For the first time in history, some Senate Democrats introduced a bill to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level and remove cannabis from the federal list of controlled substances — laws that led to more than 1.5 million arrests in 2019 alone, 32% of which were for nonviolent lower-level marijuana possession offenses, according to the nonprofit Drugpolicyfacts.org.
Federal laws have also created a legal gray area for businesses operating in states where marijuana is legal.
The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act is backed by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who called the legislation “monumental.”
A customer holds up marijuana he bought from a marijuana dispensary in San Francisco, Feb. 4, 2006.
But some cannabis industry insiders told ABC News that while the draft legislation includes many things that would greatly benefit dispensaries and growers — like allowing them to get bank financing, accept credit cards and go public on the New York Stock Exchange — they would rather see the federal government leave