A brief overview of the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act that seeks to federally legalize cannabis.
Following Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Corey Booker (D-NJ)’s introduction of the Right to Try Clarification Act, Booker joined forces with Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to introduce the Cannabis Administration And Opportunity Act (CAOA) with the aim to federally legalize cannabis.
If passed, this legislation would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, empower states to create their own cannabis laws, ensure federal regulations protects public health and safety; and prioritize restorative and economic justice. This builds on earlier federal acts to legalize cannabis-related products, such as the 2018 Farm Bill which legalized hemp-derived CBD products throughout the country.
According to Senate Finance Committee Chair Wyden, “It’s no longer a question of ‘if cannabis should be legal.’ The states are moving ahead, and not only do the overwhelming majority of American people support legalization, they now live in a state where some form of cannabis is legal.”
Majority Leader Schumer spoke to the damaging impacts of criminalizing cannabis, “For far too long, the federal prohibition on cannabis and the War on Drugs has been a war on people, and particularly people of color,” Senator Booker added, “With strong restorative justice provisions for communities impacted by the drug war, support for small cannabis businesses, and expungement of federal cannabis offenses, this bill reflects long overdue, common sense drug policy.”