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Schumer Kicks The Can Down The Road Again on Cannabis Reform

schumer kicks down road again

Senator Chuck Schumer’s much-anticipated sweeping marijuana reform bill has once again been passed down the line of priorities in the Senate. Schumer and the Democratic senators who are pushing for marijuana legalization say they are on track to introduce a comprehensive cannabis reform bill (yay). Only the timeline has been changed from later this month, to before recess in August (not so yay).

Over two months have passed since Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced his intention to pursue federal marijuana legalization and little information about the Democrat’s bill has been released on top of the delays in the bill’s introduction to the Senate.

The Cannabis Administration And Opportunity Bill 

What we do know is that the cannabis reform bill, according to Schumer, will, among other things, remove “cannabis from the federal list of controlled substances” and “help repair our criminal justice system, ensure restorative justice, protect public health, and implement responsible taxes and regulations.”

Schumer has received only a fraction of the support he needs in the Senate to enact his marijuana legalization bill thus far. Many Republicans oppose marijuana legalization legislation, making it one of the most difficult obstacles for Schumer to overcome in the Senate’s 50-50 split. To avoid a potential filibuster, Democrats would need the support of their entire caucus as well as at least 10 Republicans.

Many cannabis businesses, industry professionals, and activists have been hopeful that the current two-year legislative session will be the one in which federal prohibition finally falls. These constant delays have many people gnawing their fingers and knocking their heads in anticipation. 

The most recent delay is due to cannabis reform in the Senate coming to halt.

Where We Are Seeing Reform

The MORE Act, a comprehensive marijuana reform bill, was recently passed for the second time in the history of the United States House of Representatives. 

A Los Angeles campaign filed a proposed ballot measure in the hopes of lowering marijuana business taxes while simultaneously directing cannabis tax income to improve community equity and cannabis industry social equity in the city. In Detroit, an ordinance allowing the sale of recreational cannabis has been passed.

House Democrats are also attempting to include cannabis banking reform in an American competitiveness measure that will be worked out by a legislative conference committee. The SAFE Banking Act, which appeared to be dead just weeks ago when it was removed from a military spending package, has been resurrected as an amendment to a domestic spending bill in the United States House of Representatives. It has the best chance this year to pass federal cannabis legislation and will be the first of many steps to ensure that cannabis firms are treated equally to other lawful, respectable enterprises.

House members, including the Republican leader of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, submitted a bipartisan bill to prepare the federal government for the “inevitable end to cannabis prohibition” earlier this week. The PREPARE Act would establish a public process for the federal government to draft a regulatory and revenue framework that would be enacted when, not if, the plant’s 85-year prohibition ends. The bill is a bipartisan and innovative attempt to establish a federal marijuana regulatory framework. It would build on prior attempts to address the repercussions of the federal government’s broad anti-marijuana crackdown, notably those experienced by minorities, low-income people, and veterans.

Additionally, it would assist in granting medical experts access to marijuana research, offering an economic opportunity to cannabis individuals and small businesses through finance industry access, and developing hemp industry protections.

Now is the time for the Senate to act on reasonable reform legislation, putting an end to cannabis prohibition and starting to foster a well-regulated cannabis market. The cannabis industry is tired of waiting for real change, there is so much room for economic growth, social reform, and community development through the reform of cannabis legislation

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