Pubdate: Fri, 20 Apr 2018
Source: Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Copyright: 2018 The Daily Herald Company
Author: Kevin Freking


WASHINGTON -- The top Senate Democrat is using marijuana's informal
holiday to announce a change of heart about the drug, another sign of
the growing political acceptance of pot.

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer said Friday he'll introduce a bill taking
marijuana off the federal list of controlled substances - in effect
decriminalizing its use.

Instead, his bill would let states decide how to treat marijuana
possession. Under the measure, the federal government would still
enforce laws against moving pot into states where it's illegal and
would still regulate advertising so it isn't aimed at children.

"My thinking, as well as the general population's views, on the issue
has evolved," Schumer said.

Schumer said he also wants to ensure that minorities and women have a
fair shot at getting involved in the growing marijuana industry and
that the federal government invests in research.

Eight states and the District of Columbia now allow recreational use
of marijuana, and a majority of states allow its use for medical purposes.

Americans' support for marijuana legalization has been growing in
polls with Gallup's most recent update in October showing that 64
percent of Americans were in favor of legalization.

The White House said last week that President Donald Trump backs
legislation to protect the marijuana industry in states where it is

Former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner also announced recently that he
had changed his stance on marijuana and that he would promote its
nationwide legalization as a way to help veterans and the nation's
deadly opioid crisis.
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