Does Federal Decriminalization Still have a Chance?

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York has been extremely vocal about his stance on cannabis legalization since the year began. Many citizens believe the pro-cannabis bills are losing momentum. Some citizens believe that some pro-cannabis legislation will die due to a lack of strategy. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer disagrees.

Senator Schumer continues to push for legalizing cannabis

Earlier this year, Senator Schumer sat down with NBA legend and cannabis executive Al Harrington to discuss weed. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) communicated his position on legalizing cannabis federally. Schumer, who was chosen as the Senate Majority Leader after the results of the Georgia runoff election earlier this year, said that the pro-cannabis legislation waiting to be heard likely to be merged into a single bill.

The Senate Majority Leader told the cannabis activist that he “believes in freedom. Let people do what they want… Legalize [cannabis], and crime will go [rise].’ well, states legalized [cannabis], crime didn’t go up,” Schumer declares, “If you legalize [cannabis,] everyone will become a big [addict.] That didn’t happen either.”

Senator Schumer then expressed concern about cannabis reform as it represents an integral role in the racial indifferences still amongst us today. The Senate Majority Leader stated, “A young man caught with a little [cannabis] 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 maintained. “I decided we should decriminalize it. The time has come.”

Is the MORE Act still around?

The MORE Act has attempted to gain impulse in Congress to be reviewed on the floor of the House of Representatives for a few years. Also referred to as H.R. 3884, the MORE Act was initially drafted by House Representative Jerrold Nadler. The MORE Act ultimately gained the bipartisan support of roughly 120 cosponsors. Promptly, the MORE Act would decriminalize cannabis on a federal level. Furthermore, the MORE Act would remove cannabis from the list of controlled substances. The MORE Act would allow cannabis to be analyzed on a national level. Naturally, the MORE Act also imposes a tax on cannabis at nearly 5% federally. The tax rate would likely increase to nearly 10% if the bill can make it through the Senate.

Where does the MORE Act go from here?

Before a bill can become an order, it must first pass in the United States House of Representatives. Once legislated, it is sent to be adjudicated in the United States Senate. Poli-Sci guys maintain the idea that this is where the MORE Act will die in committee. As of late 2021, they are somewhat right. The MORE Act has lost momentum. This is expected, considering we are literally amid a global pandemic. 

At one point, political stheorists thought the dagger in the heart of the MORE Act would come from the Senate Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell. Luckily, A transformation of party control in favor of the Dems in the Senate happened earlier this year. This was a result of the Georgia runoff election that took place earlier this year. Considering that the biggest oppressors of the MORE Act have been removed of powers, federal cannabis legalization can still happen. At the time of this article, the MORE Act is marked “TBD” on a hearing. Remember: this is better than dying in committee.

How the MORE Act amends the failed war on drugs

The MORE Act contains a bulk of pro-cannabis articles aside from its removal as the controlled substance list. According to the abstract of H.R. 3884, the MORE Act “establishes a process to expunge convictions and conduct sentencing [reviews] related to federal cannabis [crimes], and directs the Government Accountability Office to [review] the [social] impact of cannabis legalization.” Finally, the passing of the MORE Act also “establishes a trust fund to support various programs and services for individuals and businesses in [neighborhoods] impacted by the [failed] war on drugs.”

We can still do this.

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