New legislation to decriminalize cannabis proposed by Senate Minority Leader Schumer

A new legislation to decriminalize cannabis on a federal level has been introduced on Wednesday by Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).

The new legislation to decriminalize cannabis – the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act  – takes cannabis off the list of scheduled substances.

Currently, cannabis is on the list of scheduled substances under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act. If removed from the list, US states will be free to exercise their will on cannabis.

“The time to decriminalize marijuana is now,” the Hill quoted Schumer as saying.

Schumer, meanwhile, explained that the legislation would allow the federal government the ability to prevent drug trafficking on a state-to-state level.Oklahoma this week became the 30th US state to follow the path to legalize medical marijuana. So far, there are nine US states that have already legalized recreational marijuana.

Investment for the new legislation

Schumer said that the new legislation would see an investment of $500 million for a five-year period to be funneled into the Department of Health and Human Services. The investment money would also go towards the educating people to understand the effects of marijuana’s psychoactive component – THC – and further research on medical cannabis.

The legislation also states that it would allow to seal or expunge individual marijuana possession records.

Schumer said in a statement that the legislation is “simply the right thing to do.”

The proposed bill is co-sponsored by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.).

Early this month, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions told The Hill that he hasn’t talked to President Donald Trump about legislation to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. However, Sessions said he believed Trump would support a bill that protected states that do so.