By: Teddy Grant
Senate Democrats introduced a draft plan on Wednesday that would federally decriminalize marijuana and create programs that would help communities of color that America’s decades-long war on drugs has negatively impacted.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, alongside Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rob Wyden (D-OR), announced the draft legislation, which would move cannabis off the federally controlled substances list within 60 days.
“Cannabis prohibition, a key pillar of the failed War on Drugs, has caused substantial harm to our communities and small businesses, and especially for communities of color,” Wyden said. “It’s as simple as this: Senators Booker, Schumer and I want to bring common sense to the federal government, end prohibition and restore the lives of those hurt most and set them up for opportunity.”
According to CBS News, the legislation would allow states to create their own laws on marijuana. The bill would move the regulatory jurisdiction from the Drug Enforcement Agency to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, the Food and Drug Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Marijuana is legal in 18 states, Washington, D.C., Guam and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, CBS reported.
Sixty percent of Americans are in support of legalizing recreational and medical marijuana, according to a Pew Research poll.
“Today is a big day in the Senate,” Schumer said. This is monumental because, at long last, we are taking steps in the Senate to right the wrongs of the failed War on Drugs.”