A newly proposed piece of federal legislation aims to end federal cannabis prohibition and fix our criminal justice system in the process.

On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, along with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), unveiled the 163-page draft bill titled the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity (CAO) Act at a press conference.

Senator Schumer tweeted on Wednesday that the CAO Act is a "legislative proposal to end the federal prohibition on marijuana and repair damage done by the War on Drugs—especially in communities of color "

Creating History

This proposal marks the first time in American history that the Senate Majority Leader and the Senate Finance Committee Chairman have proposed and backed an end to the federal prohibition on marijuana. While the substance will be decriminalized at the federal level, legalization will be decided at the state level.

Why Decriminalize or Legalize Marijuana?

The over-criminalization of marijuana has unfairly ruined hundreds of thousands of lives in America. Almost 70% of Americans believe that cannabis should be legalized. For too long, the War on Drugs has unfairly targeted people of color. Police resources have been wasted on marijuana arrests while violent crimes continue.

The Plan

Under the proposed act, cannabis would become regulated and a federal tax would be established. The revenue generated from legalizing marijuana will go directly to those communities unfairly affected by the war on drugs. The legislation will also seek to expunge non-violent marijuana offenses.

Again, the bill is only a draft at this point, but Schumer hopes that amendments can be discussed to gain support before the bill is formerly introduced.

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