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Proposed bill to remove marijuana ban could create waves of change

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ITHACA (WBNG) — The discussion around removing the federal ban on marijuana is gaining traction in the state.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer unveiled a bill on Wednesday that would remove the federal ban and pave the way for many Americans to have their federal, non-violent marijuana convictions expunged from their records.

The removal could also lead to federal funding going to research to understand the plant.

Carlyn Buckler is a professor at the Cornell University’s School of Integrative Plant Science and said that the current knowledge about the plant’s abilities is limited by the restrictions placed on the study of it.

“We know about heroin because we’ve been able to do the testing on it. The only institution federally mandated to do testing is the University of Mississippi, and that’s it,” she said.

Attorney Melanie Franco said that if the bill is passed, it would not create a blanket legalization.

“With this federal legislation, the states will still retain the right to prohibit possession, production, and distribution [of marijuana],” she said.

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