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Schumer unveils bill to decriminalize marijuana

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerManchin wrestles with progressive backlash in West Virginia The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Health care a top policy message in fall campaigns McConnell says deficits 'not a Republican problem' MORE (D-N.Y.) has introduced legislation to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level.

The Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act removes marijuana from the list of scheduled substances under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, allowing states to decide how to handle marijuana possession, according to a statement from Schumer’s office.

“The time to decriminalize marijuana is now,” Schumer said.

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The bill, introduced Wednesday, would preserve the federal government’s ability to prevent trafficking from states where it would be legal to states where it is not, the statement said.

The legislation would also invest $500 million over the span of five years to the Department of Health and Human Services for medical marijuana research and understanding the effects of THC.

Under the bill, states would be allowed to seal or expunge individual marijuana possession records.

Schumer said in a statement that the legislation is “simply the right thing to do.”

The bill is co-sponsored by Sens. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSanders thanks Iowa voters for giving momentum to progressive agenda Live coverage: Gillum clashes with DeSantis in Florida debate Miami Herald endorses Gillum for governor MORE (I-Vt.), Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineAmerica’s ball cap industry is in trouble Overnight Defense: Trump says 'rogue killers' could be behind missing journalist | Sends Pompeo to meet Saudi king | Saudis may claim Khashoggi killed by accident | Ex-VA chief talks White House 'chaos' | Most F-35s cleared for flight Democrats torch Trump for floating 'rogue killers' to blame for missing journalist MORE (D-Va.) and Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthSenate Dems ask Trump to disclose financial ties to Saudi Arabia Hillicon Valley: Facebook deletes accounts for political 'spam' | Leaked research shows Google's struggles with online free speech | Trump's praise for North Korea complicates cyber deterrence | Senators want Google memo on privacy bug Senate Dem: Trump's 'fake, hyperbolic rantings' an insult to real Medal of Honor recipients MORE (D-Ill.).

Attorney General Jeff Session told The Hill earlier this month that he hasn’t talked to President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Gillum and DeSantis’s first debate GOP warns economy will tank if Dems win Gorbachev calls Trump's withdrawal from arms treaty 'a mistake' MORE about legislation to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level but believes the president would support a bill that protected states that do so.