Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer presided over a cannabis policy forum in the Capitol Visitors Center of the Congressional Auditorium on April 20 — an unofficial weed holiday.
The Democratic Majority Leader was joined by marijuana proponents, including other government leaders, as well as business, healthcare, veterans groups and civil rights organizations.
“It is time to end the federal prohibition on cannabis,” Schumer proclaimed.
“Congress has a lot of work to do to catch up with the rest of the country,” Schumer said. “I promise to be in your corner and work like hell bringing federal cannabis policy into the 21st century.”
Schumer sponsored Senate legislation that would decriminalize and deschedule cannabis on the federal level, while also promoting social equity through the Cannabis Administration And Opportunity Act (CAOA), which was introduced last year.
“Until federal cannabis reform is the law of the land, I believe in my bones that we will get there one day soon,” he added.
Optimism Growing, Hope For SAFE And Other Bills
It remains to be seen whether any notable marijuana reform will happen with the 118th Congress, but advocates are optimistic.
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D), for example, said there’s “a real path” to approve the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act of 2021 (SAFE Banking Act), under which financial institutions will be allowed to provide their services to marijuana businesses in states with legal programs.
Senator John Hickenlooper (D), a member of the Senate’s Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee and chair of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee joined Congressman Dave Joyce (R) of Ohio to discuss Preparing Regulators Effectively for a Post-Prohibition Adult-Use Regulated Environment (PREPARE) Act, which was reintroduced last week. This piece of legislation aims to establish the foundation for legalizing cannabis at the federal level.
Joyce, who is also a co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, previously introduced numerous pieces of cannabis reform legislation including, H.R.3105 – Common Sense Cannabis Reform — the first GOP bill to end federal prohibition
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