Views From The Leaf

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CAOA

July 30, 2021

Legislation Update

United States Senate Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), along with Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) unveiled draft legislation repealing the federal prohibition of marijuana. Upon introducing the legislation, Sen. Schumer said, “This is monumental because at long last we are taking steps in the Senate to right the wrongs of the failed war on drugs. I will use my clout as Majority Leader to make this legislation a priority in the Senate. It makes eminent sense to legalize marijuana.”

The draft legislation, titled the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, makes numerous changes to federal marijuana laws while providing deference to states’ cannabis policies. “The days of federal prohibition are numbered,” said NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri. “These actions by Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Senators Booker and Wyden reflect the fact that the supermajority of Americans are demanding that Congress take action to end the cruel and senseless policy of federal prohibition. It is time for legislators to comport federal law with the laws of the growing number of states that have legalized the plant, and it is time for lawmakers to facilitate a federal structure that allows for cannabis commerce so that responsible consumers can obtain high-quality, low-cost cannabis grown right here in America without fear of arrest and incarceration.”

The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act directs the US Attorney General to remove marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act — thereby allowing states to either maintain or establish their own cannabis regulatory policies free from undue federal interference. Under this scheme, state governments – if they choose to do so – can continue to impose criminal penalties for marijuana possession offenses. However, states would not be permitted to prohibit the interstate commerce of legal cannabis products transported through their borders.

NORML Political Director Justin Strekal added, “Our main priority is to ensure that Americans who choose to responsibly consume cannabis are no longer discriminated against under the law. “With one in eight Americans choosing to consume on a semi-regular basis, including nearly one in four veterans, we must end the practice of arresting over 500,000 Americans every year and denying countless others employment, housing, and other civic rights if we are truly to be the ‘Land of the Free’. The federal government can take great strides toward rectifying this situation by advancing the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act through the legislative process.”

The proposal also mandates for the expungement of the records of anyone convicted of a federal, non-violent marijuana offense. The expungements must take place within one year of the law’s enactment. The Act also forbids federal officials from taking discriminatory actions against those who legally use cannabis. It prohibits “individuals from being denied any federal public benefit on the basis of the use or possession of cannabis.” It also, for the first time, permits physicians associated with the US Department of Veterans Affairs to make recommendations to their patients to access medical cannabis.

“For decades, our federal government has waged a War on Drugs that has unfairly impacted low-income communities and communities of color,” said Senator Booker. “While red and blue states across the country continue to legalize marijuana, the federal government continues to lag woefully behind. It is time for Congress to end the federal marijuana prohibition and reinvest in communities most impacted by the failed War on Drugs. I am proud to introduce this landmark piece of legislation with Senator Wyden and Majority Leader Schumer that will finally turn the page on this dark chapter in American history and begin righting these wrongs.”

The following information is presented for educational purposes only. Summit Releaf distributes this information to provide an understanding of the potential benefits of medical marijuana for patients living with one of the approved Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program qualifying conditions for an Ohio marijuana card. Links to third party websites do not constitute an endorsement of these organizations by Summit Releaf and none should be inferred.

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