New Federal Reform Bill Could Be Revealed This Wednesday
The head of the U.S. Senate plus other associates will be releasing a draft proposal in regards to federal cannabis reform. This cannabis bill has been a long time coming and is set to be seen sometime this week. A few trusted outlets who became privy to the bill mentioned that political figures will be holding a meeting.
This press conference will be held by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, and Sen. Cory Booker. This will be done to reveal a draft version of what’s being called the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act.
Further information on the bill’s stipulations has yet to be disclosed. Yet the reason for this draft being released is to initiate a discussion to familiarize those about the bill at a later time. Advocates have been anxiously awaiting a federal cannabis reform bill, which Schumer has repeatedly said was coming “soon”. Especially after he, Wyden and Booker first made this promise in February that it would be ready “in the early part of this year.”
Ending Marijuana Prohibition In The United States
Since then, Schumer has been making his stance on cannabis reform everywhere he goes. For instance from the Senate floor on 4/20 to a cannabis rally in New York City. Looking past federally legalizing cannabis, Schumer said the proposal he and his colleagues are working on will “ensure restorative justice, public health and implement responsible taxes and regulations.” This is comparable to what New York legislators tried to achieve in a legalization bill to which was signed into law this year.
The three senators Schumer, Wyden, and Booker formally began their mission on the legalization bill by holding a meeting. This meet-up took place at the beginning of 2021. This was done with representatives from a mixture of advocacy groups to gain feedback on the best path to achieve federal cannabis reform.
What Will Be Next For Federal Cannabis Reform?
Back in March Schumer made a valid case in regards to specifically limiting the powers of large alcohol and tobacco companies to control the industry. Rather, it will hold small businesses as the focus, particularly those owned by people from communities most impacted by prohibition. With the goal to focus on “justice, justice, justice—as well as freedom,” he said.
He also implored voters to reach out to their congressional representatives and tell them that “this is long overdue.” As well, a House bill to end marijuana prohibition and promote social equity in the industry was reintroduced in May.
That particular bill is being sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler. Furthermore, this proposal was filed with several amendments compared to the version that was passed by the chamber back in 2020.
The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement Act passed the House. Although the bill did not progress in the Senate under GOP control. Except for this time around, advocates are confident that the policy change could be passed. Especially with the Democrats controlling both chambers and the White House. As well as having more states that are working to legalize marijuana.
With all this President Joe Biden still stands in opposition to how the Democratic party feels about cannabis legalization. Even though there is a current widespread and increase of bipartisan public popularity for cannabis reform. It has yet to be seen whether Joe Biden—who once voiced his support on more modest pledges to decriminalize cannabis possession. In addition, to expunging previous records and honoring state marijuana laws. Which may be a roadblock towards comprehensive policy change by threatening to veto the bill that’s eventually created.
Final Thoughts On The Federal Cannabis Reform Bill
Wyden, who in association with the new Democratic majority assumed the leading role with the Senate Finance Committee. This where the new cannabis bill is likely to be referred once formally introduced. Recently Wyden said his goal will be to “end the prohibition and come up with sensible tax and regulatory oversight at the federal level.”
He said in February that “it’s not enough in my view to just end cannabis prohibition,” and “I think we need to restore the lives of people who’ve been hurt most by the failed war on drugs and especially black Americans.”
To accomplish that, he said reform legislation should include provisions to provide expungements for those with prior cannabis convictions. As well as having community reinvestment programs, job training and reentry services, and “access to capital.”
“I’m strategizing now on the next steps,” he said at the time. “We need comprehensive reform, and you need legislation to do it.”
“Certainly the fact that millions of Americans have voted for at least some of what I just described means that we’re in a position to move at the federal level,” he added. “I do think that this kind of crazy quilt—particularly as it relates to regulation and the financial aspects, particularly nationwide consideration—you really need some kind of bedrock federal rules on, one, ending the prohibition; two, sensible tax policies; and three, sensible regulatory oversight.”
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