And no, the 420 part in the title is not clickbait, but the actual numbering of a bill sponsored by Democrat Rep. Earl Blumenauer, fully titled “Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol”.
It is the first effort introduced to the 116th Congress, under leadership of the Democratic House and revives previous efforts to remove Cannabis from the list of controlled substances, making it as legal as alcohol — but healthier — and remove it from under the responsibility of the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration).
Capitol Hill, on Unsplash
It seems that this bill stands a better chance to pass, than under the previous GOP controlled house.
“Our federal marijuana laws are outdated, out of touch and have negatively impacted countless lives. Congress can not continue to be out of touch with a movement that a growing majority of Americans support. It’s time to end this senseless prohibition.
— Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), to Willamette Week
With the shift in House occupation, and always more pro-regulation on state level, this time the bill could could stand a chance to pass due to better support — and, of course, the Democratic House.
Additionally to Blumenauer, the new House Majority Speaker California Democrat Nancy Pelosi has previously co-sponsored bills — also protecting states from federal interference — but has so far not signed any marijuana legislation according to the Marijuana Movement. She has been publicly supportive of the 2016 initiative in her home state though.
Yet, as per The Daily Beast Pelosi and the House number two, Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, have not discussed any position yet on federal level marijuana policy.
“We haven’t talked about that. We’re focused on jobs. We’re focused on infrastructure.”
Rep. Steny Hoyer, Democrat Maryland
The most recent efforts to deschedule marijuana date back barely a year, with the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act (2018) co-sponsored by then Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and before that the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act in 2017 sponsored by Republican Rep. Tom Garret (Virginia), which in itself was an effort to revive Bernie Saudners’ 2015 attempt to legalize.
Kamala Harris, via kamalaharris.org
Lastly, it also seems that potential 2020 Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris has flipped on Cannabis prohibition now a run to the White House could benefit from an ever growing demographic pro-cannabis legalization.
“It’s past time America legalized marijuana and regulated it. But when doing so, we need to expunge nonviolent marijuana-related offenses from the records of millions of people who have been arrested and incarcerated so they can get on with their lives.”
— Kamala Harris on Twitter
Harris, as AG in San Francisco, one of the most if not most liberal places when it comes to cannabis, has earlier this decade enraged the industry by issuing a brief that legalization forbade all marijuana sales. Eventually several cannabis supporters scorned her position that much they supported a Republican candidate in 2014.
Yet, as previously noted by Jacobsin, Harris has a history in trying to “play both sides”. For most politicians there’s always a “marriage of convenience” to be found and it seems this may be a favorable one for Kamala Harris.
While, of course, a sponsored bill is not a guarantee of a law passing, and with a teetotaler President, anything is possible - even a vetoed law, it seems that rather sooner than later cannabis will eventually be descheduled in the USA.
Do you think cannabis could be descheduled in 2019, with a GOP-led Senate and this President?