Quite honestly this new Schumer Draft is not much different from the previous MORE Act passed in the House back in December 2020.
The 163-page draft bill to be called The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act is the result of a process led by Schumer and Democratic Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Ron Wyden of Oregon and has taken many months of anticipation prior to its final release.
Despite the fact that as more and more states have legalized marijuana, an indication that the public are increasingly in favor of removing marijuana from the list of prohibited drugs, the chances of this bill being passed in the Senate are small. The bill would require 60 votes. That means all Democrats in favor, and that is not guaranteed, and at least 10 Republicans.
If it were to pass it would still require President Joe Biden to sign it into law and his opinion still appears to favor decriminalization of marijuana rather than legalization.
If it were to pass and become law some of the major changes would include:-
- Allowing states to decide whether or not to legalize marijuana and under what conditions.
- Legalization would automatically remove the discriminatory sect 280E from the tax code enabling legalized businesses to claim the normal business reliefs available to all businesses.
- Remove the federal penalties applicable to marijuana possession and grant removal of nonviolent federal marijuana criminal records.
- Enable federal taxation of cannabis product sales.
- Provide funding for grant programs to help the socially disadvantaged especially those who have suffered as a result of the “war on drugs” laws.
- Provide funding for more extensive research into the benefits or adverse effects of marijuana consumption or use.
In its present form, it is still only a draft bill and will undoubtedly undergo various changes and amendments before it can be presented as a formal bill in the House of Representatives.
The bottom line is, however, that even if a final draft can be agreed and is passed in the House the chances of it being put to a vote in the Senate are slim and most seem to agree that legalization at the federal level is still a long way off.