“The time has come to decriminalize marijuana.”
Countless enlightened Americans have said these words over the years. They typically represent Step 1 in the 3-step process to legalize cannabis in a state.
But not even Step 1 has not been seriously proposed on the federal level.
on Friday, April 20, Chuck Schumer, (NY-D) the Senate Minority Leader joined fellow NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on the cannabis legalization front lines in a bold call for sensible laws, racial equity, and states' rights:
In a story he penned for Medium "Why I Changed My Stance on Marijuana" Schumer explained his evolved thinking, and new legislation in the works:
“it is difficult to make sense of our existing laws. Under current federal law, marijuana is treated as though it’s as dangerous as heroin and more dangerous than cocaine...." Schumer writes, adding, "A staggering number of American citizens, a disproportionate number of whom are African American and Latino, continue to be arrested every day for something that most Americans agree should not be a crime.”
“Meanwhile, those who are entering into the marijuana market in states that have legalized are set to make a fortune. This is not only misguided, but it undermines the basic principles of fairness and equal opportunity that are foundational to the American way of life.”
"I am also announcing that in the comings weeks, I will be introducing legislation aimed at achieving this goal. This legislation will allow each state to ultimately decide how they will treat marijuana. In addition to freeing up the residents of each state to make the decisions on what’s best for them, the bill will make targeted investments which are necessary to protect public health and safety and ensure that members of all communities are able to participate in the new and thriving marijuana economy."
“My thinking — as well as the general population’s views — on the issue has evolved, and so I believe there’s no better time than the present to get this done. It’s simply the right thing to do,” he said.
Welcome aboard, Chuck!
Image source: Good