Chuck Schumer Commits to Marijuana Legalization

Senator Chuck Schumer stated that "the only thing" cannabis voters can do is vote blue to accelerate marijuana legalization efforts.

Marijuana legalization initiatives and ballots continue to spread throughout the U.S., and the November election between Joe Biden and Donald Trump draws nearer. As such, many within the cannabis industry are hoping for some significant legislative change regarding marijuana.

While the Joe Biden/Kamala Harris Administration has come under fire for not going far enough with regards to marijuana legalization, many still perceive the Democratic party to be more favorable to cannabis.

This is the position argued by the Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in a recent interview with Leafly, in which the senator stated that he is "fervently committed to getting [legalization] done."

Schumer likened the current scheduling of cannabis "absurdity," when one considers that cannabis is considered more dangerous than crack cocaine.

"Cannabis is now Schedule 1—which is to the point of absurdity to say marijuana is more dangerous than crack cocaine. It's crazy."

"So we decriminalize it, we deschedule it, and we incentivize and invest in states and local governments to create expungement programs."

Schumer then went on to speak about the racial origins and impacts of the current drug policy, which he argues:

"It is so frustrating to hear the stories of people—young men, men of color, some women—who were arrested for a small amount of marijuana in their pocket, and how their criminal record ruins their lives."

"They can't get good jobs or do many other things. So we invest in state and local expungement and record-sealing programs."

Schumer also remarked that the differences between Republicans and Democrats are "night and day" when it comes to marijuana legalization.

"The Democrats are far more favorable to decriminalization and the expungement for records, the investment in minority and women-owned business."

"It's like night and day—the differences between the two parties on the issue of marijuana. It's night and day."

Schumer's Leafly interview follows statements made by Donald Trump, in which he feared that marijuana legalization would "supercharge" voter turn out.

The interview may affirm Trump's fears, and may itself be a method for Schumer to continue positioning the Democratic Party as the pro-cannabis party.

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Louis O'Neill
Louis O'Neill

Louis is a writer based in Sydney with a focus on social and political issues. Having interviewed local politicians and entrepreneurs, Louis now focuses on cannabis culture, legislation & reform.

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