New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D) has become the latest prominent political official to say states should be able to experiment with legalizing marijuana without federal interference.
When asked about marijuana legalization on MSNBC Schumer was not ready to legalize marijuana at a federal level but thinks the idea is worth studying. Schumer said “Let’s see how the state experiments work. We now have states as laboratories, different states at different levels, Colorado and Washington State sort of opening the door.”
Schumer opposed any effort by federal law enforcement to override the will of the voters in Colorado or Washington State. While the federal government could stop marijuana sales in Colorado Schumer thinks that would be a bad decision saying, “I think having the state’s experiment is a good idea.”
This position firmly puts Schumer within the majority of Americans. Regardless how people feel about marijuana legalization, overwhelmingly individuals across the political spectrum want states to be able to set their own marijuana policy without federal interference.
Schumer is the third ranking Senate Democrat, serves on the Senate Judiciary committee and is a close ally of the Obama administration. He has significant influence over this issue.
Jon Walker is the author of After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy
Photo by Third Way under Creative Commons license