Senate minority leader proposes to decriminalize marijuana

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In an interview with VICE News on Thursday, Schumer said that he'd be introducing new legislation that aims to decriminalize marijuana at a federal level - as opposed to the piecemeal process of decriminalizing state by state. An impressive believe that cannabis should be made legal, while a national poll conducted in January found that oppose federal interference in state marijuana laws.

"I've seen too many people's lives ruined because they've had small amounts of marijuana and served time in jail much too long", Schumer said.

Cuomo's announcement however was suspiciously timed - just one day prior, his gubernatorial rival, Cynthia Nixon, announced she wanted to legalize marijuana in NY on the grounds that the current laws unfairly punished minorities.

Cory Gardner of Colorado, which was the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. He could be the Senate majority leader next year (a longshot) or in 2021, and having a friendly majority leader means a legalization bill actually moves in the Senate.

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Plain and simple: this is the right thing to do for America. His bill would not legalize marijuana outright, but instead allow states to decide whether to make the drug available commercially.

"My personal view is legalization is just fine", he said.

"It's time we allow states, once and for all, to have the power to decide what works best for them", Schumer tweeted.

Marijuana could be a winning issue for Democrats this November and in 2020.

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When asked if he had ever smoked pot himself, Schumer said no.

He added: "I'm doing it because I think it's the right thing to do". Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who endorsed a marijuana-legalization initiative in California during his 2016 presidential campaign, endorsed Booker's bill Thursday morning.

Phillip Smith is editor of the AlterNet Drug Reporter and author of the Drug War Chronicle.

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