A federal cannabis decriminalization bill could be introduced by Senate Democrats as early as next week, but it still faces an uphill battle toward becoming law.
According to Bloomberg, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, with help from Democratic Senators Cory Booker of New Jersey and Ron Wyden of Oregon, put together the The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act. The crux of the legislation is removing cannabis from the list of federally controlled substances while still allowing states to still create their own rules for cannabis production and distribution.
The bill would also establish programs and provide aid to communities negatively impacted by federal prohibition of cannabis while setting up financial support for small cannabis businesses. It would also dictate that non-violent cannabis-related convictions be expunged within a year of passing the bill.
In April, the U.S. House passed the MORE Act (Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement). However, the U.S. Senate needs 60 votes to pass similar legislation and it could be a struggle to find the votes when many senators still oppose decriminalization.