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Schumer Touts 'Overwhelming Evidence' That Cannabis Legalization Doesn't Increase Crime

Chuck Schumer

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) remains firm in his stance that cannabis reform doesn’t lead to an increase in crime or drug use. (Benzinga)

“The overwhelming evidence from the states that have legalized cannabis is there has not been an increase in crime and has not been an increase in drug use,” Schumer said at a recent press briefing. The comments came on the heels of his introducing long-awaited U.S. Senate legislation that would decriminalize and deschedule cannabis on the federal level. 

The nearly 300-page Cannabis Administration And Opportunity Act (CAOA), from Schumer and Senators Ron Wyden and Cory Booker, was presented last week. Two more Senate Democrats, Assistant Democratic Leader Patty Murray (D-WA) and Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), also agreed to cosponsor the measure.

The briefing, held on Tuesday, overlapped with the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, in which Booker tackled many important issues regarding federal cannabis legalization. The subcommittee has yet to vote on the CAOA.

Schumer’s Latest Cannabis Legalization Efforts

Meanwhile, despite an overall pessimistic sentiment regarding the passage of the legislation in the Senate, as it needs a 60-vote threshold to get approved, Schumer continues to advocate for the broad reform proposal.

Last month the senator convened with GOP House Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) on several occasions to discuss possible bipartisan cannabis reform steps that can be taken ahead of the finalization of a separate comprehensive legalization bill that would include much more than just banking and expungements reforms.

The two lawmakers discussed combining the two already existing bipartisan bills, the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act from Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and the Harnessing Opportunities by Pursuing Expungement (HOPE) Act, a piece of legislation that would help states expunge criminal records for people with convictions for non-violent cannabis offenses.

SAFE Banking Act has passed the House seven times. However, it is still in the Senate under Republican and Democratic leadership.

Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

by Jelena Martinovic
 
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