Chuck Schumer Announces Plans To Federally Decriminalize Marijuana


In what could be seen as a 420 gift to the cannabis community, Chuck Schumer announces plans to federally decriminalize marijuana. The Democratic senator from New York made his intentions known in an interview with Vice News on April 19.

Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader, said he is now officially supporting legislation that would decriminalize cannabis at the federal level. The move is a change for Schumer. He has previously supported marijuana for medicinal use and the rights of states to set their own cannabis policy. But now he thinks that all uses of cannabis should no longer carry federal criminal penalties.

“Ultimately, it’s the right thing to do. Freedom. If smoking marijuana doesn’t hurt anybody else, why shouldn’t we allow people to do it and not make it criminal?” he said.

He also noted that current cannabis laws are too harsh.

“I’ve seen too many people’s lives ruined because they had small amounts of marijuana and served time in jail much too long,” he said.

De-scheduling And More

Schumer expects to introduce his new bill in the Senate sometime next week. The legislation includes several changes to federal cannabis policy, although the senator stopped short of calling the measure “legalization.”

First, the law would remove marijuana from the list of substances covered by the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). That would effectively end federal prohibition and allow the states to create their own cannabis regulations.

The bill will also include funding to research the effects of cannabis as well as its ability to impair driving a motor vehicle. Tax money would also be used to encourage the creation of marijuana businesses owned by women and minorities.

Finally, Schumer’s bill maintains “federal authority to regulate marijuana advertising in the same way it does alcohol and tobacco.” The senator said that provision is an effort to prevent cannabis businesses from marketing to children.


Schumer Joins Other Democrats, New Yorkers

Schumer is now one of several Democrats in the Senate calling for a change in federal marijuana policy. Last year, Sen. Cory Booker from New Jersey introduced the Marijuana Justice Act in the Senate. Rep. Barbara Lee of California joined Booker and sponsored the measure in the House of Representatives.

That bill would remove cannabis from the CSA, as well. It also contains provisions aimed at repairing some of the damage by the United States’ failed War on Drugs. The measure also includes language that would withhold federal funding from states that continue to criminalize marijuana and prosecute minorities disproportionately.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Democrat from Vermont who has long been a proponent of de-scheduling cannabis, just announced his support for Booker’s bill, also on April 19.

Schumer is joining other prominent New Yorkers who have already expressed support for a change in cannabis policy. Cynthia Nixon, who is running for governor of New York, recently announced her desire to change cannabis laws in an effort to promote fairness.

“The simple truth is, for white people, the use of marijuana has effectively been legal for a long time. Isn’t it time we legalize it for everybody else?” she said in a campaign video.

One day later, Democratic incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo jumped on the bandwagon. Because Massachusetts already has legal cannabis and other nearby states like New Jersey are poised to do so, Cuomo said that “for all intents and purposes, it is going to be here anyway.”

Final Hit: Chuck Schumer Announces Plans To Federally Decriminalize Marijuana

If decriminalization succeeds, perhaps you’ll see Schumer at a future 420 party. Although he hasn’t smoked pot yet, he might be up for giving it a try, he told Vice.

“Maybe, I’m a little old, but who knows?” he said.

Police Tweet Warning To Weed Smokers In Preparation for 4/20


With 4/20 right around the corner, the cannabis community has already begun to prepare itself. Surprisingly enough, the unofficial holiday dedicated to tokers around the world has a major impact on several facets society. Cannabis stocks are up, dispensary sales are on the rise and, on a less positive note, cannabis-centric law enforcement is in full effect. In fact, authorities are already starting to warn prospective participants of the holiday. One Kansas town appears to be taking said preemptive measures, as local police tweet warning to weed smokers in preparation for 4/20.

Early Warnings

The Lawrence police department remains proactive in their efforts to prevent stoned driving ahead of the stoner-centric holiday. They took to Twitter to warn the cannabis community of their vigilance, and its safe to say they did not mince words.

“Hey potheads planning to toke up on 4/20, stay off the roads,” the tweet said. “Stock up on Cheetos and Mt. Dew BEFORE you spark. Saturation patrols to find drugged drivers to occur.”

Attached to the tweet, was a release from the police department regarding their plans to ramp up patrol, as the number of high-drivers is expected to heavily increase on Friday.

According to the release, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma will collectively be on the lookout for impaired drivers throughout the 4/20 weekend. Particularly, on various highways throughout the aforementioned states.

View image on Twitter


Lawrence Police@LawrenceKS_PD

Hey potheads planning to toke up on 4/20, stay off the road. Stock up on Cheetos and Mt. Dew BEFORE you spark. Saturation patrols to find drugged drivers to occur-

6:43 AM - Apr 17, 2018

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“Law enforcement across the six-state area will be extra-vigilant when patrolling around city, state and federal highways. Injury and deaths continue to increase from both alcohol and drug-impaired drivers.” Lawrence police said in the release. “Regardless whether a drug is legal or illegal it’s a serious crime to drive while impaired by any drug.”

Final Hit: Police Tweet Warning To Weed Smokers In Preparation for 4/20

While it is certainly important to regulate driving under the influence of marijuana, it’s no coincidence that this stern warning is coming from a police department in a state which still employees some of the most stringent-marijuana laws in the country.

Kansas still remains behind the eight-ball in terms of marijuana legalization, and medicinal cannabis has yet to be legalized. In fact, one Republican lawmaker from Kansas recently found himself in hot water after justifying marijuana prohibition with abhorrent racial remarks.

“One of the reasons why [they outlawed cannabis], I hate to say it,” Representative Steve Alford said back in January, “was that the African Americans, they were basically users and they basically responded the worst off to those drugs just because of their character makeup, their genetics and that.”


While this notion certainly doesn’t represent the entire state’s view on cannabis, it certainly doesn’t do it justice. Hopefully, Kansas changes its tune on legalizing the plant sooner, rather than later.