Schumer to pursue pot legalization despite Biden’s distance

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is following through on the legislation to legalize marijuana he began proposing in 2018

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As more states move to legalize recreational marijuana, the topic could be brought before the U.S. Senate in the near future.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and a team of Democrats are devising a plan for federal marijuana reform, despite the reluctance of President Joe Biden to wade into the issue, according to Politico. Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Ron Wyden of Oregon are both working on the action.

In a recent interview with the news outlet, Schumer made clear that the Senate remains resolved to pursue the course to alleviate the remaining 60 percent of Americans who still live in states where federal restrictions impose hindrances to their freedoms, with or without backing from the president.

Majority Leader Schumer Holds Press Conference On Senate Business
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) [Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Pool/Getty Images]

“I want to make my arguments to him, as many other advocates will,” he said in the interview that took place this week. “But at some point we’re going to move forward, period.“

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Schumer is confident in the success the country has seen with legalization at the state level, and believes we have every reason to believe that federal legalization is a justified step forward. In 2018 the New York Democrat introduced a measure to legalize the plant.

“The legalization of states worked out remarkably well,“ he told Politico. “They were a great success. The parade of horribles never came about, and people got more freedom. And people in those states seem very happy.“

President Biden Delivers Remarks On American Rescue Plan From White House Rose Garden
U.S. President Joe Biden and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) [Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images]

When asked whether he could reference the time his perspective on this issue changed, Schumer said, “A while back — I can’t remember the exact year — I was in Denver. I just started talking to people, not just elected officials, but just average folks.”

Read More: New York legislature passes bill to legalize recreational marijuana

He continued, “[They said] it benefited the state, and [didn’t] hurt the state. There were tax revenues, but people had freedom to do what they wanted to do, as long as they weren’t hurting other people. That’s part of what America is about. And they were exultant in it.”

Marijuana Activists Hold "Congress Pass the Joint!" Rally Calling For Meaningful Cannabis Reform Legislation
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) [Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]

When asked whether he fears President Biden’s opposition might lead him to veto the bill, Schumer said, “Well, he said he’d like to see more information on the issue. I respect that. I certainly will have an ongoing conversation with him, and tell him how my views evolved. And hope that his will to.”

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And when asked how he intends to proceed if the President doesn’t change his position on the issue, he said, “We will move forward. He said he’s studying the issue, so [I] obviously want to give him a little time to study it. I want to make my arguments to him, as many other advocates will. But at some point we’re going to move forward, period.”

Though Schumer didn’t reveal to Politico when exactly we should see this bill hit the floor, he adamantly promised “soon.”

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