Senate Majority Leader Likely to Legalize Cannabis on a Federal Level in 2021
Senator Chuck Schumer has been very vocal about his stance on cannabis legalization. Here’s what the newly-named Senate Majority Leader had to say about ending cannabis prohibition.
Senator Chuck Schumer’s recent comments on legalizing cannabis
In a recent interview with retired NBA Star and cannabis business executive Al Harrington, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) expressed his stance on legalizing cannabis on a federal level. Schumer, who is now the Senate Majority Leader after the Georgia runoff election results, stated that current pro-cannabis legislation waiting to be heard is likely to be merged into a uniform bill.
The Senate Majority Leader told Harrington, “I believe in freedom. Let people do what they want. And it became pretty apparent years ago that all these horror stories, you know, ‘legalize marijuana and crime will go up.’ well, states legalized, crime didn’t go up,” Schumer continues, “‘If you legalize marijuana, everyone will become a big druggie.’ That didn’t happen either.”
Schumer also expressed interest in cannabis reform as it plays a significant role in the racial injustices still witnessed today. He stated, “A young man caught with a little marijuana in his pocket, gets arrested, has a criminal record the rest of his life—can’t get a good start, can’t get things done,” he continued. “I decided we should decriminalize it. The time has come.”
Examining the MORE Act
The MORE Act has been trying to get enough momentum in Congress to be heard on the house floor for a few years. Also known as H.R. 3884, the MORE Act was originally drafted and sponsored by Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York. The MORE Act would ultimately find bipartisan support of a whopping 120 cosponsors. Summarily, the MORE Act can decriminalize cannabis on a federal level once and for all. Additionally, the act would finally remove cannabis from the list of scheduled I controlled substances. This would allow cannabis to be studied on a federal level. The MORE act will also force a tax on cannabis at a 5% rate federally. The tax rate is likely to increase to 9% if the bill can make it through the Senate.
The MORE Act’s trajectory in the US Senate
Before any bill can become law, it must first be presented and passed in the House of Representatives. Once passed, it will be sent to be tried in the United States Senate. Political theorists maintain the belief that this is where the MORE Act will fall. Additionally, they believe the crushing blow to rid lawmakers of the MORE Act will come from the hands of the Senate Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell. However, A shift of party control in favor of the Dems in the Senate occurred as a result of the Georgia runoff election. This effectively forced Senator Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell to flip-flop positions in the Senate. Considering that the biggest suppressors of the MORE Act have been stripped of previous powers, cannabis legalization on a federal level is closer than ever.
How the MORE Act will assist those wronged by cannabis prohibition
The MORE Act has an abundance of pro-cannabis clauses outside of its removal as its schedule I substance. According to the abstract of H.R. 3884, the MORE Act would “establishes a process to expunge convictions and conduct sentencing review hearings related to federal cannabis offenses, and directs the Government Accountability Office to study the societal impact of cannabis legalization.” Moreover, the passing of the MORE Act would “establishes a trust fund to support various programs and services for individuals and businesses in communities impacted by the war on drugs.”