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Schumer introducing legislation to decriminalize marijuana federally – what would that mean for states?

Activist smoke joints during a prostest under the motto
Activist smoke joints during a prostest under the motto "No vamos a pagar, lo vamos a pegar" (something like 'We are not going to pay for it, we are going to get the kick out of it") against the imposing of fines for smoking marijuana by police according to their new code, in Bogota, on August 1, 2017.
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Not coincidentally, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) plans to introduce legislation today to decriminalize marijuana, which is on the list of scheduled substances along with drugs like heroin.

The bill would let each state decide whether to allow the commercial sale of cannabis, ending the legal grey space that many marijuana businesses find themselves in.

Various polls show that there is support for legalizing cannabis throughout the U.S. According to a recent CBS News poll, six in ten Americans think it should be legalized. A Pew Research Center poll put the number at 61 percent in favor of legalization, with 70 percent support among millennials.

What would it take to decriminalize marijuana federally and how would states negotiate their laws with the federal government? And what are the attitudes of Americans towards legalization?


Frank Newport, editor-in-chief for the Gallup Poll; he tweets @Frank_Newport

John Schroyer, senior reporter at Marijuana Business Daily

Jay Wexler, expert in constitutional and cannabis law; professor of law at Boston University