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Maybe This Time Will Be Different: Senate Unveils Legislation to Legalize Marijuana

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On Thursday, July 21, 2022, Senators Chuck Schumer, Ron Wyden, and Cory Booker unveiled the long-awaited Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA) , which, if passed, would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level and require various federal agencies to establish rules for regulating various aspects of the marijuana industry. This long-sought social equity legislation is also, and importantly, designed to minimize the impact the prosecution of marijuana crimes has on low-level offenders and end the decades of harm suffered by communities of color that have been historically disproportionately affected by such enforcement.

“We see now clearly that cannabis laws are unevenly enforced and, often, unfortunately, devastate the lives of those most vulnerable,” Booker said in his opening remarks yesterday, July 26, to the senate Judiciary subcommittee. And there is no dispute that “the federal government continues to lag woefully behind” in correcting the injustices caused by the existing federal drug law and policies, Booker acknowledged.

So what does CAOA do? Here are a few of the highlights: Legalize it – CAOA would decriminalize marijuana at a federal level by removing “marijuana” from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). For those twenty-one and older, the CAOA recognizes state law as controlling the possession, […]

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