The American Civil Liberties Union estimates that around half of all drug arrests are for marijuana possession.
Ron Wyden, Oregon Democrat, in the form of a bill to federally legalize, tax and regulate pot sales.
While the bills introduced may not become law, Wyden is confident that marijuana will become legal soon. The bill, the Marijuana Revenue, and Regulation Act has been designated as S. 420 by Wyden and is a complementary measure to H.R. 420, which was introduced in the House of Representatives by fellow Oregon Democrat, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, last month.More news: Trump’s counselor, Kellyanne Conway, claims woman assaulted her at restaurant
Marijuana legalization is a popular proposal-two thirds of Americans, including a majority of Republicans, support it.
Emails to Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris seeking comment on the legislation were not immediately responded to Friday. "Too many lives have been wasted, and too many economic opportunities have been missed", Mr. Wyden said. "The House is doing its work and with the help of Senator Wyden's leadership in the Senate, we will break through".
"The American people have elected the most pro-cannabis Congress in American history and significant pieces of legislation are being introduced", Blumenauer said.More news: No new jobs but happier citizens in Finland's basic income test
The proposal would take marijuana off the federal controlled substances list and remove federal criminal penalties for individuals and businesses acting in compliance with state marijuana laws. The other, S. 422, would allow cannabis businesses to pay regular business taxes to keep them "from getting hit with an unfair tax bill".
According to the package's summary, the three bills aim to "pave the way for responsible federal regulation of the legal marijuana industry, and provide certainty for state-legal marijuana businesses which operate in almost every state in the U.S".
Former House Speaker John Boehner, who sits on the board of cannabis company Acreage Holdings, on Friday announced the formation of an industry-backed lobbying group that would push for national marijuana reforms.More news: Ellen Page Reminds Chris Pratt About His Church's LGBTQ Issue