Senators will soon begin working toward ending cannabis prohibition on a federal level if Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is to be taken at his word.
Schumer told Politico in a recent interview that lawmakers will move forward toward legalizing cannabis for recreational use with or without the approval of President Joe Biden.
Biden has signaled support for decriminalizing the plant and allowing states to decide on their own whether to legalize recreational use of the substance, but has opposed federal marijuana legalization on the grounds that it could be a gateway drug.
“I want to make my arguments to him, as many other advocates will,” Schumer said. “But at some point we’re going to move forward, period.“
Last week, Schumer’s home state of New York finally legalized cannabis use for people over the age of 21, becoming the 15th state to do so. The move comes as over 40 percent of U.S. residents live in states where recreational cannabis is fully legalized.
“The legalization of states worked out remarkably well,” he added. “The parade of horribles never came about, and people got more freedom. And people in those states seem very happy.”
On Wednesday, New Mexico passed a bill that sets the groundwork for it to become the 16th state to legalize recreational cannabis, reports New York Times.
In addition to being seen as a basic move to ensure a small measure of basic social equity for communities impacted by the failed “War on Drugs,” cannabis legalization has also been seen by cash-strapped local governments as an easy way to raise tax revenues adversely impacted by the ongoing pandemic.
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