On July 2, 2019; media reports have indicated that the U.S. Congress will hold a hearing next week to discuss “marijuana policy”, which includes reviewing the current legal status of cannabis. Those following cannabis reform will see this as a culmination of several other recent moves on the regulatory front.
- Congress voted to block enforcement of federal anti-cannabis criminal statutes in cannabis-legal states
- Congress passed a provision allowing banks to service lawful cannabis businesses
- Oregon passed the first state legislation to authorize cannabis exports between cannabis-legal states
- Two Oregon Reps have introduced a bill in Congress to permit cannabis trade between cannabis-legal states
And all of this has come in just the last month.
The context for this is simple. A wide majority of the American people want to see full cannabis legalization. This includes majorities from all political stripes.
Most recent polling shows that four out of five Democrats (80%) now want cannabis legalization. Meanwhile, only 37% of Republicans continue to oppose legalization.
With the 2020 election cycle now underway, it’s not surprising to see cannabis legalization make its way to the floor of the House. The question is: who will continue to stand against legalization?
A recent opinion piece published by Forbes points the finger squarely at one cannabis obstructionist: Senate Leader Mitch McConnell.
“…And another thing is, everyone keeps forgetting that Mitch McConnell is the one calling the shots on Capitol Hill right now. He’s the only reason industrial hemp production went legal nationwide, but he is not a fan of weed, man. So, if that guy gets reelected next year, the only way this country is going legal anytime soon is if he, all of a sudden, decides it’s a good idea or just drops dead. But he’s the grim reaper, or so he says. So, what can I tell you, McConnell might be in control of the Senate until the second coming of Christ. All I know is he is never going to support marijuana legalization as long as it is on the Democrat’s agenda.”
Will even Mitch McConnell choose to continue to stand in the way of the cannabis tide that is sweeping across the United States (and the world)? As Donald Trump eyes re-election in 2020 – and sees Republican opposition to legalization evaporating, will his populist instincts kick in?
Today, cannabis remains a Schedule 1 narcotic in the United States, equated with heroin and LSD. Everyone knows this is ridiculous. Is 2019 the year that the U.S. federal government (finally) fixes its mistake?