Democrats vow to decriminalise cannabis with new bill


Democrats vow to decriminalise cannabis with new bill

Democrats vow to decriminalise cannabis with new bill

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer vowed to make the decriminalisation of marijuana a “priority” at a press conference where he unveiled a new bill to take the plant off of the list of US controlled substances.

The move, if passed, would have a significant effect in states where the drug is legal for recreational or medical use, as it would allow companies that sell it to take some tax deductions for business expenses.

“The war on drugs has really been a war on people, particularly people of color,” said Sen Schumer at a press conference on Wednesday.

“I was the first Democratic leader to come out for the legalization of marijuana and I will use my clout as Majority Leader to make this a priority in the Senate,” he added.

It faces an uncertain future in the evenly-divided Senate, though the issue has seen some bipartisan support in the past. White House press secretary Jen Psaki also appeared to throw cold water on the idea of the president signing such a bill on Wednesday, telling reporters: “I’ve spoken in the past about the president’s views on marijuana, and there’s no change.”

The steep divide between the White House and some of the most prominent Senate Democrats including Leader Schumer presents a rare area of political vulnerability for President Joe Biden. The president is wildly at odds with the base of his party and the country at large on the issue of whether marijuana should be decriminalized, and the uninterest shown by Ms Psaki on Wednesday comes as the White House is supposedly engaged in outreach with Congress to hold together a shaky coalition to pass two infrastructure bills, one of which was negotiated with a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers.

The president has also been sharply criticized by activists in his own party over what they view as inconsistency on the issue of drug addiction; the president’s own son, Hunter Biden, has been widely open about his past addiction to crack cocaine, for which he has never been criminally charged despite possession of the drug being a felony in some states.

Mr Biden has defended his son and stated that he is proud of Hunter for overcoming addiction in interviews, ignoring the fact that his son would likely not have had access to quality addiction treatment programs had he not been the wealthy son of a senator-turned-vice president, and could likely have ended up in prison.

In November, during his final efforts to win the 2020 election, he told the three Black hosts of a radio show that he understood that criminal enforcement of drug laws had disproportionately harmed Black communities in the US, and pledged to do more to fix it as president.

“It was a mistake, and I’ve been trying to change it since then,” the now-president said of past anti-drug laws that became law when he was a senator.


Source link

Check Also

Senate work on infrastructure plan slides into Saturday Capitol Hill Washington John Cornyn Texas Democrats

Senate work on infrastructure plan slides into Saturday Capitol Hill Washington John Cornyn Texas Democrats …