Senate minority leader proposes to decriminalize marijuana

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Many in cannabis political circles have called on leaders in both parties to embrace cannabis legalization as a winning issue, especially among voters under 65.

Public opinion has already shifted in this direction - 61 percent of Americans think marijuana use should be legalized, according to a Pew Research Center poll.

NewscomToday Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that he will introduce legislation aimed at repealing the federal ban on marijuana by removing it from the list of controlled substances.

Schumer explains that he too has "evolved" on this issue: "I studied the issue". The leading Senate Democrat also suggested that his bill would also respect states' rights to prevent the federal government from cracking down on states that have legalized marijuana. He said that 2/3 of Americans believe marijuana should be legalized, and cited statistics from the ACLU indicating more than half of all drug arrests in the United States are for marijuana.

This week, the House of Representatives held one of its first hearings ever on legislation to roll back medical marijuana regulations. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has long favored decriminalizing marijuana.

Schumer is working on the legislation himself, his office said, and is not now in the process of courting co-sponsors but has spoken broadly about the outline with other senators.

The bill Schumer plans to introduce would extend that accommodation to states where marijuana is legal for recreational use, although the feds could still prosecute people for bringing marijuana into states where it remains illegal. Seventy-two percent of Democrats supported it and 64 percent of all Americans.

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Marijuana is also making health care advances this week. GOP lawmakers fear the ballot measure would boost Democratic turnout in November, reports the Detroit News.

The reversals are fueled by a growing number of states that are successfully experimenting with changing marijuana laws - and enjoying the revenue they are bringing in to help their cash-strapped states. That bill was signed by a Republican governor, Phil Scott. Schumer stopped short of calling it legalization, but de-scheduling would essentially make marijuana legal at the federal level. Those are all states Trump won. According to CBS News, Session made "it clear that marijuana possession and distribution is against federal law" and directed US attorneys to prosecute it accordingly.

"Ultimately, it's the right thing to do", Schumer said in an exclusive interview with HBO's Vice News on Thursday. He acknowledges the current push for legalization in NY, but says he simply sees it as what should be done.

Of course, not everyone in Washington suddenly wants to see pot legalized everywhere.

The announcement comes on "4/20" - an unofficial holiday that celebrates marijuana.

But they appear to be fighting a losing battle at the moment. It said, "We support the senator's action".