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Sunday, August 14, 2022

The move to legalize marijuana at the federal level

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As New York prepares to open a legal market for cannabis, US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has introduced legislation to legalize cannabis at the federal level.

The Cannabis Management and Opportunity Act will incorporate many of the proposals found in New York’s Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, including striking out records related to pot, and ensuring that communities disproportionately affected by marijuana arrests are aligned with grants.

“This is the first bill introduced by the Senate that would not only repeal the marijuana schedule, but also tax and regulate marijuana, so it really is a historic moment,” said Maritza Perez, director of the Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of Federal Affairs. “It would (also) reinvest marijuana tax revenue in communities affected by the war on drugs.”

New York is one of 19 states and the District of Columbia that have legalized the recreational use of cannabis while it is still criminalized at the federal level.

“Because marijuana is still a federally prohibited drug, and a Schedule 1 drug on the Controlled Substances List, there could still be federal criminal justice repercussions,” Perez said. capital tonight. “We know that banks and financial institutions do not want to do business with marijuana companies; it is too risky for them.”

The hope is that Schumer’s bill will negate these concerns.

Perez also cited concerns about the use of marijuana by non-nationals.

“You can be a non-citizen involved in the legal industry as an employee or as a medical marijuana patient. But because of its federally prohibited status, you can still face the consequences,” Perez explained. “It is important that we … remove those sanctions completely.”

Perez said a lot of work needs to be done to educate lawmakers on both sides of the aisle before the bill is voted on.

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