Legality of Cannabis by U.S. Jurisdiction

Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act
U.S. Congress
  • To decriminalize and deschedule cannabis, to provide for reinvestment in certain persons adversely impacted by the War on Drugs, to provide for expungement of certain cannabis offenses, and for other purposes.
Introduced byCory Booker
Decriminalizes cannabis at the federal level
Status: Pending

The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (S.4591) is a proposed bill in the United States Congress to recognize legalization of cannabis by the states. The authors are Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Cory Booker, and Senator Ron Wyden.


On March 31, 2021, following New York legalization under the 2021 Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced he would soon introduce a federal bill to deschedule cannabis, similar to his 2018 Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act.[1] Sources told Politico and other media that a draft of the bill would be introduced on July 14.[2]

On July 14, 2021, Senator Schumer introduced a discussion draft of the bill.[3][4]

On February 4, 2022, Schumer said the legislation would be introduced in the U.S. Senate in April of that year.[5] Later in February, Schumer circulated a letter asking other senators to "join the process of perfecting" the draft, and for their support.[6] The bill was said to be likely to be introduced by its sponsors on or around the unofficial 420 cannabis holiday, i.e. April 20, 2022,[7] but it was later postponed to "before August recess".[8]

The bill was introduced in the United States Senate on July 21, 2022.[9][10] In addition to decriminalizing cannabis at the federal level, the bil would expunge federal cannabis-related criminal records. It would add new funding for law enforcement to go after illegal marijuana operations.[9]

Reception and analysis[edit]

The bill was called by ABC News in 2021 "the first time in history [senators from a major party] introduced a bill to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level and remove cannabis from the federal list of controlled substances" and end federal prohibition.[11][a]

The New York Times wrote that the bill was unlikely to become law, but was significant because the "Senate's top leader and the chairman of the powerful Finance Committee would sponsor major decriminalization legislation would have been fantastical in the not-too-distant past".[13]

The Associated Press wrote that the support of the Senate Majority Leader for ending prohibition "underscor[es] how a once-fringe idea is increasingly mainstream".[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act had a single Senate sponsor in 2015–2016 Congress: Bernie Sanders, an independent.[12]


  1. ^ Steven T. Dennis (March 31, 2021), Schumer Pushes Senate on Pot Laws as States Leap Ahead, Bloomberg
  2. ^ Victor Reklaitis (July 13, 2021). "Schumer, other Democrats to unveil draft bill for cannabis decriminalization on Wednesday". MarketWatch. Dow Jones.
  3. ^ NATALIE FERTIG (July 14, 2021). "Schumer launches long-shot bid for legal weed". Politico.
  4. ^ Nicholas Fandos (July 14, 2021). "Schumer Proposes Federal Decriminalization of Marijuana". The New York Times.
  5. ^ "Senate Majority Leader Provides Timeline for Introducing Long-Awaited Marijuana Descheduling Plan". official website. NORML. February 7, 2022.
  6. ^ Jordain Carney (February 10, 2022). "Schumer asks for input as Democrats finalize cannabis bill". The Hill.
  7. ^ Jonathan D. Salant (April 2, 2022). "Booker aims for 4/20 to drop a new legal weed bill".
  8. ^ Aris Folley (April 14, 2022). "Timeline for marijuana legalization bill slips in Senate". The Hill.
  9. ^ a b Natalie Fertig (July 21, 2022). "Schumer's legal weed bill is finally here". Politico.
  10. ^ S.4591 bill history, U.S. Congress official website
  11. ^ Bill Hutchinson (July 16, 2021). "What ending the federal marijuana prohibition could mean for the industry". ABC News.
  12. ^ "Bernie Sanders' bill to end federal marijuana prohibition has zero co-sponsors so far". Chicago Sun-Times. January 28, 2016. Archived from the original on 2017-03-09.
  13. ^ Nicholas Fandos (July 14, 2021). "Schumer Will Propose Federal Decriminalization of Marijuana". The New York Times.
  14. ^ BRIAN SLODYSKO (July 14, 2021). "Senate leader lends clout to marijuana legalization push". Associated Press.

Further reading[edit]

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