Senator Chuck Schumer Is Celebrating 4/20 By Introducing Legislation That Would Decriminalize Cannabis On A Federal Level

On this 4/20, Senator Chuck Schumer plans to celebrate by introducing legislation that would decriminalize cannabis on a federal level.

Basically, a 1970 law created a Drug Enforcement Administration list of scheduled substances that classifies drugs into five categories based on the drug’s “acceptable medical use and the drug’s abuse or dependency potential.” Cannabis is currently a Schedule 1 drug, meaning that on a federal level, it has “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” That puts it in the same category as heroin, ecstasy, and LSD, and a category more dangerous than cocaine.

According to NPR, Schumer’s law would remove cannabis from the schedule, require more research on its public health impacts, and maintain federal authority to regulate commercial advertising (similar to how tobacco and alcohol commercials are regulated).

The legislation would also establish funding for women- and minority-owned cannabis businesses.

As Schumer explained on Twitter, "Now, I recognize that time after time when these sweeping changes occur, the little guys lose while the big guys continue to profit. We saw this with big tobacco and we could see it with marijuana as well. That’s why this bill will inject real dollars into minority and women-owned businesses to ensure those disproportionately affected by marijuana criminalization can benefit from this new economy."

"I'll be introducing legislation to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level from one end of the country to the other," Schumer told VICE News. "The legislation is long overdue."