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Schumer on 4/20: Bill coming to end federal marijuana prohibition

Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden to meet with GOP senators amid infrastructure push The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Upbeat jobs data, relaxed COVID-19 restrictions offer rosier US picture How to fast-track climate action? EPA cutting super pollutant HFCs MORE (D-N.Y.) said on Tuesday that a group of senators working on legislation to end the federal prohibition on marijuana is aiming to have draft legislation “in the near future.”

Schumer discussed the legislation that he’s working on with Sens. Cory BookerCory BookerBush testifies before Congress about racist treatment Black birthing people face during childbirth, pregnancy Tim Scott sparks buzz in crowded field of White House hopefuls Never underestimate Joe Biden MORE (D-N.J.) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenBad jobs report amplifies GOP cries to end 0 benefits boost Putting a price on privacy: Ending police data purchases Overnight Health Care: Biden sets goal of at least one shot to 70 percent of adults by July 4 | White House to shift how it distributes unallocated vaccines to states MORE (D-Ore.) from the Senate floor on Tuesday, which he referred to as “what you might call a very unofficial American holiday, 4/20.”

“Senators Booker, Wyden and I are going to continue to work on our legislation and in the near future we hope to have a draft of a comprehensive reform effort,” Schumer said.

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He added that the forthcoming bill would end the federal prohibition but also “ensure restorative justice, protect public health and implement responsible taxes and regulations.”

“It’s time for change. I believe the time has come to end the federal prohibition on marijuana in this country,” he said. 

Schumer, who said his own thinking had “evolved,” pointed to changes to state marijuana laws across the country, including in his home state of New York, which officially legalized recreational marijuana for adults. 

Schumer vowed earlier this month  that he would move marijuana legislation even if President BidenJoe BidenDefense lawyers for alleged Capitol rioters to get tours of U.S. Capitol Sasse to introduce legislation giving new hires signing bonuses after negative jobs report Three questions about Biden's conservation goals MORE wasn’t on board. He told Politico in an interview that he wanted to give Biden “a little time to study it ... but at some point we’re going to move forward, period.” 

The bill faces an uphill path to passing the Senate because it would need 60 votes to overcome the filibuster. 

The House passed a separate bill this week that would allow banks and financial institutions to work with cannabis businesses.