After first announcing plans to file a comprehensive reform bill later this month, the Democratic senators who are leading a push to legalize marijuana say they are on track to introduce legislation in the Senate before the August recess.
Senators have been leading the push to legalize cannabis with Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer D-N. Y. Cory Booker D-N. J. and Ron Wyden D-Ore. said in a statement Thursday that he is proud of the progress that they have made in bringing this vital bill closer to its official introduction before the recess in early August.
The Senate bill to federally legalize cannabis will have to simmer until the democratic leadership works out various provisions with the assistance of nearly a dozen Senate committees and input from numerous federal agencies. The Cannabis Administration Opportunity Act will remove the federal list of controlled substances, restore criminal justice, protect public health, and implement responsible taxes and regulations, among other measures.
The announcement came after Schumer said several weeks ago that he and the senators behind the effort had intended to bring the reform bill forward in late April.
Schumer said that he was reaching out to a few Republicans to see what they want to do at the end of April. Many Republicans are opposing legalizing cannabis, which poses one of the biggest hurdles for Schumer to get his bill through the 50 -- 50 split Senate. To secure passage, Democrats would need the support of their entire caucus and at least 10 Republicans to bypass a likely filibuster.
Some Democrats have expressed reservations regarding adult-use marijuana, which presents additional challenges to the party getting the 60 votes needed to get the necessary 60 votes to get the necessary 60 votes in the upper chamber.
Wyden stated in a statement that it was important to have the text of the bill produced well before the August recess to continue building momentum for cannabis reform. The House passed its own legislation, known as the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act MORE, to remove marijuana from the federal controlled substances list.