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Democrats face tough climb on winning Senate approval of legal marijuana

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is facing significant obstacles in his legislative push to legalize marijuana, with resistance from Republicans and members of his own party threatening chances of passage in the upper chamber.

Schumer has said that his aim is to bring a comprehensive marijuana reform bill forward later this month, weeks after the House passed a bill that would remove marijuana from the federal controlled substances list.

“We hope to do that towards the end of April,” Schumer said in remarks last week, noting discussions with Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who are involved in the push. He also added that he has been reaching out to “a few Republicans to see what they want.”

Staunch Republican opposition to legislation to legalize marijuana is one of the biggest hurdles Schumer faces in passing a measure through the evenly split Senate, where Democrats would need the backing of all of their members and at least 10 GOP members to make the bill law.

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), a member of GOP leadership, cast doubt on his chances. “I would not think it would pass the Senate right now,” he said. [Read more at The Hill]

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