Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer proposed legislation Wednesday to legalize marijuana at the federal level, a move aimed at easing restrictive drug policies that have disproportionately impacted communities of color and the poor.
The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and introduce regulations to tax cannabis products. The proposal would expunge federal records of nonviolent cannabis offenders and allow people serving time in federal prison for nonviolent marijuana crimes to petition a court for resentencing.
“This is monumental. At long last, we are taking steps in the Senate to right the wrongs of the failed war on drugs,” Schumer, D-N.Y., said during a press conference at the Capitol. Schumer unveiled the draft along with Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Senator Cory Booker, D-N.J.
The plan would also create an Opportunity Trust Fund from new cannabis tax revenue in order to invest in programs for communities most affected by the “failed War on Drugs,” according to a draft of the bill.
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