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Schumer Signs on to Medical Marijuana Bill

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 1:54 p.m. | The medical marijuana movement just got a big boost. Sen. Charles E. Schumer has become a co-sponsor to legislation that would give states greater flexibility to use medical marijuana.  

"Medical marijuana is the only recourse for many in New York and across the country who are in a great deal of pain, and it is only humane and fair that they have access to the treatment they need when prescribed by a doctor," Schumer said in a statement.  

Schumer, the No. 3 Democrat in the Senate and the heir apparent to Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is an influential co-sponsor. But the bill will likely need more support on the other side of the aisle to get through the Republican-controlled Senate. It's unclear when, or if, the bill may be considered by the Judiciary Committee. The office of Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.  

The bill , introduced by Sens. Cory Booker , D-N.J.; Rand Paul , R-Ky.; and Kirsten Gillibrand , D-N.Y., would reschedule marijuana and let states set medical marijuana policy.  

"This is one of the clearest signs yet that the decades-long congressional consensus on maintaining the war on drugs is quickly crumbling," said Tom Angell, chairman of the Marijuana Majority, which advocates for the legalization of marijuana.  

Other co-sponsors include: Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.; Dean Heller, R-Nev.; Michael Bennet, D-Colo.; Ron Wyden, D-Ore.; Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.; Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.; Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii; Tom Udall, D-N.M.; Martin Heinrich, D-N.M.; Angus King, I-Maine; and Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii.

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