Top senate democrats discuss proposed legislation for making cannabis legal. (Courtesy photo)
By Joshua Moore
Special to the AFRO
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Sen. Ron Wyden and Sen. Cory Booker held a press conference July 14 to propose a bill that legalizes cannabis at the federal level.
Booker’s passionate opening of the press conference reiterates how this bill is urgent for the American people. Booker said that there should be more resources going into crimes such as larceny, theft and sexual assault. However, these resources are going into locking down on cannabis use.
“We have our resources being used to lock up majority Black and Brown people, for doing the same thing that presidents and congressmen have done,” Sen. Booker said.
The bill proposes that cannabis become legal at the federal level. This would give states the authority to set their own policies and possibly expunge cannabis-related charges.
Wyden explains what the bill does in simple terms: The use of marijana is decriminalized at the federal level, however, there is no requirement for states to legalize.
“I don’t understand how Republicans who say they are for state’s rights, won’t support this,” Sen. Wyden says.
Wyden said that the revenue generated from legalizing cannabis would go toward restoring communities most affected by prohibition. The bill also proposes that some of the revenue will go into grant programs for those in the community.
“Communities of color have paid an awful price for the historical over-criminalization of
marijuana,” Sen. Schumer said. “We want to make sure the money goes back to them.”
The senators said that this bill will be disputed over with colleagues to get to a final proposition. The goal for this draft bill is to get it passed as soon as possible.
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