Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer wants to move forward with legislation to federally legalize marijuana.
In a new interview with Politico, Schumer says he’s heading in the direction of legalization with or without President Biden. But Schumer will continue to have an “ongoing conversation with him” to tell him how his views have evolved.
Schumer’s comments come just after a joint statement in February with Senators Cory Booker and Ron Wyden regarding comprehensive cannabis reform legislation.
“The War on Drugs has been a war on people—particularly people of color. Ending the federal marijuana prohibition is necessary to right the wrongs of this failed war and end decades of harm inflicted on communities of color across the country. But that alone is not enough. As states continue to legalize marijuana, we must also enact measures that will lift up people who were unfairly targeted in the War on Drugs. We are committed to working together to put forward and advance comprehensive cannabis reform legislation that will not only turn the page on this sad chapter in American history, but also undo the devastating consequences of these discriminatory policies. The Senate will make consideration of these reforms a priority,” the statement read.
This week, New York legalized marijuana for adults over 21, joining several other states like Oregon and Colorado.
“The legalization of states worked out remarkably well,“ Schumer told Politico. “They were a great success. The parade of horribles never came about, and people got more freedom.”
Biden has had fringe views among Democrats when it comes to fully supporting marijuana legalization. Schumer says Biden’s views won’t deter the Senate from taking action.
“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.”