Democratic Senators Introduce Federal Legalized Marijuana Bill

Last Thursday, July 21, 2022, Senate leaders introduced highly-anticipated legislation to legalize marijuana federally. If passed, this bill will allow states to set their own marijuana laws without fear of federal punishment, help combat black market sales, expunge federal criminal records, provide social equity grants for marginalized groups and small businesses, and help the government increase its tax revenue. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA) has been a work in progress for over a year and was drafted with the help of Senators Corey Booker (D-NJ) and Ron Wyden (D-OR). For the bill to pass, every Democrat and ten Republicans in the Senate will have to vote yes. 

This fact alone makes it doubtful that the CAOA will be passed; however, there is a high possibility that parts of the legislation will be implemented in other bills before the end of the year, and its language and ideas will influence future cannabis legislation. 

Amanda Andrade-rhoades/AP

“This bill will be a catalyst for change by removing cannabis from the federal list of controlled substances, protecting public health and safety, and expunging the criminal records of those with low-level cannabis offenses, providing millions with a new lease on life. For far too long, the federal prohibition on cannabis and the War on Drugs has been a war on people, and particularly people of color."

The CAOA was originally drafted in 2021 and asked stakeholders to add notes and modifications. Now, after numerous meetings and receiving 1,800 suggestions, the bill has been updated, expanded, and improved upon. When talking about the introduced bill, Senator Corey Booker said that the CAOA will  include,

 “Strong restorative justice provisions for communities impacted by the drug war, support for small cannabis businesses, and expungement of federal cannabis offenses, this bill reflects long overdue common sense drug policy.”

A major thing that this bill also addresses is combating illegal marijuana sales, safety to minors, and quality control. This bill will not only help law enforcement fight illegal sales and distribution but also guarantee a high quality product that will align with health and safety standards under the Food and Drug Administration. 


There is a Small Window for Change 

So let’s talk about the elephant in the room —  besides Republicans. Even though roughly 2/3rds of all Americans believe Marijuana should be legal, 19 states have legalized marijuana for recreational use, and 37 states have established medical marijuana programs — cannabis is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug nationally. This hurts communities, prevents incarceration reform, and makes us seem like hypocrites. 

By failing to act, the federal government is empowering the illicit cannabis market, it's ruining lives and propping up deeply rooted racism in our criminal justice system, it's holding back small cannabis businesses from growing and creating jobs in their communities. Cannabis legalization is here, and Congress needs to get with the program."

Sign-up to our Newsletter:

Brendan Irving

NYC living, food-loving, music-making, and party attending writer working in the ad business for the last eight years. Actor to ad man, Brendan got his start writing comedy and sketches and performed all over NYC and the tri-state area. He is now committed to writing powerful pieces that will put a smile on any face.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Flavor Fix
Compare items
  • Total (0)
Shopping cart