Dem Senate Leaders Promise Marijuana Reform Legislation in the Early Part of This Year

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) said last week that he will push for federal marijuana legalization this year.

Schumer was joined by two other prominent Senate Democrats, Corrie Booker (NJ) and Ron Wyden (OR). The three have framed the issue, first and foremost, as a matter of social and criminal justice.

The senators released the following joint statement last week:

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. But that alone is not enough. As states continue to legalize marijuana, we must also enact measures that will lift up people who were unfairly targeted in the War on Drugs.

We are committed to working together to put forward and advance comprehensive cannabis reform legislation that will not only turn the page on this sad chapter in American history, but also undo the devastating consequences of these discriminatory policies. The Senate will make consideration of these reforms a priority.

In the early part of this year, we will release a unified discussion draft on comprehensive reform to ensure restorative justice, protect public health and implement responsible taxes and regulations. Getting input from stakeholder groups will be an important part of developing this critical legislation.

The three senators also held a meeting with stakeholders on Feb 5 to discuss upcoming legislative initiatives. Read details about the meeting here.