Washington, DC – Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced his plans to unveil legislation aimed at decriminalizing marijuana “from one end of the country to the other,” according to his interview with VICE News.
The news outlet released a 32-second clip of the interview on Thursday afternoon, and noted that footage of the full sit-down would air on HBO Thursday night.
“I’ll be introducing legislation to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level from one end of the country to the other,” he said in the clip.
“The legislation is long overdue based on, you know, a bunch of different facts,” Schumer explained. “I’ve seen too many people’s lives ruined because they had small amounts of marijuana and served time in jail much too long.”
According to VICE News, Schumer’s office expects the legislation to be released within the next week.
Schumer will propose the removal of marijuana from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s list of controlled substances, which would leave individual states to decide how they would regulate the drug from that point forward.
The legislation would allocate funding for marijuana research with regards to how it impairs driving, as well as its overall effects.
It would also provide funding for marijuana businesses owned people who are not white males.
Finally, the bill would establish “federal authority to regulate marijuana advertising in the same way it does alcohol and tobacco,” Schumer said.
He added that he believes total legalization would be “fine,” but that his main goal was to give states the power to decide what is best for its citizens.
“Ultimately, it’s the right thing to do. Freedom,” Schumer said in the clip. “If smoking marijuana doesn’t hurt anybody else, why shouldn’t we allow people to do it and not make it criminal?”
You can watch the short segment of Shumer's interview in the video below: