Discussions about federal cannabis reform have yet to take place in the White House

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Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Cannabis reform lobbyists across the United States are putting their hopes on Vice President Kamala Harris convincing President Joe Biden to embrace the prospect of federal cannabis legalization. 

Unfortunately for the many Americans in favor of U.S. cannabis reform – which, according to a Gallup poll constitutes 68 percent of the adult population – conversations of this nature have not yet taken place. 

This news might come as a little bit of a surprise to those who are aware of the fact that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York is striving to introduce an all-encompassing cannabis reform bill.

“We haven’t yet taken that on,” Harris told reporters at the San Francisco Chronicle. “Honestly, right now, we’ve been focused on getting people food, helping them stay in their apartments or in their homes, getting kids back to school, getting shots into arms. That has been all-consuming.”

Harris is a cannabis advocate, but previously dabbled in prohibitionist duties 

Before she stepped up to assume her role as the new U.S. Vice President, Harris served as a California attorney general and a prosecutor in San Francisco. During her previous jobs, the VP was responsible for providing oversight in offices that specifically dealt with cannabis convict prosecutions roles that she has since been criticized for.

Despite her past, the former U.S. senator has demonstrated immense support for cannabis legalization at the federal level. In addition to this, she co-sponsored the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act a chunk of legislation that would enable banks and financial institutions to deal with cannabis businesses without worrying about federal interference and/or prosecution.

Schumer wants time to study federal cannabis reform in-depth

(Pictured) Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer

Cannabis prohibition in the U.S., which has been robustly forced since criminalization was imposed with the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, needs to come to an end. This is what Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says, with the 70-year-old recently telling Politico reporters that he hopes Biden will take time to seriously consider the subject.

“But at some point, we’re going to move forward, period,” Schumer (D- N.Y.) is quoted as saying. Now that the Senate is being steered by Democrats, Schumer has promised to enact legislative changes to cannabis’ federal status, as well as get the issue voted on. 

The American politician has even confirmed that he is in the process of drafting numerous cannabis reform plans alongside Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) Those measures are set to be presented in the near future.

“I am for it, and a large majority of my caucus is for it, but it’s also getting support from some places you wouldn’t expect,” Schumer said at a press conference in Midtown on Sunday, April 11. “The Libertarian right is for it, and there was a referendum in a very conservative state, South Dakota, and they voted to legalize.”

At the current time, it remains uncertain as to what aspects of cannabis reform are contained in Schumer’s proposed legislation. However, it is probable that he will attempt to alter the plant’s status under the terms of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).