Senator Chuck Schumer, who serves as majority leader of the US Senate, would like to see the legislative body make more progress toward an end to federal cannabis prohibition.
To make this happen, Senator Schumer is coming up with a bill to federally decriminalize alongside Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden and Senator Cory Booker. While this would not be a measure that would fully legalize cannabis in the US, it would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, effectively descheduling it and clearing a path for a legal, state-mandated market.
The bill may have a good chance of passing, since it goes a little further than decriminalization, but doesn’t go so far as to create a regulated cannabis industry. As such, it is more likely to get bipartisan support.
Many are hopeful about the future of legalization with Senator Schumer in charge, but even with the new support, the bill still needs to get 60 votes in order to overcome a filibuster. In addition to full support from the senate, the bill would need to gain the eventual approval of President Joe Biden to become law.
However, while this is still a tall order, it isn’t impossible. Cannabis has been gaining more ground politically with both liberals and conservatives, and during the pandemic, it became clear just how essential cannabis is in many markets. The SAFE Banking Act, an act that would regulate banking for the cannabis industry, has bipartisan support.
In order to put a stop to the ongoing War on Drugs, Schumer has been coming up with strategies alongside cannabis advocates, and he plans on going further with the bill he is working on alongside Senators Booker and Wyden. As long as the shift in public opinion continues to sway towards cannabis, the US has a pretty good chance of, at the very least, decriminalizing during President Biden’s term.