Sanders Introduces Bill to Lift Federal Marijuana Ban

Just Released! Get realistic market forecasts, state-by-state insights and benchmarks with the new 2024 MJBiz Factbook member program, now with quarterly updates. Make informed decisions.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders introduced a bill Wednesday that would take marijuana off the federal government’s list of Schedule 1 drugs and effectively end federal prohibition against the plant, which would be a game-changer for the cannabis industry.

This is the first time such a bill has been introduced in the Senate.

The measure would not legalize cannabis – instead, it would allow individual states to decide how they want to handle marijuana. The bill would also ban the interstate transport of marijuana.

Going further than any other presidential candidate this year, Sanders said last week he would support lifting the federal ban on marijuana, and he backed up his words with this week’s proposal.

Heroin, ecstasy and LSD are among the drugs the federal government classifies as Schedule 1.

Sanders’ bill differs from a 2013 House of Representatives bill submitted by Democrat Jared Polis of Colorado focused on structures for regulating marijuana.

Another presidential candidate, Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, teamed up earlier this year with Democratic Senators Corey Booker of New Jersey and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York to introduce a bill that would lift the federal ban on medical marijuana.