Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says a bill to decriminalize cannabis is coming shortly.
In an appearance on ABC, the senator said, "I support decriminalization at the federal level, and we'll be introducing legislation with a few of my colleagues shortly."
The bill, set to be introduced, will expunge criminal records for marijuana use, regulate and tax marijuana, and remove it from the federal list of controlled substances.
"This is about restorative justice. This is not a problem of the past," said Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J. "In 2019, there were more marijuana arrests, and most of them — over 90% — for possession only, more arrests like that than all violent crime arrests combined. This is not a war on drugs, it's a war on people and certain people."
When asked if President Biden would support the bill, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the president's position hasn't changed. He supports decriminalization.
The news comes after Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York signed the legalization of cannabis into law Wednesday. New Yorkers can now possess up to three ounces of cannabis in public. According to The Washington Post, regulations to sell cannabis legally could take up to 18 months to develop.
New Yorkers can smoke in public places, but the law prohibits use in restaurants, bars, colleges and universities, hospitals, and within 100 feet of schools. According to Forbes, the governor said, "For too long the prohibition of cannabis disproportionately targeted communities of color with harsh prison sentences and after years of hard work, this landmark legislation provides justice for long-marginalized communities, embraces a new industry that will grow the economy, and establishes substantial safety guards for the public."
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