The much-anticipated proposed Senate bill that would legalize marijuana on the federal level was made public on July 14, 2021, by its lead sponsor, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-New York). Called the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, it removes marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and allows states to determine their own cannabis laws, similar to the way alcohol is federally regulated. Revenue generated by federal taxes would support restorative justice and public health and safety research. 

The bill’s Senate sponsors note that federal cannabis reforms are especially urgent as more states legalize the adult and medical use of cannabis. They point to the fact that today more than 90 percent of Americans believe cannabis should be legal for either adult or medical use. 

Though movement on cannabis legalization in the Senate is a welcome development, the proposed legislation contains elements that are of concern to many within the cannabis…

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