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Sen. Schumer plans to pass legislation that decriminalizes marijuana on a federal level

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer renewed his calls on Friday for the federal decriminalization of marijuana, gathering some of his congressional buds in lower Manhattan to make his case after working to roll up Republican support over the past several months.

“Change has been urgently needed for a long time,” Schumer said, highlighting the disproportionate impact marijuana laws have had on Black communities. “The good news is we’re on the edge of getting change, because the opinions throughout America are changing.”

Surveys in recent years have indicated a clear majority of Americans support legalizing the recreational use of pot. Last year, New York became the 15th state to legalize recreational use.

But congressional efforts to translate cross-party support into federal law have hit snags in the Senate.

The House passed a cannabis decriminalization bill late in 2020 on a mostly party-line vote. And in July, Schumer (D-N.Y.) introduced draft legislation meant to dispense with cannabis’ classification under the Controlled Substances Act and to create a path for federal regulation.

The introduction of the 163-page draft bill in the Senate proved a symbolically potent moment, but has not yet borne fruit.

Schumer said Friday that he intends to intensify his outreach on the issue in the coming weeks and to introduce final decriminalization legislation before a nationwide push. [Read more @ The Daily News]

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