by Emily Jiannetto
The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act put forth by Chuck Schumer has arrived in the Senate. This bill would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, allowing states to make their own regulations regarding the drug. Over a year ago, a draft of the bill was proposed by senators Chuck Schumer (D), Ron Wyden (D), and Corey Booker (D) (Fertig). The proposed legislation would cover Republican concerns such as preventing marijuana access to minors, discouraging high driving, and preventing illegal marijuana growing (Fertig). It would also cover Democrat priorities such as expunging previous cannabis convictions and establishing grant programs for those who have been hurt by current marijuana laws (Fertig).
Despite this, the bill will likely not pass. It would need every Democrat and ten Republicans to get the minimum number of votes. Democrats like Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire are hesitant to take drastic measures such as federal legalization (Fertig). Even if the bill is passed, President Joe Biden has previously voiced that he does not support federal legalization, so it is uncertain whether he would sign the bill (Fertig).