Marijuana legalization: Senate Dems push for decriminalization, expunging criminal records | NationalPosted by On


WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats — including Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York — are proposing federal legislation to decriminalize marijuana.

The plan — which is also being led by U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J. — would take marijuana off the federal list of controlled substances and would allow states more autonomy to set their own cannabis law.

“For decades, our federal government has waged a War on Drugs that has unfairly impacted low-income communities and communities of color,” Booker said.

Eighteen states — including Virginia, New York and New Jersey — have legalized weed for recreational use. Medical marijuana is legal in 36 states — including Maryland where a fresh legalization push is slated for next year after falling flat this year.

Schumer, Booker and Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said the planned bill would also allow cannabis companies to access banks and financial systems.

Current federal drug laws forced medical marijuana and other cannabis businesses to operate on cash or via alternative financing systems.

The Democrats’ effort would also expunge federal criminal records for nonviolent marijuana offenders. Federal lawmakers are also eyeing cannabis taxes.

“The War on Drugs has too often been a war on people, and particularly people of color. Not only will this legislation remove…

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WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats — including Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York — are proposing federal legislation to decriminalize marijuana.

The plan — which is also being led by U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J. — would take marijuana off the federal list of controlled substances and would allow states more autonomy to set their own cannabis law.

“For decades, our federal government has waged a War on Drugs that has unfairly impacted low-income communities and communities of color,” Booker said.

Eighteen states — including Virginia, New York and New Jersey — have legalized weed for recreational use. Medical marijuana is legal in 36 states — including Maryland where a fresh legalization push is slated for next year after falling flat this year.

Schumer, Booker and Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said the planned bill would also allow cannabis companies to access banks and financial systems.

Current federal drug laws forced medical marijuana and other cannabis businesses to operate on cash or via alternative financing systems.

The Democrats’ effort would also expunge federal criminal records for nonviolent marijuana offenders. Federal lawmakers are also eyeing cannabis taxes.

“The War on Drugs has too often been a war on people, and particularly people of color. Not only will this legislation remove…



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