Rockville Centre store owner favors federal decriminalization of marijuana
There's a new push to legalize marijuana federally and some experts say it would help decrease the stigma surrounding the drug.
Jason Katz, the owner of Dr. Nature RX, a store that specializes in hemp THC products, says federal decriminalization of marijuana would spark a whole new industry in the U.S.
"I think it's going to open up a lot of tax money for governments," says Katz. "I think of jobs. I think a lot of new businesses are going to be opening."
The legislation introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer would remove marijuana from the nation's list of controlled substances and start regulating and taxing it. Each state would then have final say about legalization within its borders.
Hofstra Professor Richard Hayes says the legislation could heal some of the wounds caused by the war on drugs especially in communities of color, which were disproportionately affected.
The bill would funnel tax dollars into programs aimed at helping those communities and immediately toss out nonviolent marijuana-related arrests and convictions.
"We should not lose sight of the damage that's already been done in these communities and think long and hard about what it means to repair.
The bill's future could go up in flames because Democrats would need support from 10 Republican senators to pass it.
Katz is optimistic that lawmakers will eventually cross the aisle if it means bringing big bucks to Washington.