We shall see soon whether Chuck Schumer’s plan to legalize marijuana while keeping the cannabis industry in the hands of small businesses has any clout.
More details about the upcoming proposal designed to legalize marijuana at the federal level have emerged, and they might be just as ambitious as they are unrealistic for the capitalistic ethos of the United States of America.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer just released a video on his Twitter page explaining details of his plan to take on cannabis reform in 2021. Set to be filed in a matter of days, Schumer indicated the bill would focus on small business, preventing Big Alcohol and Big Tobacco from hijacking the cannabis scene, “justice, justice, justice” and freedom. It is long past time to end the federal prohibition on marijuana and undo the damage of the War on Drugs.
WATCH: I talked with @SenBooker and @RonWyden this week about how we’re working together on legislation for comprehensive marijuana reform. https://t.co/jfKxJOsIzq
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) March 18, 2021
Schumer said, “We don’t want the big tobacco companies and the big liquor companies to swoop in and take over. The legislation we have will make sure that smaller businesses, businesses in communities of color, get the advantage because communities of color have paid the price for decades. They should at least get something back. “For decades,” the Senator continued, “young men who were arrested with a small amount of marijuana in their pockets served long prison terms and then they had a felony record and could never make themselves right.”
All of Schumer’s ideas sound well and good, but is it really possible to keep the big dogs of American commerce out? This question is going to be tested for sure — this year and in the years to come. Although the US Senate is hellbent on approaching the cannabis reform issue this year, Congressional divides and a skeptical president could make it next to impossible for the Democrats to get anything remotely close to a “comprehensive” cannabis bill approved this year.
According to the Daily Beast, President Biden just forced dozens of White House staffers to resign because they admitted to marijuana use. Even though a spokesperson for the Biden Administration says, “well-qualified applicants with limited marijuana use will not be barred from serving the American people,” that still doesn’t account for why the White House is firing people for this substance in the first place. The undertones suggest that Biden isn’t yet all in on cannabis.
Meanwhile, Big Alcohol and Big Tobacco have already banded together to create a national lobbying group intended to do just what Schumer is trying to avoid – a complete hijacking of the cannabis industry. Therefore, in his limited leadership, Senator Schumer will have to combat the American Way — capitalism — to get his vision of a marijuana law on the books in the coming months.
The real focus of the US Senate appears to be in drafting a “restorative justice” bill that includes marijuana legalization. Senator Cory Booker said in Schumer’s video that the nation cannot have one without the other. ”It’s not just about creating an environment where states are legalizing, it’s about restorative justice, and that’s a number of things,” Senator Booker asserted. “That’s, one, making sure that we expunge records. Don’t talk about free adult use of marijuana without talking about expunging records. Number two, the tax money — this is going to be a multibillion-dollar business. Those tax receipts should be reinvested in those in those communities.”