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August 12, 2022 6:00 am

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Federal Marijuana Legalization Splits the Senate Along Party Lines


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Recent talks at the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Criminal Justice and Counterterrorism hearing, “Decriminalizing Cannabis at the Federal Level: Necessary Steps to Address Past Harms,” were divided along party lines, reports Seeking Alpha. While Democrats like committee chair Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said that the nation’s current laws on cannabis have failed, contributing to the harm of veterans and minority communities, Ranking Member Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) alleged that arguments for marijuana legalization are based on misinformation and that those convicted of marijuana offenses as many have also been sentenced for violent crimes.

Booker, one of the sponsors of the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA) which would deschedule marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance, provide criminal justice reforms, and federal loans to small marijuana businesses, said that 91 percent of Americans are in favor of medical marijuana, while 68 percent support adult use. He added that in states where marijuana is legal, there have been fewer drug arrests and less disparities in those arrests. The pair exemplify the division between Democrats and Republicans that promises a rough road ahead for federal marijuana legalization.