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Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act introduced to federally decriminalize cannabis

Two companion bills were introduced Monday, the goal of which is to remove marijuana from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Controlled Substances list. The measures, collectively titled “Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act” were introduced by New Yorkers, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries. Four of the 2020 presidential candidates have already signed on as sponsors.

If the bills pass, in addition to removing cannabis from the list of controlled substances, it would earmark some of the tax revenue from marijuana sales for grants to socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals who wish to be a part of the fast growing cannabis industry. The bills would also support efforts to expunge past marijuana convictions.

The four Democratic candidates who have signed on as sponsors include Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

Some of the candidates that have not signed on as sponsors, so far, include senators Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris, and Michael Bennet, along with representatives Eric Swalwell, Seth Moulton, and Tim Ryan, all of whom have publicly expressed their support for federal cannabis reform, and some of whom have introduced legislation of their own. It’s not known whether or not they intend to sign on in support of the new bills.

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