A Major Senate Marijuana Bill May Not Be All It's Cracked Up to Be

In April, New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer announced he would introduce a bill to decriminalize marijuana and other pro-cannabis measures. But it sounds like Schumer may have bitten off more than he could chew.

Rolling Stone ran a feature about Schumer's proposed marijuana bill. Schumer has made almost no mention of his cannabis bill since announcing it in April, but a source in his office says he plans to introduce it sometime this month. Some advocates claim Schumer's bill will be a groundbreaking piece of legislation that includes measures to help women and minorities enter the industry, increase funding into the medical benefits of the drug as well as decriminalize it at the federal level.

However, some say the bill doesn't quite go far enough. While Schumer's bill would technically decriminalize cannabis at the federal level, it would only do so by removing it from the list of controlled substances. Therefore states would still be able to make the drug illegal, meaning it wouldn't actually be decriminalized throughout the country. Other marijuana bills proposed in Congress would completely decriminalize cannabis nationwide.

The bill also doesn't address expunging criminal records for people convicted of minor marijuana crimes. New Jersey Senator Cory Booker's Marijuana Justice Act bill introduced last year would do so. So cannabis advocates are asking Schumer to not only push his bill, but also support Booker's as well.

But still many in the marijuana industry say Schumer's bill would be a major step forward. Even Booker himself says it's not so much that he and his fellow senator disagree on the issue as much as they're simply using different methods of trying to obtain the same goal.

Of course, all of this may not matter of Schumer can't convince Senate Republicans to also support the bill. So all of these bills may simply be put on hold until this November's midterm elections.

(h/t Rolling Stone)


Few other entrepreneurs in the cannabis space have their hands in quite as many ventures as Lorne Gertner. Currently dubbed the "godfather of the Canadian cannabis industry," Gertner told Civilized, "If we could live through normalization, we could change the world." Hailing from the fashion industry, this Toronto native says he's on a mission to "make the world a better place through cannabis and design excellence." The only catch is, well, normalizing cannabis — and that's where Gertner's keen eye for style comes in. "In the old days, you were going to be different or you were going to be normal," said Thom Antonio, Gertner's friend, creative director, and collaborator of 35 years.

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