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Wyden Among Senate Democrats Proposing Federal Legalization Of Cannabis

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Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden says he’s working with other members of Congress to change federal cannabis laws. 

While roughly three dozen states -including Wyden’s- allow marijuana to be used recreationally, medically, or both, federal law still prohibits its overall use and sale.

Wyden is joining other Senators including Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, to end that prohibition.  

"Once you legalize, you take care of a lot of aspects of this, like banking," Wyden told KLCC. "And it’s not enough to just end cannabis prohibition. You need to restore the lives of those who’ve been hurt most by the failed “War on Drugs”, especially Black and Latino Americans.

"And we’re going to include provisions with respect to expunging marijuana convictions.”  

In a joint statement, Senators Wyden, Schumer, and Cory Booker of New Jersey say they’ll release a unified draft on comprehensive reform soon, which will include proposed taxes and regulations.

Copyright 2021, KLCC. 

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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