President Joe Biden has not been entirely on board with some of his fellow Democrats’ efforts to legalize marijuana.
Nevertheless, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that he plans to introduce legislation for marijuana law reforms with or without Biden’s approval, Breitbart reported.
“I want to make my arguments to [President Biden], as many other advocates will,” Schumer told Politico. “But, at some point, we’re going to move forward, period.”
Biden’s stance on legalizing marijuana hasn’t been entirely clear.
Rather than completely legalizing the drug, Biden has said he is in favor of decriminalizing it.
He has made it clear, however, that he is strongly against sending people to jail for drug crimes. During an interview in May of last year on The Breakfast Club, he said:
No one should be going to jail for drug crime. Period. Nobody. Nobody. No matter what the crime. You should go to a mandatory rehabilitation. It costs less to put people in a drug rehabilitation program than it does in jail. And you have a chance. You’ve got to give people a chance.
During the Politico interview, Schumer admitted that he has not always been on board with legalizing marijuana either, but said he changed his mind on the subject after seeing the success of states that legalized marijuana, such as Oregon and Colorado.
“When a few of the early states — Oregon and Colorado — wanted to legalize, all the opponents talked about the parade of horribles: Crime would go up, drug use would go up, everything bad would happen,” Schumer said.
The Senate leader claimed that “the legalization of states worked out remarkably well. They were a great success. The parade of horribles never came about, and people got more freedom. And people in those states seem very happy.”
During his interview with Politico, Schumer did not discuss the details of the bill that he plans to introduce.
He did make clear, however, that he is “personally for legalization,” saying the bill “is headed in that direction.”
Schumer is being joined in this legislative effort by Democratic Sens. Cory Booker (NJ) and Ron Wyden (OR).