Legislation to remove the decades-old federal ban on marijuana was last introduced Thursday by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and cannabis industry leaders were gleeful over the milestone, even though it’s a long shot that the legalization bill will become law.
Most marijuana lobbyists give Schumer’s Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA) almost zero chance of getting through the Senate since it would need 60 votes to pass.
According to a synopsis from Schumer’s office, the new bill would:
Remove marijuana from the list of federally controlled substances.
Allow states to continue taking the lead on regulating the industry and maintain prohibition in states that have not legalized it.
Establish a “regulatory regime similar to alcohol and tobacco” from the federal government.
Steve Hawkins, the CEO of the U.S. Cannabis Council, said he wouldn’t be surprised to see a package of marijuana policy issues approved that combines marijuana research, federal criminal record expungement, and SAFE Banking.
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