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Schumer Asks Whether Democrats Should Make Marijuana A Priority Ahead Of November Elections



In a new message to supporters, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is asking where marijuana decriminalization should fit in among other priorities for Democrats in Congress as this year’s elections approach.

Cannabis reform one of more than a dozen policy-related options that respondents can check off on the new survey, which asks for input on the party’s legislative agenda.

“With less than five months until Election Day, Chuck and Senate Democrats want to hear from you,” an email blast says. “What are your top priorities for this summer?”

“Decriminalizing marijuana” is one of 13 named priorities, along with codifying abortion rights and access to contraception, fighting climate change, protecting worker rights, advancing LGBTQ equality, canceling student debt and passing gun safety laws.

“The race to hold the Senate Majority is intensifying. The next few months represent our last chance to push for real progress before the polls open,” Schumer’s emailed message says of the survey, which is a common list-building tactic for political fundraising.

“Knowing what issues matter most to you right now not only helps me set the agenda for our Democratic Senate Majority—it shows voters that Democrats are our last line of defense against the extreme MAGA agenda,” the email linking to the survey adds.

Schumer earlier this year circulated a separate public petition asking people to show their support for marijuana banking reform.

In April, Schumer, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and a coalition of other Democratic senators officially reintroduced a bill to federally legalize marijuana.

That came a day after the Justice Department announced that it is moving to reschedule cannabis in a historic policy shift.

Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,500 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.

Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.

Polls have indicated for years that a majority of Democrats support ending cannabis prohibition. But it’s also grown into a bipartisan issue, with a Fox News poll last month finding that 69 percent of U.S. voters—including 55 percent of GOP voters—saying they support legalization.

The poll found majority support among all ages, races, income levels, education levels and geographic regions, too. The only group with majority opposition was those who identified as “very conservative.” But even a majority of certain unexpected demographics such as those 65+ and white evangelicals back the reform.

Additionally, Fox News found that 59 percent of people who are expected to vote for former President Donald Trump this November are in favor of legalizing marijuana, compared to 80 percent of expected Biden voters.

Congressional Committee Pushes Federal Agencies To Study State Marijuana Laws And Reconsider Cannabis Use Policies For Government Workers

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Ben Adlin, a senior editor at Marijuana Moment, has been covering cannabis and other drug policy issues professionally since 2011. He was previously a senior news editor at Leafly, an associate editor at the Los Angeles Daily Journal and a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs. He lives in Washington State.


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