WASHINGTON, DC – Prominent senators Cory Booker (DN.J.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) And Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) issued a joint statement confirming that more laws would be passed that would legalize cannabis at the federal level.
“The war on drugs was a war against people – especially people with skin color. Ending the federal marijuana ban is necessary to eradicate the wrongs of this failed war and end decades of damage inflicted on color communities across the country. But that alone is not enough. As states continue to legalize marijuana, we must also take action to catch people wrongly attacked in the war on drugs, ”the statement said.
Schumer, who became the Senate majority leader on January 20, supported legislation in 2018 that encouraged the decriminalization of cannabis. More recently, he said he would support federal legalization and allow states to use cannabis tax revenue to address social inequalities and support communities in need.
Wyden and Booker both wrote legal cannabis laws. Booker, an outspoken cannabis lawyer, introduced that Marijuana Justice Act in 2019, which would legalize cannabis in the U.S., overturn federal convictions for past cannabis offenses, and provide resources to communities that have suffered from the effects of the war on drugs. Wyden authored an overview of the tax and regulatory structure for cannabis products entitled Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act. Wyden also chairs the Senate Finance Committee.
“We are determined to work together to propose and advance comprehensive cannabis reform laws that will not only turn this sad chapter of American history on its head, but also undo the devastating consequences of these discriminatory policies. The Senate will make consideration of these reforms a priority, ”the joint statement continued.
“Earlier this year, we will publish a unified draft discussion on major reforms to ensure restorative justice, protect public health, and implement responsible taxes and regulations. Obtaining input from stakeholders will be an important part of developing this critical legislation, ”they said.
Members of the cannabis industry have been cautiously optimistic since the Biden government’s victory in November. The US House approved the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act in a Lame Duck meeting (The MORE act), but it was blocked in the Republican Senate.
The MORE Bill would “decriminalize cannabis and overturn convictions for non-violent cannabis crimes that have prevented many Americans from finding work, applying for credit and credit, and gaining access to opportunities that will allow our economy to thrive,” so the majority leader of the house Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) Said at the time.
Political experts, stock speculators, and industry players have speculated that US lawmakers will be pressured to legalize cannabis to help the coronavirus-ravaged economy, with an emerging industry that can provide thousands of jobs in various industrial sectors again to get on your feet. Medical and legal recreational cannabis companies proved “essential” and somewhat inflation-proof in the pandemic, unlike some long-established industries that collapsed under global lockdowns.
On a global scale, other countries that have entered the cannabis markets faster, including Canada, are setting the curve for international trade.
Brendan Kennedy, CEO of the Canadian multinational cannabis company Tilray said last week that he is optimistic about the American cannabis industry and federal legalization.
“I assume that the pressure from the North and the South will eventually cause the US to implement a federal program here in the next eighteen to twenty-four months,” he told the CNBC podcast “Squawk on the Street”.
The comment followed an announcement by Tilray that the company will supply medical cannabis to researchers in France with the agency that sets safety standards for medicines and health products. Tilray has also been exporting products to Germany since 2017. The company currently has manufacturing licenses in Canada and Portugal.
Social unrest in 2020 has also brought social justice issues to the fore. Nonprofit organization Last prisoner project has raised awareness of the disproportionate negative effects of marijuana and drug convictions on color communities, especially black Americans.
The non-profit also worked with many leading companies and companies in the cannabis industry to raise funds and advocate reform of the judiciary. With Democrats backing progressive social policies, cannabis-related demands for equity in businesses and communities have a new “lobbying impact,” according to Bloomberg.com.
“As the Black Lives Matter movement has grown, the social justice arguments for legalizing cannabis have gained more influence in lobbying. Grants have been proposed to help minority entrepreneurs survive in the newly legalized business, and there are calls for state licensing to ensure that a wide variety of applicants are given the opportunity to participate in new cannabis wealth, ”the post said.
Although The More Act received bipartisan support when it was approved by Congress in December, there is still speculation from experts as to whether the required number of Senate Republicans would support it Legalization of cannabis Legislation.