. Never mind that 68% of Americans support legalizing marijuana, a figure that includes 83% of Democrats and half of Republicans. And never mind that there’s a midterm election coming up in which passage would be an undeniable boost to Democrats’ electoral fortunes.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer
With a Senate bill to federally legalize marijuana expected to be introduced imminently, a key subcommittee chaired by one of the measure’s prime sponsors has scheduled a hearing for next week on cannabis reform and the harms of criminalization.
The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, chaired by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), will meet on July 26 for a meeting titled “Decriminalizing Cannabis at the Federal Level: Necessary Steps to Address Past Harms.”
Schumer stressed to rally attendees that he’s working to win bipartisan support for the forthcoming bill he plans to introduce with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ).
“I have invited every U.S. senator—every Democrat, every Republican—to come meet with us and tell us why they won’t support the bill or whether they will, and I’m making good progress,” Schumer said. “I’ve already met with six Republicans, so we can get 10 [and] we can get the 60 votes we need on the floor of the Senate to pass legislation that is so important.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden and New Jersey’s Cory Booker released a letter Thursday asking senators whose states have legalized marijuana and those who sit on committees with oversight of federal drug policy to share their thoughts as the three attempt to perfect the legislation.
“Hundreds of millions of Americans live in states that have legalized cannabis in some form while it remains illegal at the federal level,” they wrote.
In a fundraising email to his list of supporters on Friday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) laid out what he called “Democrats’ bold agenda for change this year.”
After first describing plans to tackle climate change and income inequality, Schumer turned to cannabis.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) will chair the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Criminal Justice and Counterterrorism. A press release on the appointment prominently touts two marijuana bills the senator has sponsored.
The Marijuana Justice Act to federally deschedule cannabis and promote social justice is the very first piece of legislation cited in the release after it notes the senator’s work to make “championing reforms of America’s broken criminal justice system a top priority.” Also mentioned is his separate CARERS Act, which would protect state medical marijuana programs.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and fellow Senators Cory Booker and Ron Wyden formally announced Monday that they are working together to advance comprehensive marijuana reform legislation.
Schumer talked last week about pushing for legislation that would legalize marijuana federally but allow states the freedom to choose their own direction.
In an interview with former NBA basketball player Al Harrington, Schumer also discussed directing tax revenues to minority communities most affected by the war on drugs.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he’s putting together a new federal marijuana legalization bill that would allow states freedom to “do whatever they’d like” and put tax revenues into minority communities most harmed by prohibition.
A New York Democrat who filed a marijuana descheduling bill in 2018, Schumer said his latest effort draws from a number of reform bills. He reportedly is working with both Democratic senators and some Republicans.