Three Democratic lawmakers—Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Cory Booker, and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden—have vowed to make federal legalization of marijuana a priority in the Senate. Draft legislation is slated for release in the early part of this year.
In a recent joint statement Schumer, Booker, and Wyden asserted, “The War on Drugs has been a war on people—particularly people of color. Ending the federal marijuana prohibition is necessary to right the wrongs of this failed war and end decades of harm inflicted on communities of color across the country.” The statement also mentions making amends to people who have been harmed by unfair drug policies.
Two cannabis reform bills have already been filed in 2021: one that seeks to reclassify marijuana as a Schedule III substance as opposed to Schedule I, and another that would stop the denial of benefits to veterans due to their legal use of medical marijuana.
While President Biden has unambiguously opposed full marijuana legalization in the past, he stated during his campaign that he was in favor of decriminalization. Cannabis legalization’s supporters—as well as its detractors—will be closely watching his response to these proposed legislations.
Damon Orion is a writer, journalist, musician, artist and teacher living in the mountains of Santa Cruz, California. More of his work can be found at DamonOrion.com.