Schumer says legalization bill will be filed in April

Schumer says legalization bill will be filed in April

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) says his legalization bill will be filed in April. The bill would not only legalize cannabis but it contains provision to promote social equity and undo the harms caused by the War on Drugs. It is especially focused on helping communities of color that have been most harmed by the War on Drugs.

“In the coming weeks, we’re ramping up our outreach—and we expect to introduce final legislation. Our goal is to do it in April,” Schumer said.
“Then we begin the nationwide push, spearheaded by New York, to get the federal law done. As majority leader, I can set priorities. This is a priority for me.”

Chris Lindsey, director of government relations at the Marijuana Policy Project, told Cannabis News Box that they’re happy to see Schumer focusing on legalization again.

“We are thrilled to see leadership in the Senate advocate for ending the war on cannabis, reducing the harm that it caused, and helping to establish
a regulatory system that can provide fair access for those who wish to participate,” Lindsey said. “There were many things in the proposal put
forth last year that we applaud, including expungement for former offenders and national standards for labels and testing. We look forward to seeing what proposals appear in the bill.”

Lindsey said there’s a lot of support for legalizing cannabis across the country. He said there are still some questions to be answered about the legislation being introduced. There will surely be a lively debate over it when it’s introduced in April. In the end, legalization advocates want to
get legalization done as soon as possible.

If the legalization bill doesn’t pass, Lindsey said there’s not much chance legalization will happen this year. It’s worth noting there are also other
legalization bills that have already been introduced. Lindsey said that if Republicans retake the House or the Senate in November, that doesn’t
necessarily mean legalization is dead for the foreseeable future.

“Neither party could be said to own cannabis as an issue, and with a solid majority of voters in both parties now supporting legalization and
regulation, Republicans in Congress could respond,” Lindsey said. “That there is a strong state’s right case to be made for cannabis laws – that
the federal government should just let the states do what they are doing and stop interfering – that resonates with Republicans.”