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Federal Cannabis Decriminalization Bill To Be Reintroduced This Month


US Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, are planning to reintroduce a federal cannabis decriminalization bill.

In a ‘letter to colleagues’, seen by Politico, Schumer, Senator Ron Wyden, and Senator Cory Booker have called on other Senators to co-sponsor the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA).

The CAOA was initially released by the trio as a discussion draft in 2021, and was then formally introduced in July 2022 but failed to make any progress in Congress.

It is understood that the new bill, now set to be reintroduced ‘by the end of April’, remains largely unchanged from the bill that was introduced two years ago.

In a nutshell, the CAOA aims ‘to decriminalize, regulate, and tax cannabis’, removing it from Schedule I of the CSA and regulating it in a similar vein to alcohol.

“The question today is not whether cannabis should be legal—many states have already moved ahead,” the letter read.

“The question now is whether cannabis should be subject to the same high regulatory standards, based on preserving public health and safety, that apply to alcohol and tobacco. Federal regulation is long overdue to ensure that cannabis products are as safe as possible, to prevent access by children and adults younger than 21, and to ensure that state and local jurisdictions have the resources they need to combat impaired driving.”

A separate letter to colleagues was penned by Schumer just days earlier, reaffirming his commitment to passing the SAFER Banking Act this year.

The letter, published on April 05, laid out Schumer’s agenda for the upcoming work period, highlighting the need for bipartisan support to make any progress on a wide array of issues facing the country.

While the SAFER Banking Act made it further than ever in the last legislative session, it is pending Senate floor action.

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