Senate Minority Leader Schumer just says yes to marijuana legalization

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer holds up talking points from the Republican Senate tax reform bill on Capitol Hill in Washington DC Nov. 9 2017

The bill will push to give states the authority on regulation, as well.

According to Vice News, the bill - expected to be released within the next week - would remove marijuana from Drug Enforcement Administration's list of controlled substances, leaving it up to states to decide how to regulate the drug.

The Senate Minority Leader added in a tweet on Friday, "And under existing law, the federal government considers marijuana as unsafe as heroin and treats it less favorably than cocaine".

Schumer, 67, was asked whether he has ever smoked marijuana, and he said no.

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Marijuana legalization, which spent years as a fringe political cause, has become increasingly popular with all voters and increasingly embraced by Democrats.

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) received assurances from President Trump that he will allow states to decide whether to legalize marijuana.

"I've looked at what's happened in the states that have done it and it seems to have worked out pretty well", Schumer said.

Vice News said Schumer plans to introduce the legislation sometime in the next week. "The view I have - and I'm a little cautious on this - is let's see how the state experiments work". "It also will ensure that minority- and woman-owned businesses have a dedicated funding stream to help them compete against bigger companies in the marijuana business".

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Schumer's support of decriminalizing the drug will be a huge boost to the national movement to legalize marijuana, which has been picking up steam among both parties.

He said his support isn't aimed at winning votes in the mid-term elections this fall, but, "If we benefit, so be it".

"The time for decriminalization has come, and I hope we can move the ball forward on this", Schumer said.

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