CAO Federal Cannabis Legalization

Cannabis Administration & Opportunity Act (CAO)

View the full proposal here >>

View our main conclusions here >>

Forward to section I. >>

Federal cannabis legalization has been around the corner for sometime now. It’s really a matter of when not if. On July 14th we got, perhaps, the best indicator in recent years that time is close. The draft-proposal titled Cannabis Administration & Opportunity Act (CAO) is sponsored by Cory Booker, and co-sponsored by Ron Wyden and Chuck Schumer. The proposal is moderately critical of the “War On Drugs,” at one point calling it the “Failed War On Drugs.” As far as U.S. wars go, it is the one we’ve been in the longest, with 2021 marking its 50 year anniversary. Estimates from the Drug Policy Alliance reveal that upwards of $1 trillion has been spent on the War On Drugs since 1971.

The opening statement declares three points of focus for the federal cannabis legalization proposal:

  1. To expand and provide racial opportunity and equity to the burgeoning U.S. cannabis industry. 
  1. The removal of cannabis from the federal list of controlled substances. 
  1. The empowering of states to implement their own cannabis laws.

The bill is split into eight main sections to address what a legal federalization may look like, and for expediency’s sake I will simplify these as: 

Click through these links to explore condensed versions of each section.

1. Decriminalization

2. Research

3. Small Business

4. Restorative Justice

5. Taxation

6. Public Health

7. Review

8. Additional Items