U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) says he will introduce federal legislation to legalize cannabis.
It would not preempt state's ability to make the drug illegal, however.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), who had previously co-sponsored a bill to federally de-regulate cannabis, says he's happy to have other Democratic party leaders join him.
"Senator Schumer's announcement marks a huge and welcome step forward on the inexorable path to a common-sense marijuana policy in our country," he said in a statement. "As he put it, such a policy is 'long-overdue' and I am immensely gratified to have him as a powerful and effective ally in the work to responsibly de-schedule and regulate marijuana."
It's still unlikely for a bill sponsored by the Democrats to pass a Republican-dominated Congress, but it marks a significant moment for a major political party's leadership to get behind a legalization effort.
Decriminalizing marijuana across the states would likely be a boon to Oregon farmers, who have been facing major losses after a bumper crop sent the price of weed into a free fall in October.
Although Schumer's bill wouldn't allow states to ship weed to states that haven't legalized the drug, Oregon could share its generous supply with other marijuana-friendly states like California and Nevada.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is the most adamant opponent of legalizing marijuana use. But President Donald Trump has indicated at least some support for lifting regulations and protecting states who vote to decriminalize cannabis.